Information for Members

School profile pages on International School Community: 4 comment sections and 3 survey sections

April 16, 2011

Each school profile page on International School Community has 4 sections: School, Benefits, City and Travel.  In each of those 4 categories, there are comment sections (see below) where members can leave firsthand information about what it is like working at a specific school.  3 categories (School, Benefits, and City) have survey sections (see below) where you can submit your votes on topics related to that category.  3 categories (School, Benefits and City) also have photo uploading features.

Our goal is for our members to submit real information that is very specific so that prospective teachers can make better, more informed decisions as they consider working at an international school.  International School Community has organized each school profile page to reflect each important aspect of the lives of international school teachers.  We have also organized it in a way to make it easier and faster to find the information you want to know about.

If you are a current member, please take a moment to share what you know about the school you currently work at or about the schools that you have worked at in the past.  If you aren’t a member just yet, join now today!

• What type/s of accreditation does this school have? When is the accreditation up for renewal? Any religious affiliations?
• Recent things that the school has taken on (i.e. new curriculum, specific professional development, etc.).
• Describe their hiring policies. Which recruiting fairs do they go to? How do they typically hire (e.g. face-to-face interview, Skype, etc.)? Are there any hiring restrictions mandated by the country?
• Describe school’s location in relation to the city center and to the teachers’ housing.
• Are the expectations high of teaching staff? Describe workload details.
• Average class size for primary and secondary.  Describe any aid support.
• Describe language abilities of students at this school and what is the “common language spoken in the hallways”?
• Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack there of], etc.) and staff turnover rate.
• What types of budgets to classroom teachers/departments get?
• PARENTS ONLY – General comments from parents of students that go to this school.

– General behavior of the students
– Method of teacher appraisal
– Human resources and Business Department
– Effectiveness of administration
– School visions/commitment/curriculum use
– Current staff morale indicator
– New teacher orientation
– Teacher collegiality
– Effectiveness of board or school decision makes
– Quality of school building and campus
– Quality of resources currently available at the school
– Support services (EAL, SEN, Mother Tongue Programs, etc…)

• Average monthly salary after taxes and in what currency (explain taxation situation). How often do you get paid throughout the year?
• Details about the staff housing or the housing allowance.  If there is no housing allowance, how much are rent costs and utilities?
• Average amount of money that is left to be saved.
• Detailed info about flight, shipping and settling-in allowances.
• Health insurance and medical benefits.
• Ways to make extra money (tutoring, afterschool activities, etc.).
• Information about benefits for teachers with dependents.
• Professional development allowance details.
• Pension plan.
• Describe your experience bringing pets.
• How do the school’s benefits compare to other international schools in the area/city?
• Explain how salaries are decided (e.g. is there a pay schedule? extra step for masters degree? Annual pay raises?).

– Cost of living in relation to the salary.
– Does the school pay staff on time?
– School’s help and guidance regarding work visas.
– Possibility of living here with a non-working partner on one salary.

• Name your favorite restaurants, favorite places to go to and favorite things to do in the city.
• Locations in the city geared towards the expat lifestyle (grocery stores, bars, etc.).
• Sample prices for food, transportation, average hourly rates for a housekeeper, etc.
• Detailed info about lifestyles: singles vs. couples, gay vs. straight, nightlife vs. quiet and big city vs nature.
• Languages of the host city and the level of English spoken there.
• Sample activities, classes and clubs for teachers with children.
• Describe the city’s weather at different times of the year.
• Places, markets and stores where you can find really good deals.

– In general, how do you like living in this city?
– Availability and quality of local healthcare
– Temperament of locals towards foreigners
– Cost and efficiency of the public transportation
– Stability of local area and country
– Potential of making friends with locals and other expats outside of the school

• Sample travel airfares from host city airport to destinations nearby.
• Describe proximity of major airport hubs to the city center and give sample taxi, train, subway and/or bus fares to get there.
• Popular travel websites to buy plane tickets or tours that are popular for expats living in the city and/or country.
• Places to travel to outside the city by bus or train.