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How Much Curriculum Development Work are You Expected to Do? (Part 2)

When you work in a public school district in your home country, it is typically unlikely that you will also have to spend time specifically working on curriculum development. Unless I suppose you are getting paid extra to do so. Usually, curriculum development is handled at the district office.

But at international schools, it is very commonplace to also have this task added to a teacher’s annual workload. Especially at small international schools with fewer teachers, the odds are quite high that you will spend a number of hours doing curriculum development.

Who can remember how this work was done 20 years ago? But, of course, now it is all done online. A popular choice amongst international schools is now Toddle (in the past it was Rubicon Atlas). Though this service has a lot of good features and is “easy to use”, it is not always so popular and user-friendly for teachers.

Many international schools require teachers to plan their lessons every day and then also update their units on whatever the school uses for their written curriculum. It can be a lot of work!  Each international school needs to think about what is the right balance for the teachers and who is responsible exactly for the updating of their writing curriculum.


Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this topic of curriculum development, so you can stay as informed as possible. It is called: “How much curriculum development work are you expected to do? (Atlas Rubicon, Toddle etc.)

Our veteran international school teachers have submitted a total of 400 comments (September 2023) on this comment topic.  Here are a few that have been submitted:

“All units are expected to be completed on Toddle. We worked with Kim Brandon quite a bit this year on how to build units using UBD. When we first contracted with Toddle, they were completely unequipped to deal with UbD. Since then, our new Director of Learning has been working with them to curate a system specifically for our school. As of now, this new AISL UbD platform is still under construction, so units are patchy, and standards aren’t always linked…” – American International School of Lagos (Lagos, Nigeria) – 52 Comments

“Subject Leads work closely with the Head of Primary to map out the curriculum. This leaves time for teachers to just deliver it engagingly! The first week of each term has become an Immersion Week, in which the theme is introduced and all learning is cross-curricular and hands-on. This Immersion Week is planned by the Subject Leads, which is a great ‘welcome back’ for all teachers…” – International School of Seychelles (Victoria, Seychelles) – 63 Comments

“Teachers are expected to keep ManageBac units up to date, as well as use this platform for teaching and keeping track of learner progress. These units are then updated from year to year. Primary teachers post and document work on SeeSaw, while secondary teachers/learners use ManageBac for similar tasks. Departments are also tasked with collaborating during bi-weekly collaboration meetings…” – Utahloy International School (Zengcheng) (Zengcheng, China) – 140 Comments

“The trend has been that teachers create curriculum. Recently, admin has considered ordering and using programs and curriculum recommended by teachers…” – American School Foundation of Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico) – 150 Comments

“Teachers have been told to rewrite the entire curriculum from scratch across grade levels. Toddle is the newest platform, along with UBD. There have been multiple PD days spent writing on chart paper about what our understanding of curriculum is…” – American International School Riyadh (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) – 69 Comments

“The school curriculum is based on the Australian National Curriculum, adapted to meet our local context. The IB MYP framework provides the standards, aims and objectives for each subject as well as the “how” for the teaching methods (concept inquiry-based, interdisciplinary units, etc). Teachers are expected to develop their units using these tools and their understanding of the student’s personal development needs (this is a year-level team discussion and goal setting each term). ManageBac is the current platform used for documentation of curriculum as well as communication with students and parents regarding learning, tasks and evaluation…” – Roong Aroon International School (Bang Khunthien, Thailand) – 42 Comments

How is the curricular work at your international school? Submit a comment on your school today!