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Many of us teach abroad to save money! So, why do some international schools make their teachers pay for simple supplies? Well not all do, but according to a number of comments submitted on our website, some indeed leave their teachers in a situation where they need to. Why do some international schools give nice big budgets to classroom teachers and others do not?
Some might say that only the for-profit international schools don’t give appropriate budgets. However, that would not be true. A number of non-profit international schools also leave their staff with limited budgets to buy supplies.
Let’s say that your international school does provide some money to buy some supplies. It is nice to get at least something for your classroom! But the question is, when you are working abroad, where can you/the school buy these supplies?
If you order from your host country, then it will be cheaper, but the supplies might not be exactly what you want or have a quality you are used to. If you order from abroad, then the costs will be higher because of shipping and the wait time will most likely be a long time (with the risk of never even getting your order because it gets lost somewhere along the way).
Another question to consider is does a big budget for classroom teachers equal to better instruction and more learning for students. Teachers can get quite creative in a budget-less classroom, and it is fairly certain that good learning still happens.
But when an emergency arrises and materials that are necessary for the lesson/curriculum are not there, a number of teachers will use money out of their own pocket to buy them. It is the sacrifice that many teachers choose to do to make sure that their students are getting the best education possible and that the promise the school has made to paying parents can be met.
But does the administration/owner of an international school really want their own teachers to be using their own money to buy basic and necessary supplies for their classrooms? It would be hard to believe that they would. But when other factors (like a recession in the world or a declining student population) come into play, sometimes schools don’t have a choice to provide a nice budget for their staff.
Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to what kind of budgets international schools offer, so you can stay the most informed as possible. It is called: “What types of budgets do classroom teachers/departments get?”
Our veteran international school teachers have submitted a total of 212 comments in this comment topic (March 2016). Here are a few that have been submitted:
“Teachers have no budget to spend in their classrooms. They can take supplies from the resource room, which has basic materials like pens, white board markers, tape, etc. Everything else has to be paid for yourself.” – The International School of Egypt (New Cairo City, Egypt) – 12 Comments
“Budgets for resources are never an issue – if you have a good reason for purchasing something and can demonstrate the learning that it will support then you are generally approved. Art, Maths and Science materials are often ordered in from overseas and are of high quality.” – Ican British International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) – 51 Comments
“In past years, teachers have been required to submit their budget requests in October for the following school year � a full ten months before the beginning of the year being budgeted for! This was a major source of stress. As of today, no one has been asked to submit a budget and the budget process has not been discussed.” – American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland) – 64 Comments
“The businessman Mr. Strothoff pays for the school and pays most operating costs. In general, teachers fight for basic things such as staplers, two-hole punchers, tape, whiteboard markers, etc. Departments have budgets but protocol for ordering and getting something as simple as a pear of scissors is 100 layers of red-tape.” – Strothoff International School (Frankfurt, Germany) – 49 Comments