Great Link

The Peace Quilt of international schools: children’s message for peace

June 15, 2011

A teacher who is inspired can inspire students and other teachers!

According to the blog: This project began as an idea back in September 2008,the idea being to unite schools all around the world, in some way, potentially as a celebration of the London Olympics, 2012.  The people involved asked themselves to think of an idea of uniting schools all over the World.  The idea suggested was for all schools to do a collage of Peace, where children created their picture of what Peace meant to them, and to have it displayed at the Olympics.  That idea was then turned into another idea of creating a Peace Quilt.  They got in touch with the not-for-profit organization PEACE ONE DAY and Jeremy Gilley.  POD have gladly made their Global Education Resource available free to all schools.  This was perfect for them, as Peace is something they were very committed to, knowing that it is a wish all children have.  This was the beginnings of this exciting project.

Of course international schools around the world have already started to participate.  There have been numerous international schools that have already got involved.  Some of them are:

International School of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)

Colegio Experimental Alberto Einstein (Quito, Ecuador)

Dili International School (Dili, East Timor)

The International School of Seychelles (Seychelles)

There are more international schools that participated (check out their pictures here):

International School of Monaco (Monaco)

International School of Kabul (Kabul, Afganistan)

American International School of Niamey  (Niamey, Niger)

Marymount International School (Rome, Italy)

Mont Kiara International School (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Qsi International School Bratislava (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark)

and the list goes on….

I LOVE when teachers have a dream and then they make it become a reality.

continue reading

Great Link

Are students from one culture group “taking-over” certain international schools?

June 3, 2011

I found an article related to this very topic here.

It is about how there are many international schools in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that have very high populations of Filipino students.

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?  I know that when people talk about many schools in China, one of the first questions out of people’s mouths is “Do you have a lot of Korean students?”  It seems like there is a high number of Korean families living here in China that want to send their children to international schools to learn in English.  Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but it seems to be creating one for the owners/school boards.  They even go as far as to limit the number of Korean students that they will allow in each classroom!  It seems a bit of a touchy subject I think.  Many international schools strive to have equal amounts of all their culture groups, not have one culture group ever dominate the school.  But, that is not always possible in a specific city in the world.

So, what about other areas of the world?  Are there students from one culture group “taking-over” certain international schools?

International School Community would like to encourage its members to comment on this topic, especially providing some insight about how things are in the schools that they know about.

I can honestly say that I did not realize that in Riyadh there was a huge population of Filipino students.  Because of the high population of this specific culture group, according to the article, there seem to be a lot of people involved in decision-making based on this dominant group.  The schools there are hiring specialized trainers to help the teachers that are working in those schools.  The schools are also having to deal a lot with the national government of the home country to that group.

The article also highlights how there is definitely a demand for teacher specializing in giving professional development in-service sessions to teachers at international schools.  International School Community would like to talk more about this topic in a future entry on our blog, so stay tuned!

continue reading

Great Link

Great website – The International School Teacher

May 21, 2011

My friend told me about this relatively new website back in November 2010.  It is called The International School Teacher.

It is a forum/social networking/information gathering website designed for the international school teaching community.

Parts of the website I like:

International Schools
How can one increase their chances of getting a job?
Get married… and to someone who’s not only good looking, but also teaches! No really, if you happen to be what is referred to as a teaching couple, then you are indeed much more marketable. If a professional club were to sign a striker and get a defender in the mix… Schools do indeed kill two birds with one stone when hiring couples. Also, for many schools in cities where housing is an issue, they simply can’t afford to provide single teachers with their own housing.

As much as I don’t like to constantly hear people and schools say this, it just might actually be true.  A school does “save” money by hiring a teaching couple, and they do kill two birds with one stone.  I don’t really believe though that married couples are more “stable”  I’ve seen many couples leave after 2 years (even 1 year one time) at schools I’ve worked at.  One reason they leave early is because they find out their salary is sometimes not covering all their expenses (I’m referring to a school on the Mediterranean for example).  Sometimes, one member of the couple is not completely satisfied working at the school because the school really wanted to only hire their partner and have placed the other member in a position they don’t 100% enjoy or find fulfilling.

What you really love about your host country
I really appreciate this section because it highlights the positive aspects of our lives as international school teachers, something International School Community strives to do as well.  No matter where you are living in the world, there are always things that you enjoy and reminding yourself of those things is a very good idea sometimes (especially when you go through all the different stages of culture shock).  Here is an excerpt of one of the member’s reasons for why they like living in Cyprus:

– I can drive forty minutes from my house in one direction and be in the beach. I can drive forty minutes in another and be in snow.
– Large, luscious lemon trees in my yard
– Ottoman, Greco-Roman, and Venetian architecture

Check out the rest of the website here.

continue reading

Great Link

Types of International Schools – Do you know how many there are?

May 19, 2011

Check out this article about all the different colours and varieties of international schools.

Types of international schools that are listed in the article:

  • original expatriate
  • broadly international
  • local international
  • bilingual
  • state school teaching

Highlights of the article:

– “We often find that teachers considering working abroad get quite confused by the breadth and range of international opportunities out there. It’s hard enough to consider working in another country in another culture, but it’s complicated further by the fact that there are different types of schools serving different populations. When you are at home, you know instinctively which is a posh, academic school versus one that serves, say, children with special educational needs. Internationally its not so easy.”

– “You are unlikely, for instance, to get an invite to attend a local wedding when working at one of these schools.”

– “We find these schools in areas with a high influx of foreigners such as the UAE, Singapore and China and these schools are more of a melting pot.”

– “At most of these schools you will still get a mix of children but more than half will be locals.”

What a great resource for information related to international school teaching –

continue reading

Great Link

Top 5 Reasons I like walking or taking public transport to get to places around a city instead of driving

May 14, 2011

Best and Worst Cities around the World for Public Transit

I found this article here on the Time magazine website.  The article actually turned out to be about cities in the United States.  You can look at the best cities for public transit here and the worst cities for public transit here.  The best city was Honolulu, HI; which I’ve never been to myself (though I really WANT to go there soon).  The worst city was Knoxville, TN; also another city that I haven’t visited yet (not on the top of my list of places to visit, but I’m always game for exploring more of the United States).

Now on to the rest of the world.  I’ve lived in 2 cities now on 2 different continents, and I must say that I completely rely on public transport nowadays in my life….and that doesn’t bother me one bit.  Barcelona vs. Shanghai.  One city beats out the other one though for more reliable and cheaper transportation.  You guessed it, Shanghai is the winner.  Though there is a lot of pushing in both cities, I’ve been impressed with Shanghai’s public transit.  Usually I only wait 1-2 minutes for the next metro train!

I’ve been without a car of my own for 5 years now.  I remember when I was living in the United States and a work friend of mine decided to go car-free.  I remember him saying to me, “I LOVE not having a car…”  And I remember me thinking, this guy is CRAZY!  We all know that most of the United States is lacking with public transportation.  Where I am from, you literally need a car or your are not going to be able to get anywhere.

Now I think just like my old work friend.  I don’t think I ever want a car again.  Disregarding the fact that you can save so much money by not having a car, I think I have actually lost interest in driving in general.

Top 5 Reasons I like walking or taking public transport to get to places around a city instead of driving:

1. Getting the chance to go into narrow alleyways where cars can go.

2. Looking over the shoulders of the people in front of you.  Boy did she have excellent handwriting.

3. Some walking paths can be very beautiful.  If you are in a car, you pass it by too fast.  If you are walking, you get to take it all in!

4. People watching in general.  Where is everyone going?  Where is this man going?  Who is he? Who is she?  In a car, you don’t have time to look at anyone.

5. Walking to the market that doesn’t have a car park or that is in the middle of a big city that cars can’t get to.  I love walking/taking a bus to my neighborhood market!

*Though I do miss one thing: listening to my favourite songs in my car and being able to sing very loud to them!

continue reading