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
What reasons do parents think about when selecting a school for their children when they move abroad? Are they similar reasons for why teachers choose to work at a school abroad as well? There are many different kinds of international schools and they are all in different situations. How important is finding out about if the school features a curriculum that is consistent with your future career plans? It could be beneficial to ask these types of questions at your interview, before you make any big decisions to move or choose a school to work at. So, how do you choose the right international school for your children to attend or for you to work at? In this blog series we will discuss the Tips for Selecting an International School.
Tip #7 – Does the school feature a curriculum that is consistent with your future plans?
International schools teach in many different curricula. Some of the most common are the UK, USA, Canada, IPC, PYP, MYP, and IB curricula. Which curriculum is one that is consistent with your future plans? Are you comfortable just continuing teaching in the same one curriculum that you have been teaching in your whole teaching career or do you have aspirations to teach and to gain experience in a different curriculum?
Most of us international school teachers start off in a school that teaches in the same curriculum as your home country. After all, your home country curriculum is what you have the most experience teaching in, and it is also probably the one in which you are the most comfortable. Also, if you work at a school that teaches your home country curriculum, then you will most likely be teaching alongside others who are just like you (which could make you feel “more at home” while living abroad).
There are definitely international school teachers out there that seek out new experiences though and would be risk takers and seek out to try and work at an international school that teaches in a curriculum of which they are not familiar. It definitely broadens your skills in teaching once you start having experiences teaching in different curricula. You may find that your personal teaching philosophy also starts to get modified or solidified even more. You definitely have more “tools” in your teaching “toolbox.” Not only does teaching in the new curriculum change you, it is the people that you interact with at that new school (who might be from a different country and teaching background than you) that influence how you teach your lessons as well.
It is nice to have a couple of different experiences noted on your CV that refer to the different curricula in which you have taught. It is not only good for you so that you grow professionally, but it is also potentially good when job hunting. Only a few cities in the world have more than 20 international schools in them (Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, etc…) and can offer many different kinds of curricula.
Most cities though only have a handful of international schools (Paris, Chang Mai, Buenos Aires, etc…), mean limited choices for different curricula. If you are interested in working in a specific city in the world and there are only three international schools in that city, then you can for sure “better your chances” of getting a job there if you have previous experience teaching the curriculum at two or all three of those schools. It is not a given though that you will automatically get an interview/the job there of course (if you have experience in that curriculum), but it most definitely might put you on their radar.
With the international schools that teach the IB curriculum, some people say that it is getting increasingly difficult to get a job at these schools if you don’t have previous IB experience. You might have PYP, MYP, and IB as part of your plans in your future teaching career, but many schools are not even considering candidates without previous experience. There definitely have been candidates though who “got their break” and landed a job at an IB school without previous experience in the curriculum. Those candidates say that some directors tell them that if you are a good teacher, then it does not matter one bit if you don’t have previous IB experience. If you are a good teacher in one curriculum, then typically that would mean you are a good teacher in another one (with proper training and PD of course to help you along the way). So, if you are trying to secure a job at an international school that teaches a curriculum that you have no experience in, don’t just give up and not send them your cover letter and CV. You never know truly who they are specifically looking for and of course they aren’t just considering candidates that have previous experience in the curriculum. It might just be that they are not getting enough “ideal” candidates and are already considering candidates without previous curriculum experience.
On our website we have a School Profile Search feature that allows you to search for the schools that teach the curriculum that you are looking for in your next job. You can search by choosing the following curricula: UK, USA, Canada, IPC, PYP, MYP, and IB. We also have an “other” option to search schools that teach a curriculum that is not one of those eight choices. When searching our 1340 international schools (updates on 16 January 2013), we have found the following results regarding curricula:
• There are 435 international schools that teach the USA curriculum.
• There are 413 international schools that teach the UK curriculum.
• There are 57 international schools that teach the IPC curriculum.
• There are 306 international schools that teach the PYP curriculum.
• There are 237 international schools that teach the MYP curriculum
• There are 472 international schools that teach the IB curriculum
• There are 29 international schools that teach the Canada curriculum
• There are 647 international schools that teach the “Other/Host Country” curriculum
If you are an International School Community member, log on today and submit your own search for the curriculum that is consistent with your future plans!
If you are not a member yet, make sure to join www.internationalschoolcommunity.com and become a part of our over 1600 members. Many of our current members have listed that they have worked at over 200 international schools around the world, schools that teach all 8 of the curriculum search criteria. Feel free to send these members a message with your questions and get firsthand information about what it is like teaching in the curriculum at their international school.continue reading
What reasons do parents think about when selecting a school for their children when they move abroad? Are they similar reasons for why teachers choose to work at a school abroad as well? There are many kinds of international schools and they are all in different situations. How important is finding out about a school’s accreditation status? It could be beneficial to ask these types of questions at your interview, before you make any big decisions to move or choose a school to work at. So, how do you choose the right international school for your children to attend or for you to work at? Our new blog series will discuss the Tips for Selecting an International School.
Tip #4 – Is the school accredited? If so, by what international and local bodies?
International schools intentionally seek various forms of approval and accreditation as assurances to its students, parents, employees, and community that quality and excellence drive educational decisions. Countries have governmental standards that schools must meet in order to have local approval. Schools generally follow specific steps to apply and meet approval status through the country’s Department or Ministry of Education and are monitored for annual renewal of the approval status. This standardization is important for students and parents to have proof that the school provided an education that had to meet specific standards and provide some basic assurances of quality.
Accreditation takes the quality assurance factor to the next level of focusing on the processes used within a school to provide a high level of excellence not only in the “end product” of a quality education, but it examines the manner in which that excellence is achieved. As in the previous blog post in this series, which focused on the value of international schools having a Vision, accreditation looks at what the school does and how it provides for an internal and external examination of its programs and processes: how decisions are reached within the school itself, what programs are offered that have international value, how student achievement is documented and used to increase learning, and to what extent the greater community is informed and included in the life of the school. Accreditation not only looks at meeting quality standards; it requires that schools be engaged in a continuous improvement process so as to give its constituents long-term quality assurances.
Why is it important for a school to seek and obtain international accreditation? Often international schools obtain multiple levels of approval and accreditation to demonstrate commitment to excellence for parents who are making educational decisions and educators who are seeking meaningful career experiences. Let us take a look at what you should know about the processes involved in international accreditation.
The Internal Process can take one to three years of collaborative examination by the Head of School, the Faculty and Staff, the Governance Board, Students, Parents, and members of the local community. The Standards or Required Elements for accreditation become the work of focus groups that look at the present reality, then, using the Vision, set forth a map of how the school can improve and how that improvement will be assessed and sustained over the years. After much collaboration, data gathering, and communication, a formal report is usually prepared and submitted to the accreditation agency.
The External Process will likely include an on-site visit by a team of highly experienced educators with specific areas of expertise who have the responsibility of examining evidence to validate the school’s formal report. This visit includes several days of interviews as well as classroom visits to observe the quality of instruction and the depth of student engagement, critical thinking, and application of knowledge.
The Accreditation Report that the visiting team provides will likely include a level of accreditation recommendation for the school and most importantly, that report will give direction and focus for the school to provide on-going quality educational programs for its students.
What has been described in this article is indicative of extensive work by a cross-section of a school and its community stakeholders. So who benefits from this work?
School Owners and Directors are members of a highly competitive market. International accreditation gives added distinction to a school that sets it apart from many others when parents are looking for excellence. It also attracts quality teacher applicants for employment.
Teachers and Prospective Teachers who seek employment in international schools want to be in schools of excellence where there is a strong vision and the internal human support and programs that enable them to perfect their teaching skills. They also want their years of experience to be recognized by other educational agencies should they seek graduate school acceptance or transfer to other parts of the world. It is important to note that when an international school is going through an accreditation process the teachers (and everyone else basically) have to spend much time and energy to gather and fill-out all the paperwork involved! It can be quite an intensive few years for teachers (and all other stakeholders too!).
Governance Boards appreciate direction for their decisions which accreditation defines. It is added assurance that as a Board, decisions are intentional and supportive of the standards set forth in accreditation.
Parents want the best possible educational experiences for their children. Often they feel inadequate in evaluating schools and programs, so the quality assurance component of international accreditation, can aid them in this important decision. Additionally, international accreditation gives parents assurances that the education their children received will be viewed favorably by other schools and universities in admission to future institutions, transfer of credits, and possible scholarship acquisition.
Students are the direct beneficiaries of international accreditation. Behind the scenes, educators are required to have on-going analysis and refinement of programs and activities so as to consistently provide an education of excellence. As mentioned previously, student records indicate international accreditation for the purposes of transfers, admissions, and scholarships.
The community benefits from schools of excellence that are providing quality education; it becomes an added value and attraction to the area. Corporations want to be established where high-performing schools prepare citizens for the 21st century workforce and generate sustained excellence for community growth.
International accreditation is a continuous process of internal and external conversations and review of what is happening inside and outside a school to prepare creative and productive problem-solving people for international stability in an ever-changing society.
On International School Community all school profile pages have a topic in the School Information section that specifically addresses the accreditation status of each school. The topic is called “What types of accreditation does this school have? When is the accreditation up for renewal? Any religious affiliations?”
For example on the Seoul Foreign School’s profile page there have been 3 comments and information submitted so far on this topic:
If you are an international school community member currently working abroad, please log-on today and submit your comments and information about your school’s accreditation status.
If you are not a member yet, make sure to join www.internationalschoolcommunity.com and become a part of our over 1100 members. Many of our current members have listed that they work at over 200 international schools around the world. Feel free to send these members a message with your questions about an international school’s accreditation status and get firsthand information about how the accreditation process is going for them.continue reading
v2011.03 – 9 July, 2011:
The summer has now officially arrived for basically all international school educators. Some will continue their summer vacation until the end of August, but many international schools start up again at the end of July/early August. If you are moving to a new school this year, many new teachers must start work around that same time frame or even earlier! Take this time of relaxation (on a beach in Thailand or Mexico for example!) to fill out some information about the schools you know about on International School Community. So far, our current members represent more than 45 different international schools!
http://peacequilt.wordpress.com/ is a 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. Many international schools have become involved already. A teacher who is inspired can inspire students and other teachers!
What do you mean by “kinds of student” in the school search function?
For many international schools the kinds of student there can be very important to know for certain teachers who prefer a certain type of students population. “Mostly int’l” means that the majority of the student population is from other countries in the world, even if the majority of the population is from one specific country that is not the host country. “Half int’l/half local” signifies that around 50% of the student population is from the host country. “Mostly local” means that the majority of the student population is from the host country.
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Recent blog entries:
· International schools that were founded in 1996 (China, South Korea, Moldova, etc.)
Recently updated schools:
· American School of the Hague (5 new comments)
(The Hague, Netherlands)
“Take home pay examples: single teacher BA step 10 = 3488 EUR, single teacher…”
· Cairo British School (31 new comments)
“The school building is very small, no sporting facilities, the students have to go by…”
· Pechersk School International (11 new comments)
“Travel in the city is easy; taxis and mini-buses are plentiful and cheap. A single taxi fare…”
· The International School of Azerbaijan (5 new comments)
“Azerbaijan has a varied climate; notably hot summers, warm autumns and…”
· Qatar Academy (5 new comments)
“I interviewed with 2 administrators at the Search fair in Boston (2011). They were very…”
· American International School Bucharest (1 new comment)
“The interview went very well, she was willing to allow me to lead the interview by…”
Recently added schools:
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This last month we have had visits from 51 countries around the world!
Survey number 4 has arrived! Topic: Which curriculum do you have the most experience in?
Have you ever been at a job fair and had a school say “sorry were looking for…” teachers with more experience in a certain curriculum? I know I have. Sometimes I wish I had experience in every curriculum so that I could be a more desirable candidate. Because I have experience in one curriculum, does that mean I should teach in that curriculum the rest of my life? I hope that teachers get an opportunity to experience other curricula (if a school will hire you without experience in their curriculum), as it will broaden your frame of mind about your teaching and teaching in general.
So, which is it? Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today!