Nobody wants to be worked to the bone. And then not have any time to enjoy life outside of work.
Many of us left our home countries to escape being worked too much at our home country schools.
Teachers want to do their best and have time, inspiration and encouragement to do just that.
Just like the schools located in your home country, there is also a wide range of work-life balance situations at international schools.
Sometimes the work-life balance is affected by the norms of the host country’s laws and culture. Other times it is more influenced by the school itself and its admin.
But luckily, there are some international schools out there striving to have the best possible work-life balance for their teachers. As they say, teachers are more able to keep their focus and do their best if they are not so stressed at work.
So which international schools then have some good work-life balance conditions? Can you guess which countries/schools around the world would make for the best conditions for a good work-life balance?
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 30 comments that had the keyword “Life balance” in them. Here are 11 of them:
“There is a good work-life balance at the school. Teachers are required to lead an after school activity (1 hour/8 weeks) each semester…” – Khartoum American School (44 total comments)
“Expectations are high and teachers work hard. There is very reasonable non-contact time and staff gets paid if they do extracurricular activities. The workload is not excessive and there is a good work/life balance…” – Lanna International School (LIST) (18 total comments)
“The expectation of quality is very high, but this is reflected in giving ample prep-time. One can also request a “retreat” morning/afternoon/day if you would like to spend some extra time planning with a team. I find this to be one of the best places for work/life balance, without sacrificing quality…” – International School Hannover Region (38 total comments)
“Reasons to stay:
– Amman is pretty easy to live in – most things are available in stores
– The staff is a lot of fun and friendly and enjoyable to work and play with
– Jordan has a lot of amazing things to see and do, especially if you enjoy an outdoor life
– The school program is strong but the expectations on staff are realistic
– The school values a healthy work-life balance, there is not a workaholic mentality here…” – American Community School (Amman) (55 total comments)
“It is a great place to work at and the work-life balance is good too…” – Norlights International School Oslo (122 total comments)
“In general people stay because they feel supported, welcome and have a good quality of work/life balance…” – The English Modern School (Doha) (99 total comments)
“There are pros and cons but I think it depends on what you value. If you want a good work-life balance you can find that here. You don’t need to bring work home with you once you are established. The school also has great kids and the lack of structure means you have a lot of creative freedom…” – The Canadian International School Vietnam (147 total comments)
“KAS is the best international school in Kaohsiung as far as school resources, work/life balance, collegiality among staff, pay, vacation time, and students who work hard. As of yet, it is not the best in Taiwan (those would probably be TAS or TES in Taipei), but it’s working towards it…” – Kaohsiung American School (43 total comments)
“There is a good work-life balance at the school. Teachers are required to lead an after school activity 2 out of 3 trimesters…” – International Community School of Abidjan (68 total comments)
“There are many couples at our school, mainly young couples that are actively having children. There are so many staff having children each year! It is a great place to have children because of the long maternity and paternity leave, etc. What I’m trying to say is that if you are a couple and want to work at our school, it is a great match because couples really enjoy their work/life balance here…” – Copenhagen International School (391 total comments)
“There is a lot of work, but everyone can maintain their work-life balance. The school is supportive of on-campus wellness activities before and after school…” – International School Manila (110 total comments)continue reading
v2012.04 – 7 April, 2012:
We hope everyone is enjoying their spring break. The range of different countries being visited during this time of traveling (with the international school teachers that the ISCommunity staff know) is quite intreguing and exciting: Bucharest, Tbilisi, Aruba, Madrid, Amersterdam, Bangkok, Colombo, Almaty, Tenerife, London, Dubai, etc.
In the international schools we have worked at though, it seems quite common that the more veteran teachers (ones that have been at the same international school for 20+ years) don’t seem to travel as much any more. Is that the future of international school teachers? Do you “lose interest” in traveling the longer you stay at an international school post?
It is true however that there are some good reasons for deciding not to travel during school breaks: saving money, spending time with family, going to a summer home, high airline ticket prices, etc.
Furthermore, if you travel “too much” sometimes people start seeing trips as being all the same, appearing a bit too similar. Not that the cities and countries are the same, but the experiences and actions are the same sometimes. For example: going into an old church, walking through a museum, shopping at the main market, checking into a hotel, going through security at an airport, going out to restaurants every night, not being able to communicate with the locals very well, getting a coffee at the Starbucks, etc.
Some times traveling naturally gets to this point. Not that you stay at this point and never go back, but it is possible that when you travel as much as international school teachers do, it is bound to happen at some point.
So if you did decide to travel this holiday, what goals did you have for this trip? (e.g. pleasure, adventure, beach, visit old friends, etc.)
With regards to our website, we have had another surge of new members on International School Community this past month taking us over the 400 mark. Now, ISCommunity members currently work at or have worked at over 141 different international schools in over 50 countries!
Furthermore, we have just reached the 4000 milestone for the number of submitted comments and information! More information and comments means our members being more informed about the world of international school teaching!
From the staff at International School Community.
· 04 Apr QSI International School of Tbilisi (8 new comments)
“There is a flea market that is open every day near the highway and river. There are many people selling antiques and also…”
· 03 Apr Kongsberg International School (7 new comments)
“There is a one hour commute from Oslo with direct train links to the city and to the main airport as well…”
· Teach Internationally – Opportunities the World Over for Qualified Teachers
“With over 6,000 international schools throughout the world, it’s a market much bigger than most people – even those within the education sector – realise…”
· TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELOCATING OVERSEAS: #10 – Surround yourself with positive people. Do not allow negative comments and attitudes to darken your outlook.
“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…”
· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #3: Africa
“With the Egyptian elections over, I predict a huge requirement for teachers in Egypt as the country pulls itself up by its bootstraps and with the help of international investment will try to change the face of the country…”
· Survey results are in: Which international school recruitment fair have you had the most success at?
“The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community have had the most success at the Search Associates international school teacher recruitment fairs…”
· International schools that were founded in 1970 (Salalah, Nairobi, Monterrey, San Josa and Brussels)
“Founded in 1970 in response to the need for a top quality co-educational school in Monterrey, Mexico, Colegio Ingles offers international students…”
· The number of children at international schools reaches 3 million!
“The latest figures published by ISC Research show that the number of children attending the world’s international schools has passed three million. This is phenomenal growth in…”
While living in foreign country you might periodically ask yourself: What is this thing?“You eyes search around for a purpose. I can‘t see what this is for?! You try and fiddle around with it. Try and turn it on! Is this right?”“I just found this on the bottom of one of my walls, very close to the floor, and just outside my bathroom. When I turn it on, the green light goes on but nothing happens. So, I guess I will just keep it off. Thank goodness for the internet. It turns out it is some sort of thermostat. I am still not for sure if I will use it though. For sure people don’t typically have these things on the walls (near the floor) in homes in the United States…”
We invite our readers and members to discuss their list of things that they haven’t done in a year (or more for that matter).
Highlighted blogs of international teachers:
This international school teacher’s blog is about teaching and living in Japan.
One of her blog entries (One Week After) is describing her experience when the big earthquake hit Japan last year:
“The students broke into groups in all 3 of our classrooms. I wandered around, listening to their conversations. The students were animated, hanging out with friends, sharing their passions and their proud moments from the week. And then 2:47. The classroom started shaking. I was standing near a group of girls who immediately got under a table. Usually, earthquakes stop within seconds, but this didn’t. It was rocking us like babies in a rocker, and it wasn’t stopping…”
Another one of her entries (Teaching and Discovery) is about how teachers feel when they first go back to school after the summer holidays:
“We’re back to school again, and it’s almost as if we never left. Great group of kids again. The students always amaze me with their energy and joie de vivre. It would be hard to go back to students who don’t find school so amusing…”
v2011.02 – 7 June, 2011:
Well, the school year is winding down for most of us. Some int’l schools are already out and some still have a month to go! Either way summer is upon us and travel awaits. Most of us go back to our home countries, some of us skip going “home” and explore new countries and then there are the few that stay in their host country to relax or because they have visitors coming. Finally, there are the international educators that are moving on. Lots of packing to do and shipping of boxes to their new destination. Many will be taking a chance on a new school and new country; and a lucky few finally got a job to go work at their dream school in their dream country/city.
If you are moving on to live in a new destination, don’t forgot to update your member profile to show your new “current location” and your new “current school.” Also, now that many of us have some more freetime on our hands, now is the time to share what you know by writing some new comments on the school profile page of the school you currently work at.
The offical launch promotion continues: All new members that sign up will automatically receive a free 1-month subscription of premium membership. Make sure to forward this newsletter to your friends and colleagues so that they can also benefit from this promotion. Current members can still benefit from this promotion. Just sign-on and click on the My Account tab and then the renew your subscription link. Use the coupon code “MESGRATIS” on the payment page (coupon code expires on 30 June, 2011)
New incentive program: Now when you submit comments on the school profile pages, you can earn coupon codes to receive up to 1 year free of premium membership access! Putting-in 15-29 comments gets you 6 months free. Submitting over 30 or more comments will get you 1 YEAR FREE! Please remember that the comments you submit on the school profile pages are anonymous, but we can keep track of which members write how many comments in our system. Once we see you have submitted your comments, we will send you an email with a special coupon code to extend your current premium membership.
· Survey results are in – Which area of the world would you prefer to work in?
“it seems as if Western Europe is the top area of the world that internationals school educators want to live and work in….”
· Are students from one culture group “taking-over” certain international schools?
“Is it true that in most places in the world, where there are international schools, that there is many times a “dominant” culture group at each school…”
· Why do people leave international school teaching to go back to their own country?
“With regards to the single teachers, it seems that many of them move back to their home countries for reasons not necessarily related to money, but for love as well…”
· Highlighted article: Destinations and Dispositions (IKEA dependence)
“IKEA is indeed the best friend of international school teachers. What a great friend too because…”
· It’s all about luck and timing: Getting the international school job of your dreams
“If you really want to live and work in a specific city in the world and there are only 2-4 jobs available at the two international schools there…”
*If you’d like to be one of our next member spotlights send us a message here. If you are chosen to be highlighted, you will receive a coupon code to receive 6 months of premium access to our website for free!
How do you figure out the population of each city?
We use the latest numbers from Wikipedia. We also use the metro area population instead of just the city proper itself. We thought it would give a better indication of the actual number of people that live in and around the city.
What is this thing?!
You eyes search around for a purpose.
I can‘t see what this is for?!
You try and fiddle around with it.
Try and turn it on! Is this right?
I just found this on the bottom of one of my walls, very close to the floor, and just outside my bathroom.
When I turn it on, the green light goes on but nothing happens. So, I guess I will just keep it off. Thank goodness for the internet. It turns out it is some sort of thermostat. I am still not for sure if I will use it though. For sure people don’t typically have these things on the walls (near the floor) in homes in the United States.
While living in another country, this was what my washing machine looked like; the Little Swan. Not knowing how to read Chinese characters, I for sure had no clue what kind of functions this machine had or could do. I guess you just take a guess and try to get it started some how and hope that you can get someone into your home to show you how to use it!
The joys of living in a house or an apartment in a different country! Many international school teachers have worked in more than one country and in each country there are definitely going to be these “things” that just don’t look right, that we can’t figure out or that we can’t (initially) understand the purpose of.
International School Community would like to highlight a few parts of this blogger’s entry (living in Jordan) who had a similar experience with a ‘thing’ in her bathroom:
“This a picture of something on the floor in the bathroom, the kitchen, and the laundry room. What do these rooms have in common? What is it?
Answer: Okay, you are super smart. It’s a drain. But on the floor? Why?
Part II: What is this?
Answer: No duh, it’s a squeegee, right. Is it for windows? No! What is the relationship between the drains and the squeegee?
Put it all together and what do you get? It’s actually quite ingenious. The drain I’ll grant you is disgusting looking. When I opened it the first time, I shuddered. I’d clean it out, but we have a ‘house cleaner’ who does that (and no, I’m not trying to sound obnoxious. I’ve never had a house cleaner because we could never afford one, but here it’s so cheap, i.e. see pedicure blog, that we can’t afford not to have someone clean the house). Anyway, I’ve witnessed the magic of the marriage these two items firsthand. You wash your floor with a mop and then squeegee all of the excess water into the drain. Isn’t that smart? Who knew? Well, you probably knew, but it took me a week to figure it out. I’ll let you tally your own score on this first pop quiz. Don’t be smug is you did well. They’ll get harder.”
Currently, there are 8 international schools listed under Jordan on International School Community:
• International Community School of Amman (0 Comments)
• Modern American School (0 Comments)
• American Community School (Amman) (4 Comments)
• Amman Baccalaureate School (8 Comments)
• The International Academy (Amman) (8 Comments)
• The International School of Choueifat (Amman) (0 Comments)
• Ahliyyah School for Girls (4 Comments)
• King’s Academy (7 Comments)
Check out the latest comments and information that have been submitted on these schools or submit your own at International School Community.
Also, we encourage you to leave a comment about the strange things you have found in your home while living in a foreign country.continue reading