May 16, 2013
A new survey has arrived!
Topic: Which region in the world would you most NOT want to move to next?
There is always going to be a region of the world that you would most NOT want to move to. They always say at international school recruitment fairs to be open to positions in all areas of the world, but in reality that is just not likely for many candidates. Though on the other hand, we also know some international school teachers that one time did take the risk and had selected a position in a region that they were not really interested in at the time, and then they ended up actually really enjoying their time living and working there. Who knows then what the best advice is for teachers out on the look for a teaching job abroad at an international school?
Is there one region in the world that is more popular than the others? We are not for sure. The “popular” regions seem to keep on changing every few years or so. On the other hand, there seems to be a group of international school teachers for each region of the world. For those who will choose NOT to interview for a position in the Middle East, there are definitely a handful of other candidates that ARE interested in applying for that job in that region.
There are many reasons that you would NOT choose to live and work in a specific region: Love, Travel, Career, Money, School, Location, etc. Which ever reason or reasons that are the most important to you (at that specific time period in your life) will help you decide on which region is the best for you and NOT the best for you.
For the very flexible candidate, the one that has the goal to live in as many regions of the world as they can, they will be on the look out for a region that they haven’t been to yet! Is there an international school teacher out there that has lived and worked in all the regions in the world? If so, we would like to interview that person for our member spotlight feature.
So, which region in the world would you most NOT want to move to next? Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today! You can check out the latest voting results here.
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May 2, 2013
Thanks to the increasing number of international schools, there have never been so many opportunities in unique and exciting locations for teachers.
Today there are international schools everywhere – over 6,500 schools in 236 countries – and some of the more unusual locations are providing the most stimulating and challenging opportunities for the more seasoned and adventurous international teachers.
Corey Johnson is a Geography teacher currently working in Kazakhstan. He’s been teaching internationally for seven years. “Being an international teacher, I can work and see the world at the same time,” he says. “Each time I move to a new country I am gaining more experience. Knowing that a grand adventure is waiting for you out there is very enticing. Life in a new country is always challenging but it’s also rewarding. Things are very different here but that’s the adventure of it all.”
Kazakhstan is one of the more unique places for teachers to work right now and it is the international schools, led by the NIS (Nazarbayev Intellectual School Network) schools that are changing the face of education throughout the country. The aim is to develop a new way of educating local Kazakh students and the NIS Network is enlisting the skills of qualified, English-speaking, experienced international teachers such as Corey to spearhead the progress.
From Mauritius to Bangkok
For international teaching couple, Jane and Gerry Young, an extreme location change was their priority when they were ready to move schools.
“We spent three years teaching at the international school in Mauritius,” says Gerry. “There were huge career benefits there and we loved the lifestyle. We spent most of our free time outdoors in the sunshine, on beaches. When our contract ended we decided to find something just as exciting but completely different so we them moved from our sleepy little school of 260 pupils to one of the biggest names in international education – Harrow International School in Bangkok – with almost 1,200 pupils, and traded mellow Mauritius for bustling Bangkok – a different corner of the world and a whole new adventure.”
Many options near and far
With today’s international schools employing over 300,000 English-speaking teachers and all competing for the most skilled and experienced ones, those already with international school experience really can have their pick of the best jobs. Some of the more unique positions currently available are at the International School in Azerbaijan, at the International School Moshi in Tanzania which is located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, and at the International School in Montenegro, as well at the NIS schools in Kazakhstan.
“Don’t limit yourself to the oftentimes ‘cattle market’ frenzy of the recruitment fairs, or restrict yourself to just the jobs featured in the vacancies ads,” says recruitment expert Andrew Wigford. “Many international schools are now using recruitment agencies to handle all their placements and these agencies often know of some of the more unique jobs that aren’t publicised elsewhere. For example, the Harrow International Schools, which have a five year recruitment contract with us, hardly use job fairs at all. That’s why it’s important to register with a recruitment agency, as you’ll find jobs – great jobs – that you don’t hear about anywhere else. The good recruitment agencies do not charge candidates any fee for this and still allow them the opportunity to look elsewhere, such as at the fairs. It’s an important part of keeping all your options open, especially if you’re looking for a really exciting or challenging next move and some agencies, such as TIC, provide a very personalised service to help you find exactly the right school and position for you.”
Andrew Wigford is Managing Director of Teachers International Consultancy (TIC), one of the leading specialist international school recruitment agencies in the world. TIC works with experienced international teachers and accredited and reputable international schools to provide a personalised placement and advisory service. For more information visit www.ticrecruitment.com
Teachers International Consultancy (TIC)
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Blogs of international school teachers: “Life in Kunshan, China” (An international school PARENT at Kunshan International School)
April 30, 2013
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
Our 30th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Life in Kunshan, China” It is not actually written by a teacher, but by a parent! Check out the blog entries of this international school PARENT who currently sends their children to Kunshan American School in China.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“The school is quite large. We were only able to see the kindergarten area today – a meeting with teaching staff and tour of the school will occur later in the month – but what we saw was impressive: the kindergarten has a room with beds for naps, a separate and large room with great play equipment, a traditional teaching room and a separate reading room with about a dozen PCs for the kids to work on.
I was struck by the cost of the school: only 12,500 RMB/semester for Logan and 10,000 for Jordan. That works out to a little over $3,000/year for our two boys, a small fraction of what we’d have to pay to send the kids to school in Shanghai, and even less than we were paying in California for Jordan’s pre-school…”
It is interesting to get the international school parents’ perspective once and awhile. I actually just witnessed a “tour” going on today at work with our school secretary showing around a new/prospective family. I was out on break duty and was wondering what the parents were thinking as they watched all the students running around. Were they impressed by the school’s playground and how the students were using it? We should have the school secretary share more about what kind of feedback/statements she/he hears when giving a tour of our school. It could prove to be quite intriguing to hear what prospective/new parents (and their children) are saying!
And then there is the cost of sending children to the international school in question. Typically it can be very expensive for expat parents paying for themselves. But we all know that many expat parents don’t typically pay for the tuition themselves, their company pays for them. What a nice surpise then to find out the tuition at Kunshan International School is actually low when compared to other international schools in China.
On a side note, we also have an article on our blog about international school teachers’ dependence on IKEA when living abroad. Check out the article here.
“The teachers seem to take a deep interest in the kids. About a week before the start of school, Jordan’s (who was going to start kindergarten) teacher came to our house to visit on a Saturday, speaking with Jordan and answering questions we had. She was going to all the students’ homes, getting to know them and allow them to get comfortable with her (of course, this just doesn’t happen in the U.S.)…”
I have never heard of this happening! How great that a teacher at this international school goes to each student’s house to answer questions that the student and family have! Does any one know of any other international school that does this kind of orientation?
Want to work for an international school in China like this blogger sends their children to? Currently, we have 142 international schools listed in China on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:
• Beijing City International School (31 Comments)
Blogs of International Teachers
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New Teacher Orientation Must-Haves at International Schools: Resource person with a contact number and email address
April 26, 2013
In this blog series we will talk about the ins and outs of an excellent new teacher orientation programme at an international school. A new teacher orientation programme can really play a very important part to the start at your new school, in your new host country. What are all the must-haves then? Check out our blog series here to read all about the ones that we have discussed so far.
Must-have #9: Resource person with a contact number and email address
There is so much going on for international school teachers in their first days, weeks and even months after starting at their new school. There is just as much going on for you before you arrive at your new host country. Being that there is so much to think about, one of the most important things that international schools can do for their new hires is set-up so that they have a resource person. New teachers actually need to have a contact person from the moment they get offered their contract (e.g. when they are still in their home country or their current placement). There are so many things going on in the new teacher’s mind, and that person needs somebody to talk to and ask questions to as the time gets closer and closer for his/her big move.
I remember getting the chance to talk over the phone (now it would be done via Skype I’m sure) with a contact person a few months before I moved. The contact person was another teacher at the school who had worked there a year already. In turn, it was fresh in her mind all the things that a new teacher would want to know about. I had my list of ‘new teacher’ questions ready to ask her. She was very real and forthcoming with her answers and it made me that much more comfortable, at the time, in my preparation for the big move which was in 2-3 months. Sure I got some information and answers from the director who hired me, but it is many times much better to get a different perspective on things. Also, there are some questions that you just might not ask a director (potentially your immediate supervisor). Once I got to the school, that initial ‘resource’ person then coordinated some new teacher orientation activities for me and the rest of the new teachers. But then, that was it. Also, I found out later that this contact person wasn’t actually getting paid any extra to do this; contacting and helping out the new teachers. A year later, they changed that and made sure to give an appropriate stipend for the teacher/s that take on this role.
Other international schools have this initial contact person, but then that teacher turns into an official mentor. The mentor’s role is definitely to be the contact person for this new teacher. Some mentorship programmes at international schools are quite helpful, others not so much. Sometimes there isn’t a good match between the mentor and the new teacher. That new teacher just might find a better, more compatible mentor in one of the teachers in their immediate team at the school. It is nice though to have another contact person, an official one, if the other teacher isn’t available. Basically anyone can be a mentor at a new school. Just because someone is your official mentor doesn’t mean that another teacher could turn into that role for you if you don’t think the first one is the best fit for you.
Not all international schools are that organized though with regards to assigning contact people to new staff. It could be that the school doesn’t even have a mentor programme. But the problems could also be related to an existing, ineffective mentor programme. For example, there is nothing worse than when you email your ‘resource’ and then that contact person never gets back to you. Maybe the person is just ignoring their ‘resource’ job or maybe the school just gave you the wrong email address (for example some teachers might not use their work email address very often or at all during the summer holiday). Either way, when you don’t have communication with your new school during these pre-move months, then you can easily start to get a bit anxious and nervous about whether you are preparing the best way you can. Some new teachers might even get “cold-feet” and call the whole thing off; it can happen! The main point is though: to keep the new teacher as comfortable and as most informed as possible!
So, does your international school assign a resource person with a contact number and email address to their newly hired teachers? Please share your experiences!
New Teacher Orientation Must-Haves
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April 20, 2013
Random year for international schools around the world: 1998
There is much history in the international teaching community. We have international schools with founding dates of 1838 and 1854 and we also have many, many international schools with founding dates in the 21st century. The numbers are increasing for sure.
Utilizing the database of the 1410 (20 April, 2013) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 40 international schools that were founded in 1998. Here are a few of those schools that also have had comments and information submitted on them on our website (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites)
The Ashton School of Santo Domingo (12 Comments) (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
“The Ashton School was founded in 1998, inspired by the ideals, methods and techniques of the New Zealand educator Sylvia Ashton. The school started as a family project with just a house as its facility, fewer than ten teachers and only 35 students in Kindergarten through third grade.”
Al-Oruba International Schools (8 Comments) (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
“Established in 1998 by Mrs. Tomader Ayad and his Royal Highness, Prince Abdulla Bin Mosaad Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Al Oruba International School has built an admirable reputation in the Kingdom with devotion to over 3,000 students, Pre-K through Grade 12.”
BINUS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Simprug (13 Comments) (Jakarta, Indonesia)
“Established in 1998 as a Senior High School, BINUS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Simprug was originally located in Kemanggisan and moved to its current location in Simprug, Jakarta Selatan in 2003. As an International Baccalaureate (IB) “World School”, BINUS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Simprug offers the IB`s internationally-recognized Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, and Diploma Programme.”
St. Stephen’s International School (Bangkok) (8 Comments) (Bangkok, Thailand)
“St Stephen’s International School SIS, founded in 1998, is a private co-educational international school, serving the Thai and international communities. The school is accredited by the Worldwide Education Service WES from the UK, is licensed by the Thai Ministry of Education and is an approved candidate for Accreditation with ECIS and NEASC.
The St Stephen’s International School’s philosophy is based on ‘Leadership in the making’ and is guided by three main concepts: East Meets West – The Best of Both Worlds, Learning by Doing, A Disciplined and Healthy Lifestyle.”
“The Franconian International School (FIS) was founded in 1998 to serve the needs of
In September 1998 the FIS opened its doors in Haundorf to 25 students in a combined Grade 1-2 class. By September 1999 the FIS had grown to three classes, and moved to the Dassler-Villa in the west of Herzogenaurach. Our growing Middle School classes caused another move, this time in September 2003 to a restored convent, also in Herzogenaurach. Since August 2008 the FIS has occupied its own, purpose-built campus with state-of-the-art facilities in Erlangen. This facility includes modern classrooms, fully equipped science labs, specialist art and music rooms, two PC labs, library, cafeteria and a double gymnasium.”
Wroclaw International School (33 Comments) (Wroclaw, Poland)
“The Foundation was formed in Autumn 1998. Its aim is to enrich the education of society by supporting activities which shape regional identity, contact with culture and achievements of other nations, and give aid to educational institutions by organizing international contacts, but the most important task is the support of the unique features of each person – his or her abilities.”
Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well! We have over 1410 international schools that have profile pages on our website.
Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools
Al-Oruba International Schools, BINUS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Simprug, Franconian International School (Erlangen), international school, international schools, omments, review, St. Stephen's International School (Bangkok), teaching abroad, teaching at international schools, The Ashton School of Santo Domingo, Wroclaw International School, year founded,
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