Around the world, there are countries (like Myanmar) that have more than one international school. Many times there is an American school, a British School, and an international school that uses an international curriculum.
The big question always is…how do the comments about each school compare to each other?
This blog series looks at comparing some of these comments, all coming from international schools in the same country.
Currently, we have 15 schools listed in Myanmar on International School Community.
6 of these schools have had comments submitted on them:
Ayeyarwaddy International School (66 Total Comments)
International School of Myanmar (23 Total Comments)
Myanmar International School Yangon (33 Total Comments)
The International School Yangon (17 Total Comments)
Total Learning Academy (9 Total Comments)
Yangon International School (81 Total Comments)
“Single- 30, 000. Couple- 60, 000…” – The International School Yangon
“Most people will save more than half their salary. You have to be trying hard to spend your money. Keep it for traveling…” – Myanmar International School Yangon
“It depends on your lifestyle, but most people can save between 50-80% of their salary, easily…” – Ayeyarwaddy International School
“The surrounding area of the campus is quite suburban. There are grocery stores and restaurants within walking distance of the campus…” – The International School Yangon
“The building is not for purpose. With the school role rising, pupils are being stuffed into classes not big enough to accommodate them. Primary especially are struggling. The area around the school is not really adequate for play or PE. Outside the grounds has roaming dogs and an ever-accumulating number of car wrecks in various stages of being dismantled. The teachers are overworked, it has got worse in the past two years. While appreciating the need for setting standards, the overloaded teachers are burning out. Staff are generally great, friendly and helpful. There will be another big turnover this year. Many teachers are completing contracts and getting out. Others were forced into signing 2-year contracts even though they had been on 1 year contracts for a few years. In saying that, the contacts are not worth anything. Major changes made by the management last year means that they are invalid. Students are nice, salaries are on time, housing allowance is decent…” – Myanmar International School Yangon
“There is a small pool and some playground equipment for the younger kids…” – Ayeyarwaddy International School
“Housing is provided by the school, which comes fully furnished, and all utilities are included and paid for…” – International School of Myanmar
“Teachers are living in either a shared house or in some cases apartment-style living closest to the branch you will be working at…” – Total Learning AcademyC
“Utilities are included in your benefits. All the housing comes furnished…” – The International School Yangon
“Non-trailing spouses can be an issue. Visas have been much easier to get than in previous years but the application process is not smooth compared to other countries. A shorter visa is often granted before a 1 year visa is issued. Not a big deal but it can be an inconvenience to have to deal with the Myanmar Embassy for a spouse. The school will need to sponsor the spouse in most cases…” – Yangon International School
“100% free tuition for 1 child…” – International School of Myanmar
“Free tuition for up to 2 children…” – Myanmar International School Yangon
“Workload is increasing. school hours have changed as well. 0800 – 1600
Classes in Primary finish 1445 and secondary 1500. The additional after-school time will be taken up with 2 after-school activities and meetings…” – Myanmar International School Yangon
“The workload is very reasonable. Foreign staff is never given breakfast or lunch duty, and the after-school activity is only required once per week…” – Ayeyarwaddy International School
“The expectations of teachers is that students are learning and doing well in class. There are very few demands outside of the classroom. In the elementary school, each teacher is required to do one after-school activity for a 9-week period…” – Yangon International School
(These are just 5 of the 66 different comments topics that are on each school profile page on our website.)
If you work at an international school in Myanmar, share what you know. Consider becoming a Mayor for unlimited free premium membership!continue reading
Schools thrive when there are hardworking students in them.
It is a dream to have students at your school that are hardworking and who focus on their learning when they come to school.
But do all international schools have hardworking students?
Most likely not. There are over 10000 international schools throughout the world, so there are bound to be some differences.
There are some international schools that have very privileged students in them, and they often don’t prioritize completing their classwork or even on their learning in general.
Can having effective teachers play a factor in achieving a high level of hardworking students in the school? Surely that is important as well. If the teachers are disengaged, then that is often demotivating for the students.
But, of course, there are many international schools that have amazingly hardworking students. These students are focused on their learning and are typically supported by their involved parents. The schools probably also have top-notch teachers and an engaging way of teaching their curriculum.
So which international schools then have these hardworking students?
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 36 comments that had the keyword “hardworking” in them. Here are 11 of them:
“Kids are hardworking in general. Mostly well behaved and friendly, especially welcoming to new students.” – Western International School of Shanghai (481 total comments)
“Positive, hardworking, driven, and respectful of adults.” – International School of Zanzibar (57 total comments)
“The kids are wonderful. Adorable, very loving and inclusive. Mainly hardworking and keen to learn. We have a couple of challenged learners but our counsellor is fantastic at supporting their teachers and indeed the whole community in understanding their challenges.” – KIS International School (Bangkok) (355 total comments)
“The school really is a great place to grow as a professional. There are many opportunities to develop new skills just by learning from other colleagues. The biggest comparison would be the student body – students at SFS are motivated, hardworking, involved, and love learning! It is a dream!” – Seoul Foreign School (176 total comments)
United Arab Emirates
“Respectful, conscientious, hardworking, courteous.” – American School of Dubai (167 total comments)
“The students are wonderful to work with. They are respectful, kind, hardworking, and smart.” – Yangon International School (81 total comments)
“Some stay for the great education for their own kids, and the opportunity to impact upon other students who by and large are hardworking and cooperative.” – Hebron School (35 total comments)
“The staff is great. There’s a good sense of communities. Students are generally well-behaved and hardworking. Parents are supportive.” – International School of Tanganyika (171 total comments)
“The students are hardly ever disciplined at the school, but thankfully that is not an issue most of the time as the students are very well behaved and hardworking by default.” – Beijing National Day School (81 total comments)
“My students were fantastic! Hardworking and well behaved. I loved every minute of my time at the school.” – Uruguayan American School (32 total comments)
“Happy, hardworking, driven, excited about learning.” – International School Manila (96 total comments)continue reading
All international schools have something good about them. Some might say there are wonderful things that each international school has about them.
It’s a fact: schools are for kids. Schools put teachers in them that enjoy working with those kids. Because of that fact, of course there are going to be things that the school can enjoy and celebrate; mostly because you can safely assume the teachers are doing their best to provide a wonderful educational environment for the kids.
But all too often, many teachers, administration, parents, etc. get sidetracked and those wonderful things get a bit clouded and invisible to them. There are many, many factors that affect these stakeholders which help them get sidetracked: poorly planned or too many meetings, upset parents, anything to do with money (PD money, classroom budget, etc.), areas of the school campus that need improvement, missing or not fully functioning technology, etc.
Getting into the trap of just focusing on these negative things (some that are out of your control anyway), might make you forget all the wonderful things that you could be celebrating instead, or even creating new wonderful things to celebrate for that matter.
After searching the keyword “wonderful” on our Comment Search page, we found 45 comments about 34 international schools that one or more of our members thought was wonderful! Here are just a few of them:
“The school has a wonderful multistory building with fully equipped Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science laboratories. There is a gymnasium and multi cuisine food court as well. The auditorium of the school is excellent with a seating capacity of around 800.” – Gandhi Memorial International School (Jakarta, Indonesia) – 6 Comments
“Most (but not all) teachers who come to the school have little or no IB experience so this is very much where they have a chance to ‘cut their teeth’ in the IB programmes. Most leave at the end of three years as they receive a wonderful bonus package and with three years IB experience they are able to command far greater salary packages from bigger schools.” – Zhuhai International School (Zhuhai, China) – 65 Comments
“Extra-curricular opportunities abound. There are traditional activities like football (soccer), Frisbee, swimming, volleyball, and a school musical. Activities that support our mission and vision are popular: theme weeks (regions of the world, Women’s week, LGBT week), conflict transformation seminars, service projects. But students and staff also propose activities of interest to them. In the past year, we have offered a meditation group, Russian, photography, Feria Verde, and a host of others I can’t keep track of. These offer a very wonderful opportunity to be with the students.” – United World College of Costa Rica (San Jose, Costa Rica) – 18 Comments
“The students are wonderful to work with. They are respectful, kind, hard-working, and smart.” – Yangon International School (Yangon, Myanmar) – 50 Comments
“I literally think these are the best students to have on the planet. I can’t think of a country where the student caliber is any higher. wonderful and attentive students who perform well. Require work to get them to think outside of the box and problem solve.” – Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 106 Comments
What is wonderful about your international school? Login to our website and share what you know!continue reading
Traveling Around: Myanmar
Can you relate?
• Carrying all of your spending money around with you, including money for hotels and inner country ﬂights, in US dollars, because there are no ATMs, and credit cards are not excepted.
• Making sure that this cash is only brand new, crisp bills, because otherwise, they will not be excepted.
• Feeling like you are in India or Bangladesh, because Myanmar borders both of these countries.
• Seeing Burmese people wearing a white powder on their face, and discovering it is actually their traditional sun screen and moisturizer.
• Realizing that this is such an exciting moment to be in Myanmar due to their ﬂedgling democracy and the recent release of Aung San Suu Kyi.
• Talking to amazing locals, who are so happy that you have chosen to visit their country, especially after years of tourists bans.
• Traveling by horse and cart……because this is an actual mode of transportation in Bagan, Myanmar!
• Using a paper ticket! No e-tickets in this country.
• Actually going to the airline company to buy this paper ticket, and then waiting as the agent hand writes each ticket!
• Visiting Bagan, where there are more than 1,200 temples which sounds amazing until you realize that this country used to have more than 13,000!
• Being super impressed by the service at the airports, considering that tourism is just starting up again.
• Trying the traditional food, which is shared style, and the food keeps coming until you are full!
• Sadly, seeing a neighborhood slum right next to a brand new high end grocery store. Seems very wrong.
• Arriving in Heho, traveling one hour by car, and then one hour by boat, to Inle lake, and realizing it was worth every minute of travel.
• Staying in cottages on stilts which are right in the middle of the lake.
• Seeing the milky way at night.
• Hanging out at the Strand Hotel
Currently we have 6 international schools listed in Myanmar on International School Community:
• Yangon International School (10 Comments)
• International School of Myanmar (10 Comments)
• International School Yangon (6 Comments)
• Total Learning Academy (9 Comments)
• Myanmar International School Yangon (8 Comments)
• Yangon Academy (0 Comments)
If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at email@example.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences. Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock. Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give 6 free months of premium membership!continue reading
Members of International School Community have written some new and informative comments on the following schools:
13 Aug Total Learning Academy (6 new comments) Yangon, Myanmar :
One of the new comments in the benefits information section: “Teachers are living in either a shared house or in some cases apartment style living closest to the branch you will be working at…”
12 Aug Medan International School Sumatra (5 new comments) Medan, Indonesia :
One of the new comments in the school information section: “All the support staff, including the office manager, secretary, accounts clerk, teacher aides, drivers, cleaning and maintenance staff, are Indonesians. So much of the personal school business is handled by Indonesians, who might speak English very well or not at all…”
11 Aug Bayan Gardens School, Al Khobar (10 new comments) Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia :
One of the new comments in the city information section: “There is a large western expatriate community living here, so there are store to meet their needs here, usually in the various malls around town which have European and North American shops…”
Check out the rest of the last 40 international school profile pages that have been recently updated on International School Community here.continue reading
Random year for international schools around the world: 1955
There is much history in the international teaching community. We have international schools with founding dates of 1838 and 1854 and we also have many, many international schools with founding dates in the 21st century. The numbers are increasing for sure.
Utilizing the database of the 1224 (05 June, 2012) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 7 international schools that were founded in 1955 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):
Ghana (British) International School (0 Comments) (Accra, Ghana)
“This is a far cry from the humble beginnings of the school when it first opened its doors on 1st September 1955. Back then, the school was known as the Gold Coast International School and was the brainchild of eight founding members. These were: Sir Kobena Arku Korsah and Justice Edward Akuffo Addo, both Justices of the Supreme Court of the Gold Coast, Dr Lusty of the University College of Gold Coast (now the University of Ghana, Legon), Mr Kenneth Humphreys, first registrar of the West Africa Examinations Council, Dr Ruby Quartey-Papafio, an educationist, Dr Kofi George Konuah, also an educationist and Mr Edward James Bailey of the United Africa Company and his wife, Mrs Valerie Bailey. The membership of the committee was later expanded to include the Indian High Commissioner as well as the American and French Vice-Consuls.
The vision for the school was a school that would provide quality international education to children of different races and creeds and a school that would serve both the international and local communities.
The first task for the committee was finding a suitable location. Looking at the school now, it’s hard to believe that the original school was a small bungalow originally allocated to the Director of Surveys. Yet that small bungalow was the setting for a school that became so popular that it had an enormous waiting list within its first three months of opening. By January 1956, the school committee had no option but to relocate to bigger premises.”
American Cooperative School La Paz (9 Comments) (La Paz, Bolivia)
“Founded in 1955, the American Cooperative School of La Paz, Bolivia, is a private, co-educational school with a current enrollment of about 400 students. We offer an American based educational program, taught in English, from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 for students of all nationalities. The high school curriculum is designed to prepare students for the college experience.”
Colegio International de Carabobo (5 Comments) (Carabobo, Venezuela)
“Colegio Internacional de Carabobo in Valencia, State of Carabobo, Venezuela, was organized in 1955 with four companies: Celanese, Firestone, Goodyear, and U.S. Rubber. These provided the initial capital.
In 1958, a ten-classroom school was constructed in El Trigal, a residential sector of Valencia. During the 1962-63 school year, a library, four classrooms, showers and dressing rooms, and a photographic darkroom were added. In 1968, the High School building was constructed and was opened for classes on September 2, 1968. The building consisted of two science laboratories, a computer laboratory, and classrooms, a lounge, and offices. The High School library, constructed in 1968 and renovated in 2006, today houses 8,000 volumes. A “comedor” and Middle School were added during the early 1980’s. A multi-purpose recreational building was completed in August of 1988. Most recently, two annexes, a lower primary building, a second Middle School level, and a maintenance complex were added in the mid 1990’s.”
Marymount International School (0 Comments) (Surrey, United Kingdom)
“Established in 1955 to meet the educational needs of families in the international business and diplomatic community, Marymount London is part of a worldwide system of schools and colleges directed by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, a Roman Catholic Congregation founded in Béziers, France, in 1849.”
International School of Penang (Uplands) (9 Comments) (Penang, Malaysia)
“The International School Of Penang (Uplands) is a non-profit, co-educational primary and secondary School with boarding facilities, open to children aged 5 – 18 years old.
Since being established in 1955 at the top of Penang Hill and now established in a modern campus in Batu Feringgi, Uplands has strived to embody a caring community; a School where both international and Malaysian students are happy to learn.”
International School of Yangon (6 Comments) (Yangon, Myanmar)
“The International School Yangon, founded in 1952, is a private co-educational day school, providing an American curriculum from pre-school through grade 12. The school is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). ISY is also a member of the East Asian Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS). ISY is committed to ensuring that its students achieve a high level of accomplishment using English as the medium of instruction. French, Spanish (high school) and Mandarin are taught as foreign languages. Standardized tests such as the International Schools Assessment (ISA), and the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) are conducted at ISY to evaluate student performance and school wide programs. In high school, ISY offers a college preparatory program, leading to a U.S. diploma and an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. There are currently 252 students in elementary school, 115 students in middle school and 144 students in the high school. ”
Woodford International School (0 Comments) (Honiara, Solomon Islands)
“ The school originally started in the mid 1950’s with about a dozen pupils. It was government run, and was housed in a succession of buildings in Central Honiara. By the early 1970’s the need for a new school was recognized, and in the later half of the 1970’s, a new Woodford School project was included in the Solomon Islands National Development Plan. This project recognized “That a primary educational system offering a curriculum meeting international standards is a critical infrastructure requirement necessary to support Solomon Islands objectives of attracting investment and technical expertise.”
Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well! We have over 1224 international schools that have profile pages on our website.continue reading
v2012.05 – 5 May, 2012:
“Having left your own safe environment suddenly you no longer have control (which as teachers we typically enjoy in our classroom) over your world. As soon as you step out into the outside world in whatever country, you can be faced with:
It is similar to a new born chick who has just left the nest – since you lack confidence in your new surroundings you start out by going on small excursions, but then as you get more confident you go on further trips away from ‘the nest’.”
It is true I suppose that teachers prefer to have “control” in their classrooms. How ironic then that international school teachers put themselves in a situation where they for sure don’t have control. Living in another country is certainly you letting go of the control and safety of your home country and culture, or at least a familiar place to you. But that is what makes this career choice really exciting; you never know what to expect and what you will experience next. How frustrating though to not be able to read street and road signs, we can all relate to that. Additionally, not being able to understand the local language really makes you use all your other senses more in how to interpret body language and to gather meaning from body positioning, gestures and context. At this point native-English international school teachers are so used to being on a train or plane where everyone around them is speaking a different language than themselves that it is strange now (and quite over-stimulating) to be on a plane in the United States (for example) where they understand all the many conversations going on around their seat. We get very used to “tuning” out what is going on around us while living abroad, mostly because we just don’t understand what is being said.
This past month International School Community we had over 100 new members sign up! If this rate keeps up, we might have over 1000 members by the end of October! More members means more people that you can network with when you are job hunting or that you can ask questions to about a specific international school in which you are interested in working. Now, ISCommunity members currently work at or have worked at over 160 different international schools in over 53 countries!
From the staff at International School Community.
(Click here for the last 40 schools to be updated with new comments)
· Traveling Around: Tbilisi, Georgia (The life of an international school teacher is good!)
“Can you relate: Putting an update on Facebook on where I am and everyone not knowing where Tbilisi is…”
· International schools that were founded in 1932 (Hong Kong, Henderson, Masero & Lisbon)
“Founded in 1932 by Madam Tsang Chor-hang, Yew Chung has been providing quality bilingual education to the learners of Hong Kong for almost 80 years…”
· Overview of an int’l school #5 – Rainbow international School in Seoul
“Rainbow school is an international school established by Mr. Eshraf Saglam, a Turkish educationist in Seoul promoting multiculturalism and international diversity. With 260 students from 29 countries and 42 teachers from 6 countries…”
· Schools around the world get chance to sing in global recording
“An exciting global singing project has been announced. The project is called Voices around the World and the aim is for young people all over the world to learn and participate in a global recording…”
· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #5: SE Asia
“We expect continued growth in Indonesia, Malaysia and even Vietnam as those emerging economies steadily prosper. Salaries may seem very low in these countries but…”
· The Wonderful World of International School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #8 – “Benefits, preps, class sizes, and student mix.”
“If all these benefits and other factors don’t seem to match up for you at this point in your international school career, then the answer you will most likely give…”
Kazakhstan Attracts Teachers Looking for Career Development“Kazakhstan may not be the obvious destination for teachers wanting to work abroad. But the Nazarbayev Intellectual School Networkis offering experienced, English-speaking middle and secondary teachers a one-year contract that is proving very tempting for some.”“There are NIS schools in cities throughout Kazakhstan, all of which are leading a programme of educational reform in the country led by the President of the Republic. The aim is to develop a new way of educating the future elite of Kazakhstan and the NIS Network is enlisting the skills of experienced English-speaking teachers to spearhead the progress….”
Check out this blog entry to read more about what your life might look like as an international school teacher in Kazakhstan.
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
This international school teacher’sblog is about teaching and living in Dubai, Almaty, etc.One of their blog entries (International Schools: The circuit)is describing how small the international school community is and how many of us “hop” around from school to school:“It is in fact a very small community and the chances are that you will know someone who has been to a specific school, once you have been in one or two schools overseas. Don’t be surprised after some years if you walk into a staffroom in a different school, and country, and you meet someone you worked with in another school…”Another one of their entries (What to expect at a job fair) is about what candidates might experience at the international school recruitment fairs:
“During the afternoon, the school will have interviews in their hotel rooms – it is all a bit surreal, but the recruiters carry out the interviews in their rooms (this is normal procedure!) At the end of this day the schools will then look at the candidates they have interviewed (and if you are one of them) then they will either invite you for a second interview…”
* If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.