In this blog series we will talk about the ins and outs of an excellent new teacher orientation programme at an international school. A new teacher orientation programme can really play a very important part to your start at your new school, in your new host country. What are all the must-haves then? Check out our blog series here to read about the ones we have discussed so far.
Must-have #7: A dinner outing with the director and administration
In some cultures it is very much of a bonding moment between people when they share a meal together. It is a time when you can really relax and have some nice conversations with each other. Getting to know your director and other new teachers in this kind of setting will help you with future encounters with the director and also with your potential new good friends. Having a meal with your bosses can really start your relationship with them on the right track.
How nice is it when the administration treats you to a nice dinner out somewhere in your new town? It really just sets the stage right to have a great start to your first year. Sure it is not that important and of course it does not have anything to do with your job specifically, but it is nice to get some bonding time with the other new teachers as well as your new bosses. Also, there is the fact that you probably don’t have so much money when you first arrive to be going out to eat at a nice restaurant. Plus, you probably do not even know where the good restaurants are just yet anyway.
If there is not a dinner planned though for all the new teachers, it definitely feels like something is missing. If there is a dinner planned, then there are a few scenarios that might happen. Most often the admin plans a dinner out in the center of the city at a nice restaurant. You can really take in your new “expat lifestyle” in this scenario! If you have a director that is a little bit more personable, he/she might invite you over to have dinner at their house. In this scenario, the director is really making an effort to show the new teachers that they are now “one of the family” on the staff at the school.
A less desirable scenario is when the dinner is just held at the school itself. Maybe the admin staff will get the cooking staff to make something special for everyone. Having the “dinner out” at the school is probably not making a very good impression on the new teachers, but depending on cooks, it could actually be quite nice. Another way to not make the best impression is to have the dinner at some cheap restaurant (just across the street from the compound where all the teachers are living) with little planning involved on making the outing special in any way.
In either scenario, the conversations and experience had at the “dinner out” with the new staff will surely be ones that you remember. A fun time is usually in store with a lot of laughter. Take it all in because this dinner-out evening is just the beginning of your new and exciting expat life in your new host city.
Some members on our Facebook page have shared about eating out with their administration during the new teacher orientation week they experienced at their international school:
International School Geneva – Campus des Nations – “At IS Geneva there was barely an orientation week (just 2 half days) let alone any sort of dinner.”
International School Singapore (10 Comments) – “The head of school throws a BBQ dinner for the new teachers and one later for all staff to mingle with the new staff.”
Discovery College (Hong Kong) (5 Comments) – “We had a dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Also a drinks/appetizers with the larger ESF organization.”
Not that you would ask about this topic at your interview or anything, but it might be important to ask the administrator who’s interviewing you the details of the new teachers orientation week. You do want to know how they support new teachers to make a smooth transition.
On International School Community we have a number of principals and directors of international schools that are members. Currently, we have 20 Directors/Heads of School that have joined. Some of the international schools they work at are:
• The Bilingual School of Monza
• International Community School Addis Ababa
• Olive Green International School
• International School of Dusseldorf
• ABC International School (Tokyo)
• International School Groningen
• Garden International School
Log-on today to check out the many comments and information submitted in this section topic! Become the most informed you can be when it comes to finding out the benefits an international school offers to its new teachers.
So, does your international school include a dinner out with the director and administration as part of their new teacher orientation? Please share your experiences!continue reading
IB conferences/workshops can prove to be a very motivating and enlightening experience. Isn’t that what going to conferences is all about? Most people might say that teaching is viewed as a career, and with careers comes professionalism. Many international school teachers aspire to be the best professionals in the field. The IB (PYP and MYP too) teachers definitely have similar aspirations as well; to learn more and more about the new ways of thinking and teaching using inquiry. They are also looking to learn more about how to make their students’ thinking visible.
But like many workshops that you may attend at international school teaching conferences, the benefit of the workshop you attend greatly depends on the instructor that you get. It can also be said that the success of your workshop depends on the people that attend it as well. So many different factors come into play, but when all of them line up correctly, you are most likely in for an enlightening experience. Those types of workshops can really inspire you throughout the rest of the conference and stay with you when you return back to work.
In terms of staff development benefits, the IBO requires that the teachers working in approved/accredited schools get on going PD in the IB philosophy and latest strategies on how best to instruct students in their inquiry programme. Instead of using your own PD monies to attend IB workshops, very often the school will take the costs involved out of their own monies.
There are many factors to consider when deciding on which international school at which to work. Knowing about the professional development allowance (or lack there of) can prove to be helpful information to know; just to see what you can expect in terms of you getting the opportunity to attend workshops and conferences while you work there. Luckily on International School Community, we have a Benefits Information section in the comments and information part of each school’s profile page that discusses this very topic.
• Professional development allowance details.
Taken from International Community School Addis Ababa (35 Total Comments) school profile page.
There have been many comments and information submitted in this topic on numerous school profiles on our website.
One International School Community member said about working at Mef Int’l School Istanbul: “IBO certified IBDP and PYP training provided. Outside speakers such as Virginia Rojas brought in to provide in house PD.”
Another member said about working at Western International School of Shanghai: “Most teachers don’t get any out of school PD their first year of contract. Depends on the needs of the school.”
Another member submitted a comment about working at American School of Barcelona: “The PD amount is 390 Euros a year. You can roll over this amount for 3 years. But the reality some people get more, it is not so clear cut on who gets what amount and who gets to go to what PD opportunity.”
If you are currently a member of International School Community, please take a moment to share what you know by submitting some comments and information about the PD allowances at your international school. You can start by logging on here.
Stay tuned for our next survey topic which is to come out in a few days time.continue reading