Comment Topic Highlight

Why Are People Staying at or Leaving Your International School?

November 15, 2017

If you work at an international school, you know that this is already the time to be thinking about whether you will stay for another year or two at your current school or move on back home or to another international school.
International School

At some international schools, 1/4 or 1/3 of their current teachers decide to let their school know that they will be moving on at the end of the school year. Though it is not the case necessarily at other international schools that have a lot of local hires. Those with lots of local hires generally tend to have teachers that want to stay there for longer periods of time because they have more ties to the local country (e.g. they are married to a local, etc.).

Regardless of the personal situation of the teacher, another big factor that guides a teacher’s decision to stay or leave is the school itself. For example, the school might be losing student numbers as of late. Fewer students mean less demand for all the teachers on the current staff roster, meaning some need to go whether they like it or not. Maybe even the school has decided to alter or eliminate the staff children benefit (to have them attend the school for free). And the list goes on…

There are of course even other factors that come into play that affect this big decision that a number of teachers need to make around this time of the year. One of these factors is that the school has decided to move in a direction that doesn’t match your teaching philosophy any more. Staying at a school that doesn’t match you and your teaching style can be a serious concern leading you to search for other positions in school that better suit you.

International School

The biggest factor to stay or leave might just boil down to money plain and simple. If the school isn’t meeting your needs financially any more, there are many more that probably will.

So that questions is for you is why are YOU going to stay or leave your current school? It might be one of these reasons listed above or a combination of these and other even other reasons.


Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this topic of staying or leaving, so you can stay the most informed as possible. There are a total of 145 comments (November 2017) that have been submitted by our veteran international school teachers in one of 65 comment topics called – “In general, why are people staying at or leaving this school?”

Here are a few of those submitted comments:

“People are staying because they are mostly not getting better job anywhere else and peoples are leaving because of the rude behavior, Less salary, false promises, promotion of wrong candidate, lack of resources and overloaded routine.” – Indus International School (Pune) (Pune, India)43 Total Comments

“Staying because the campus is nice, supply and PD budgets are generous, students are overall courteous and engaged, and because Berlin rocks. Leaving because salaries are too low, and some departments are more disorganized than others.” – Berlin Brandenburg International School (Berlin, Germany)52 Comments

“Staying: Turnover is low. In my opinion people are staying because the school climate is generally very positive – it is a happy place to work. The school has generally got its act together (curriculum, policies etc) very well so there are structures in place to make teaching positive. It is a vibrant, stimulating place to work. Japan is a lovely place to live. Leaving: The cliche is single females find it harder to date in Tokyo and that could be a reason to leave. The school’s pay is OK and the school’s reputation is good and growing but the pay is not as great as some other big name schools. People leave as they get the experience and then are drawn to the lure of $$. This is especially the case of teachers in their late 40’s looking for a pension.” – Tokyo International School (Tokyo, Japan)69 Total Comments

“People stay a long time because the pay and benefits are great, the city is very livable, the cost of living is low and the classes are not too large.” – Anglo-American School of St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, Russia)38 Comments

“The overall package is hard to beat and the staff are not overworked. Combined with minimal classroom management requirements due to small class sizes, DISK really is a great place to work.” – Doshisha International School Kyoto (Kyoto, Japan)92 Comments

“If you survive your first year most teachers stay on. The first year is a challenge, especially if you are late arriving (a common issue because of how long it takes to get a visa).” – Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China)121 Comments

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New Survey: Are you thinking of leaving your current post this year?

November 22, 2013

A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  Are you thinking of leaving your current post this year?


Yourself:  Am I leaving or am I staying? Am I leaving or am I staying?

Other colleagues: Are you leaving or are you staying?  Are you leaving or are you staying?

Director: Are you leaving or staying? I need to know now!

International schools in Asia already have had to let their schools know if they are leaving or staying for the 14-15 school year, but others (like ones in northern Europe) might not really have to give their notice until sometime in 2014.

Regardless of whether when you have to officially decide, this question is always on the mind of a circuit international school teachers.

Some of us say that you should stay at an international school between 3-6 years.  But as we all know, there are many of us that leave after only 1-2 years. I mean a normal international school teaching contract starts off as a two year one.

Some of us really like to plan ahead and decide you are leaving one whole school year before you plan to move, others of us like to wait until the last moment and decide to accept any penalties for any late leavers.  Sometimes the penalties outweigh the pros of moving to your new place, so that it fine with you…but it still does put the international school in a tough situation when they have to try and find somebody to fill your position on such short notice.

And it is not all about you that weighs in on this important decision, there are many other factors at play: money, location, love, career, travel, etc.

So, I am curious to see what are International School Community members doing this year.  Is the power going be in the hands of the international schools this year (too many candidates for the vacancies) or will the power be back into the candidates’ hands (too many vacancies for the available candidates)?

Who knows??!


So, go ahead and vote whether you are thinking of leaving your current post this year?  Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today!  You can check out the latest voting results here.

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