Our mission for the International School Community website is to have the most updated information about what it is like to work at numerous international schools around the world. One way to help us achieve that mission is to have Mayors.
Being a Mayor is super easy, and the best part is that you get unlimited free premium membership to our website!
And ANYONE can be the Mayor of their school. Most of our active Mayors are just regular teachers at their schools, but we also have heads of schools, HR representatives, principals, etc. as Mayors as well.
Mayors are commenting on the school and the benefits information, but they also comment on the city and travel information of the country as well. Mayors also don’t need to represent all aspects and perspectives of the school. They are recommended to just share their experience and perspective on living and working at that international school and in that city/country.
• Submit at least 3-6 new comments on your school every 1-2 months (on the 68 different comment topics). It takes around 5-8 minutes of your time to do this. It will take a Mayor 2 years to submit one comment in all 68 comment topics.
• Make sure to check on your school’s Wall and occasionally post updates about their school (any big changes to the school that are happening, good tips to know about, recent events at the schools, etc.)
• Make sure that your school has the most updated and correct information (e.g. basic info, links, Facebook page, Youtube video, etc.) on the Overview and Social Media tabs.
• Submit job vacancies that are currently available at your school.
• Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 566 Comments
• NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 325 Comments
• Tarsus American College (Mersin, Turkey) – 283 Comments
• Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 185 Comments
• American School Foundation of Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico) – 150 Comments
• Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 180 Comments
• Yongsan International School of Seoul (Seoul, South Korea) – 145 Comments
• Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 419 Comments
• Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 223 Comments
• American International School Dhaka (Dhaka, Bangladesh) – 136 Comments
• International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 129 Comments
• Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 210 Comments
• Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 157 Comments
The more Mayors that we have on our website means the more our members will be informed; as there will be more up-to-date information on the schools they want to know about!
Become the Mayor of an international school that you work at today!
* Please note that being the Mayor of a school is anonymous and that all comments and job vacancies submitted on our website are also done so anonymously. Posting on the school profile page Wall though is not anonymous.continue reading
Summer vacation is the time of year all teachers are waiting for (and I suppose all students as well!). The 1.5 to 2 months of summer break is especially important though for teachers who work at international schools because it is typically when they take their annual trip back home to their native country. When you live in a foreign country, halfway across the world, it does indeed feel good to go home. Even though you do create a new ‘family’ when you live abroad with the other international school teachers that you are working with, your home is where your real family lives. Going home too can simply mean just going back to your home country, not necessarily going back to where you grew up.
There are some good reasons to go back home and maybe some things to consider first before making the decision to travel back to your home country during the summer:
• Some international school teachers make their annual trip home during their winter break. Those that do typically say that they already went home during the winter holiday and don’t plan on going back six months later during the summer months; that would be too soon to go back!
• You get to see your old friends from when you went to University maybe or people that you went to high school with. It is important to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances; Facebook still can’t compete with real face-to-face meetings with these people from your life. Also, you can tell them all about the adventures you have been on while they have been staying-put, most likely in the same city where they went to high school in.
• Speaking of talking about your adventures. Many family and friends from your home country actually don’t care very much about your adventures and traveling. Very few of my friends and family even bring up the topic, and when I do, they don’t seem to be showing much interest in hearing the details. Maybe it is not so interesting to them because traveling around the world and seeing more than 6-8 countries a year is just something they can’t relate to. They also want to share what they have been up to, just like you, so I suppose there should be a bit of give and take to try and understand each other’s very different lives.
• If you go to your home country during the summer, you get to stock up on all your favorite products from your old life. Many international school teachers love to go to their favorite grocery stores to stock up on all the products not available in their host country supermarkets. Be careful though, food products weigh a lot and can easily make your suitcase go over the allowed weight on your flight back!
• You get to see your nieces and nephews in person, noticing how they are getting so much older now and all grown up. You can do things with them like taking them to the movies or for a few games of bowling. The years past by so fast and soon they will be adults and possibly off to university!
• The price of flights and plane tickets to your home country are just unbelievably high now. Many of us without a flight benefit just literally can’t afford to buy plane tickets home. Sure, at some schools, the school pays for your flight home each summer. But, not all international school teachers are as lucky. In many international schools in Western Europe, teachers are left to pay for their annual flight home themselves. And if you have two children in your family, your total cost has just gone from $2500 for two people to $5000 for four people. That amount is just not a feasible amount to pay for a trip for some international school teaching couples. Even with the annual flight allowance, you might have already used that allowance for your winter break trip home.
• Some international school teachers just want to stay put in their host country during the summer. Some feel you don’t have the time to really explore the city, the nearby cities, and the other cities in the country during the school year. And in the northern hemisphere, summer is the best time typically to explore these countries.
• Some teachers also just simply stay put to save money!! We all need to carefully plan for our future (hopefully early) retirements!
• A month-long trip to Africa or a month-long trip to the Chicago area? A question you might be asking yourself in April. Some are faced with this international school educator’s dilemma each summer. For many international school teachers, the price of the flight to go home is actually the same price it would take to go to more exotic places like Kenya or Costa Rica, or even Bali. Who would want to go home (a place you have seen many times already) in place of going on an exciting adventure? Many choose the adventure option each summer!
When some of International School Community’s members were asked the question: “To go home or not to go home?” Here are a few responses we got:
“Choosing to go ‘home’ over the summer is always a tough decision. I usually head back to see friends and family. It feels really good to reconnect with the people you don’t see every day and your own culture. After about 10 days though, I am ready to head back to my other ‘home’ or my next adventure.”
“Absolutely go home! First of all, many schools will pay for your ticket home during the holidays, but more importantly, is the idea that one needs a “home base” when doing these international teaching assignments. There is a real feeling of refreshment when one goes home, it regenerates your sense of self, everything is familiar to you, and you regain the energy needed to face another year of the ‘unknown’. On a side note, this year, I will not be able to ‘go home’ as I am too pregnant to travel back and forth before my second baby is born…and I’m already feeling the stress of it. Although, I know it is well worth it to stay in Brazil this time around….I feel a slight sense of panic every time I think of it.”
At Brent International School Manila, one ISC member said, “Many teachers leave on major holidays, most to other locations in South East Asia. During summer almost all teachers travel home.”
At theUnited World College South East Asia, another ISC member said, “Most teachers travel during school holidays. Singapore is an amazing hub from which to travel to all other Asian cities/countries. Many staff travel home during summer and for Christmas.”
At the American School of Torreon, a different ISC member said, “It is expensive to travel home for the holidays. The airport is small and prices are high. Traveling by bus is also time-consuming and long.”
So, are you planning on going home this summer? Are you the international school teacher that makes their annual trip home each summer, the one that stays in the host country, or the one that is traveling to another country on some adventure? Share your stories and reasons for your summer plans on ISC!continue reading
The opportunity for teachers to ply their trade in the international school setting offers many unique experiences, both professional and personal. From the professional perspective, none is more rewarding than engaging culturally diverse groups of students in their learning on a day-to-day basis. Every student in the class brings their own unique language experiences, beliefs and values, along with their travel and unique third-culture experiences. In these settings, the opportunity exists for teachers to extend their repertoire of teaching practice, to ensure all students are engaged in the learning journey in their classes.
As a teacher, one quickly learns to see students in the class for what they can do, and what they bring to the table in terms of classroom discussions, group work and dynamics. Additionally, each student has a unique view of classroom behavioural ‘norms’ through their own cultural lens. Some cultures have very few teacher-student interactions in the classroom, whilst in others, this is a constant. The latter can be quite a shock for students from particular cultures, and take some time to adjust, extending the well-known ‘silent period’. Often these students become the most outspoken in the class!
Viewing curriculum outcomes through various cultural lenses represented in the class is key to a teacher effectively engaging the students in their international school classes. Valuing each and every student’s views or experiences, and positively acknowledging the political and economic systems from which they come is paramount to a positive and engaging classroom culture, based upon the saying “just because it is different, does not make it wrong”.
The practicalities in terms of ‘scaffolding up’ for students whose first language is not the language of instruction at the school is a vital aspect of teaching in the international school sector. As teachers know, schools have various approaches to catering to students whose first language is not the language of instruction, from fully-sheltered language schools, to partially sheltered programs, and most recently the much-espoused collaborative teaching (co-teaching) domain. Having been fortunate enough to experience all three of these approaches, a well-organised and data-driven co-teaching program is the most effective for these students, both in terms of the all-important student well-being, along with academic performance. In short, in an effective co-teaching program, students feel connected to their school as they are not being sheltered away from the mainstream cohort for language lessons. In turn, students whose first language is the language of instruction are always in awe of what their peers achieve on a daily and hourly basis, this in turn makes the students in question extremely proud of their achievements, and this pride is clearly validated as they are seeing the academic bar which is set in their mainstream classrooms each and every lesson. Students rarely linguistically fossilise in effective co-teaching programs.
An effective co-teaching program in this context requires staff who are truly willing to share, collaborate and build professional relationships, through co-planning, co-teaching, co-assessing and co-reflecting through regular meetings (See Cycle of Collaboration graphic below). Having co-taught in this context across Year 6-8 Science and Humanities classes for six years, rest assured that co-teaching is the best professional development a teacher will ever have, and it is daily! Subject teachers become excellent academic language teachers, and language co-teachers become quite confident subject teachers. Effective co-teaching programs are first and foremost relationship-based, and without positive and collaborative staff relationships much effectiveness for effective student learning is sadly lost.
A Cycle of Collaboration
Students’ academic language proficiency progression is accelerated exponentially in effective co-teaching programs in upper primary and middle school year levels (see data provided below – school name withheld), however, the catch is students who are in the beginning phase of their academic language acquisition journey can for various reasons become lost in the shuffle and may require sheltered instruction to accompany their mainstream class experiences. Experience and data demonstrate that intermediate and advanced academic language level students thrive in true co-teaching environments. This linguistic progression is doubled down in terms of acceleration through an effective mother tongue program at the school, ensuring additive bilingualism is occurring.
The role of the co-teacher is to flesh out the academic language embedded in each unit of work and explain to students the regular independent study habits required to learn the required tier two and tier three academic language needed for each unit of work, prior to and during the teaching of the unit in question. Furthermore, effective co-teachers provide resources such as comprehension, pre-reading/viewing activities and provide notetaking scaffolds, along with support resources for production tasks such as structural scaffolds (relevant to text type), sentence frames and writing samples as required. There is much more to co-teaching than this brief overview, however these are very sound pillars upon which to build, along with knowing each student’s current year-level appropriate academic language proficiency in the reading, writing, speaking and listening domains. The wonderful by-product is that all students benefit from these ‘scaffold up’ resources, not only the students whose first language is not the school’s language of instruction.
Next time you apply for an international school role, ask if the school has a co-teaching program, because it is one of the most satisfying teaching experiences a teacher can enjoy, and proudly watch your students fly.
This article was submitted by Tim Hudson, an academic language acquisition expert with 34 years of experience in teaching and leading EAL and other subject department teams at the secondary level in international school settings, including Shanghai American School and more recently the Australian International School in Singapore. Tim was also instrumental in building the very successful international student program at Fraser Coast Anglican College in Queensland, Australia.
He is currently on sabbatical, offering tutoring services for EAL learners and consultancy services for schools in the EAL domain.
His skills include curriculum design, assisting schools new to this domain in developing context-appropriate EAL programs, and enhancing existing EAL programs in schools. He has extensive experience providing professional development to subject-teaching teams across the curriculum in the realm of academic language acquisition and has a passion for EAL co-teaching. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
At International School Community, we now have over 2273 international school profiles listed on our website!
Sunway International School (Iskandar Puteri) (Iskandar, Malaysia)
International School of Rimini (ISR) (Rimini, Italy)
The Lisboan International School (Lisbon, Portugal)
The International School (Karachi, Pakistan)
Tenby International School Tropicana Aman (Selangor, Malaysia)
American International School in Egypt (Main Campus)
(New Cairo City, Egypt) – 31 Members
International School of Kuala Lumpur
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 29 Members
Copenhagen International School
(Copenhagen, Denmark) – 27 Members
MEF International School Istanbul
(Istanbul, Turkey) – 26 Members
International School Manila
(Manila, Philippines) – 26 Members
Jeddah Knowledge International School
(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) – 203748 views
Al Hada International School
(Taif, Saudi Arabia) – 172031 views
International School of Chile (Nido de Aguilas)
(Santiago, Chile) – 82486 views
British International School Moscow
(Moscow, Russia) – 72162 Views
The Universal American School
Salwa, Kuwait –56341 views
Hillside Collegiate IS
(Geoje-si, South Korea) – 0 Comments
American International School Riyadh
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) – 48 Comments
British Columbia International School (Thailand)
(Bangkok, Thailand) – 6 Comments
Taipei European School
(Taipei, Taiwan) – 84 Comments
Light International School
(Nairobi, Kenya) – 0 Comments
But check them all out yourself! Get answers to your questions about the international schools you are interested in by clicking on the geographic region of your choice. It’s a great way to learn about different international schools around the world and gather information!
International School Community has the following 2273 international schools listed on our website (last updated on 26 February, 2023)
Central America (46)
Central/Eastern Europe (128)
East Asia (331)
Middle East (306)
North Africa (69)
North America (113)
SE Asia (355)
South America (104)
Sub-Saharan Africa (183)
Western Europe (347)continue reading
Recruiting the best possible international school staff is always a challenge. Once you have top international educators, you really want to make sure you keep them!
In such a competitive market during international school recruitment season, it is important to stand out in a crowd. You also want to be seen and known to be the international school or group of international schools that look after its people.
Employee benefits have been slow to come to the international school sector, but it is becoming a well-established tool that has already been used successfully by a number of international schools to attract and retain their staff.
It is important to look at how an occupational international retirement and savings plan can be a simple and effective method to provide a meaningful benefit to your staff; be they local, expatriate, short-term or career-focused.
Over the years there have been bad experiences in this growing sector with international teachers being sold inappropriate individual products that are too rigid in requirements, have expensive investment options and are opaque in their fees. However, the desire to save is an important objective. It is vital that international educators make the most of working overseas from a career perspective, but also for financial benefit.
By providing an occupational plan, you can offer a simple and easy way to save as well as tailor it to your requirements. So what does that mean? The rules can be customised for international school management. The options allow you to:
· Decide who can join the plan
· Provide an employer contribution but have different percentages for different categories of staff, to reward loyalty and seniority.
· Provide a “signing on/contract completion” bonus.
· Ensure employees finish their first contract or serve an amount of time before they receive the rights to any employer contribution/bonus value.
· Limit access to any employer contributions until they leave employment or retire, so they have a meaningful benefit when they leave.
· Allow employees to make additional savings safely and easily via payroll at no extra cost. This can be used for short to medium-term goals such as house purchase, marriage, education or hardship.
· Allow local employees an easy and cheap way to save in international currency.
The good news is that the costs are simple and transparent and they can be paid by the international school, the employee or shared.
Easy to Administer
We know how busy international school boards and admin are. Therefore Sovereign will use its expertise to learn what you want to achieve and build the plan to suit your requirements. We’ll do all the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to.
· We’ll deliver a co-branded employee booklet tailored to your membership
· Deliver launch presentations to engage the population
· Provide institutional class funds by Vanguard, Fidelity, iShares/Blackrock that are ESG focused where possible.
· Provide a secure portal, so the members can self-serve thereby reducing traffic to HR
· The good news is that HR only has to upload basic new joiner information. Our system will automatically engage the employee. HR will also need to upload a contribution file and send one lump sum payment at the frequency agreed.
· Members and HR can view and export their information.
So as you can see: simple, effective and secure. Check out the International Schools case study: International Solutions – The Sovereign Group
Why not act now and get the process started by contacting (Mrs) Jo Smeed on email@example.com
Jo Smeed has spent 25 years providing international retirement & savings schemes to employers of all sizes, locations and sectors and brings her expertise and experience to deliver the optimum solution.
The Sovereign Group is a global company with over 20 offices around the world.
This is a sponsored article submitted to ISC via Sovereign Group.continue reading