International School Community Blog

Are International Educators Saving Enough For Retirement? Results From The First Global Survey

11 International Schools that Have a Supportive Environment (2nd edition)

When there is a supportive environment at a school, then everyone thrives.

But times can get stressful and things can change at the last minute in schools which can cause teachers and other stakeholders to seek help and support.

International School Community being supportive article

If there is a supportive environment at a school, then these stakeholders are likely to lend a helping hand to others in need.

There are many stressors at an international school: new students starting all of the time (some that are even new to English), endless meetings (sometimes not so useful for everyone), workload, having to reply to concerning parent emails, etc.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all stakeholders at the school needed help and support to cope with all of the changes (sometimes very last minute!) to how your school runs its day and teaches its students.

International School Community being supportive article

Luckily, there are some international schools out there that have quite nice and supportive environments for their students, teachers, staff, and parents.

So which international schools then have these supportive environments for their stakeholders? Can you guess which countries/schools around the world would make for the best supportive conditions? (Check out the first edition of this blog series here.)

Luckily, ISC was designed to help international school teachers find the information they are looking for. Using the Comment Search feature (premium membership needed), we found 205 comments that had the keyword “supportive” in them. Here are 11 of them:

Latvia

“There is a Professional Growth Process which is just a yearly goal setting with supervising admin. Admin will occasionally walk through classrooms but it’s a very casual and supportive environment…” – International School of Latvia (58 total comments)

China

“In general, people stay for the bonuses given to staff who renew their contracts, the high salaries compared to other schools, and the friendly/supportive colleagues. People have left the school due to the long working hours, high expectations, micromanagement from administration, and behavior issues from students…” – Shen Wai International School (50 total comments)

Congo (DRC)

“With the new staff this year, we have finally reached a place of fully IB-trained teachers. We are also supportive of local staff who work as teaching assistants and are working to get teacher certified…” – The American School of Kinshasa (152 total comments)

Hong Kong

“The school has good leadership from the DPC and MYPC, both have high expectations relating to IB philosophy of teaching and both are approachable and The school has good leadership from the DPC and MYPC, both have high expectations relating to IB philosophy of teaching and both are approachable and supportive of teachers. Class loads vary depending on any further responsibilities but on average 6 out of 9 45min sessions are the norm each day. The ECA programme requires teachers to volunteer 2 sessions per week but the hours vary greatly depending on which ECA is supported. of teachers. Class loads vary depending on any further responsibilities but on average 6 out of 9 45min sessions are the norm each day. The ECA programme requires teachers to volunteer 2 sessions per week but the hours vary greatly depending on which ECA is supported….” – Carmel School Hong Kong (22 total comments)

International School Community being supportive article
Image by Dan Fador from Pixabay

Romania

“Students are much better behaved than in the US. The school has more resources than US public schools. Parents are supportive…” – Cambridge School of Bucharest (58 total comments)

Cambodia

“There is no allowance as you might find at other international schools. Having said that, the school is very supportive and normally supports you if it is in line with their vision…” – Ican British International School (87 total comments)

United Kingdom

“The staff are incredibly supportive of each other, making the time to celebrate the successes of individuals and draw attention to those that are making the learning experiences for students positive. Administrators could do more to address staff well-being…” – ACS International Schools – Cobham Campus (52 total comments)

Qatar

“People stay at EMS because the school is as flexible and supportive as it can be. They care about teachers and will try to help them when needed…” – The English Modern School (Doha) (145 total comments)

Colombia

“People are staying because there is a nice community at the school, colleagues who are supportive and some very positive students and families…” – Colegio Gran Bretana (203 total comments)

International School Community being supportive article
Image by Sue Ashwill from Pixabay

Zambia

“Yes, the school has met my expectations once I started working there. The school has a strong commitment to providing a quality education, and the staff is dedicated to helping students succeed. The school also has a positive and supportive learning environment, and the students are respectful, polite, and engaged. I am proud to work at LICS, and I am confident that the school is providing students with the tools they need to succeed in life…” – International Community School Lusaka (22 total comments)

Thailand

“The students are much more polite and respectful in class and with each other. On the whole, parents are also much more supportive and allow teachers the freedom to teach. Teaching standards are the same as the UK, and we follow a set CAIE curriculum…” – Varee Chiang Mai International School (138 total comments)

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Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

50000 Comments Milestone With the Celebratory Discount of 20%!

It is a time of celebration for International School Community as we are thrill to have reached an important milestone of over 50000 comments (and over 28250 members on our website)!

coupon code for international school community website

To celebrate, all members can get 20% off of all premium membership subscriptions from 19 Feb – 1 March 2024 (ending 23:59 PST).

The 20% off coupon code is: 50000CMM24

Even if you are a member with Premium Membership already right now, you can still add more premium membership during this 50000 comments promotion. Just log in to our website and go to the Manage Subscription page, choose the membership option that you’d like, and then enter this coupon code (50000CMM24)Next, click on the Make a Payment button to pay with your credit card.

Once you have premium membership access, please take this time to submit some comments on the schools you know about on our website. For every 10 comments you submit, your account will automatically be updated with one free month of premium membership. There is no limit, too. So if you submit 40 comments, then you will get four months of premium membership added to your account for free!

International School Community’s website was launched back in February 2011.  When our first newsletter came out in May 2011, we only had 49 members!  On average, we have been getting over 300-400 people signing up to become new members each month.  We hope this trend continues!  The more members we have, the more people you have to network with.

international school community website

International School Community’s goal is to be the largest online community for international school educators.  Our website provides a useful, informative, and celebratory environment for networking with other international school teachers and learning about different international schools around the world.

We created a website that would highlight the ins and outs of working at international schools (the benefits, the school itself, the city, travel information, etc.).

Another major goal of this website is to provide experienced teachers the platform to share what they know so that prospective and seasoned international school teachers can make more informed decisions as they venture out to a new international school.  Making connections and gathering information about international schools in our community has never been easier!  Whether you are looking to make new friends, network with other international school teachers, or learn more about the wonderful world of teaching at international schools, International School Community is the place to be.

We want members to provide real specific information; information that is related to all the different topics we need to know about before signing a contract. International School Community offers up-to-date information in a highly organized, easy-to-use manner.

You can search our vast collection of international school profile pages to find that specific international school you want to know about. You can also search our member profiles and be able to find a contact to send a private message to so that you can get firsthand information about a school that the member has worked at.

We also offer vast information and links related to the world of teaching at international schools and education in general via our blog.

While the focus of the site is to serve the international school teaching community by providing real and useful information about international schools, we have specifically organized our website to encourage our members to leave comments and information that are useful for everyone.  Enjoy being an active member of our website!

We strive to have the largest collection of resources and services for the international teaching community.  International School Community really wants to take writing reviews and comments about international schools to the next level.

Here is what some of our current members are saying about International School Community:

“It’s really useful…it’s a really good way to find out practical info about schools when you’re looking for jobs. If you are interested in particular schools, you can just contact any member from that school to find out insider info! It’s also good if you just want to find out what life is like for teachers in other cities! Really unique idea!” (An international teacher in China)

“International School Community is a great resource for international school teachers. Whether you are doing research for a new job, or just connecting with other teachers, this site is has a plethora of great information. I especially love that this site has a positive feel to it, rather than a place for teachers to vent. I really recommend registering to be a part of this great idea.” (An international teacher in South Korea)

“You have an amazingly wonderful website and seeing these comments is extremely helpful to me.” (A teacher looking to teach abroad at international schools)

“I am very impressed for a website to take the time to do this. You have a great resource that I certainly could have used when I first set off overseas teaching in 1998!! The site works well and it is nice to get a good background on almost every school I’d wish to work in. You are doing a fantastic job with your website, keep it up!” (A veteran international school teacher)

“I truly love being an international educator and researching and comparing schools, as well as discovering great schools that aren’t as well-known. I am grateful for ISC having a platform that makes it all so easy.” (Another veteran international school teacher)

#10 Rule of Relocating Abroad: Protect your mind from negative influence

Surround yourself with positive people. Do not allow negative comments and attitudes to darken your outlook.

negative comments when teaching abroad
Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

It is hard to stay positive, but when culture shock is at its worst, it is very easy to slip.  Sure the other new teachers at your school (and the veteran ones) have a lot to say to you about the host country and culture, but you just might find yourself joining in with them. Commence the inevitable negative thought process!

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

It is hard to know exactly about the meaning behind those negative comments from your coworkers (or from yourself).  Are they saying those things because that is just what you do and say when you are an expat, even if it is said like it is only a joke?  On the other hand, people say things as a joke under stressful times and there is usually much truth behind their negative comments.

Some things are small and people are easily quick to be negative about it.

“Why do I have a pay this media tax? I never had to pay this in any of the other countries I’ve lived in.  I don’t even have a TV.  I refused to pay this stupid fee!”

“Seriously the internet in this country is so slow. You can’t even access Facebook and YouTube here.  Now I have to pay for a VPN service, which usually makes my internet connection even slower!”

negative comments when teaching abroad
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

“Nothing is open around here.  Good luck finding a store open after 18 hours here.”

“Arg! It is so dirty here. I open the windows to my apartment and one hour later the floors are covered in a thin layer of dust. I can’t wait to move back to a cleaner country!”

There are many more things to talk negatively about when living in another country.  We forgot too, under the influence of culture shock, that there are many negative aspects to living in our home country as well (e.g. getting a cable service repair person to come to your home to fix your internet or cable). 

People complain and obsess about negative aspects of their lives in their home countries too.  But some might say that is your country so maybe you are “allowed” to say negative things every once in a while about your own culture and way of doing things.  Is it different or the same then when living abroad?  When you are in a host country, the country is your “host.”  Certainly, we all would agree that you should try and be gracious to your host.

Some things though are NOT small and can be quite important concerning your life abroad.

“Be ready to not get paid on time.  Last year, we didn’t get paid until three weeks after the salary payment date! Why don’t we get paid on time?  There is nothing we can do about too.”

negative comments when teaching abroad
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

“The building management in our apartment complex steals our money.  They are giving us bills that are way more expensive than the locals that are living in our building.”

“I have been waiting for six months to get reimbursed for things that I purchased for the school!  I am also waiting to get reimbursed for my flight allowance….for LAST YEAR!”

“My last school didn’t have this much work to do.  It is unbelievable about much I have to work at this school.  I don’t know if I can handle working until 19:00 every day after school!”

When there is something negative related to your home, your salary, or your money (in general), then it is very easy to be sensitive to these situations.  Maybe then you are allowed to voice your concerns (i.e. be a bit negative).  Hopefully, though there is something that you can do about it; get your school administration involved, the local police, etc.  Also, it is important to remember that these things might be temporary as well, inconveniences that will pass after a few weeks or months.

“Don`t be trapped by Dogma – which is living the results of other people`s thinking.   Don`t let the noise of others drown out your inner voice.   And most important, dare to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs.

So, knowing that there are going to be negative comments heard and negative comments coming out of your mouth at some point, the key is to try and stay positive as much as possible.  Don’t let the negative thoughts and comments take over and take control of your thinking.  Your life in your new country will be full of ups and downs, that is a given.  Realizing that simple thing, could dramatically keep your negative thoughts to a minimum.  Also, maybe think twice about sharing all of your negative thoughts with your friends and coworkers, some might be best to keep to yourself anyways.

How do you try and stay positive in your current placement?  Share your comments with the rest of the International School Community readers.

This article was submitted anonymously by an ISC member. Check out the rest of the 10 Commandments of Relocated Overseas here.

 

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If you are an International School Community member with premium access, log on today and submit your comments about the international schools you know about!

If you are not a member yet, make sure to join www.internationalschoolcommunity.com and become a part of our over 27600 members. Many of our current members have listed that they work at over 1200 international schools around the world. Feel free to send these members a message with your questions about an international school’s qualified or not-qualified teachers and get firsthand information about how the accreditation process is going for them.