If you work at an international school, you know that your decision to stay or leave has already been decided by now. Teachers most likely have already decided whether they will stay for another year or two at their current school or move on back home or to another 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 (not necessarily on foreign-hired contracts). 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 each year. One of these factors is that the school has decided to move in a direction that doesn’t match your teaching philosophy anymore. 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 a school that better suit you.
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 anymore, there are many more that probably will.
So the question 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 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 477 comments (May 2022) that have been submitted by our veteran international school teachers in one of 67 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 a better job anywhere else and people 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) – 87 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) – 140 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 is 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) – 140 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) – 193 Commentscontinue reading
The journey to work is indeed an important one. The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers when they are looking for jobs at schools in cities/countries to which they have never been.
On the ISC blog, we have a blog category called The Journey to School. It discusses the ins and outs of how international school teachers get to work/school in many countries around the world.
Nobody wants a horrible journey to work. Long journeys can really waste away your day (if your journey is one hour each way, for example). In some schools you need to use public transport, other schools you need your own car. It is possible that some teachers actually can take the school bus along with the students at their school. Usually, that is free, so that can be nice. Also, it can stop teachers from working long hours as you need to be ready to go home when the school bus leaves!
In some countries and at certain international schools, your journey can be one that has very nice things to look at. How wonderful to have some beautiful scenery to look at as you get your mind ready for a day of work. On the other hand, it can be that teachers at some international schools are just going on a highway with views of boring high-rise apartment buildings with very little nature to look at.
Another way to get to work is to ride your bike or just walk. For teachers who’d like to get a bit of exercise in their daily routine, this can be quite a good setup!
We currently have 23 journeys listed in The Journey to School blog category. We have listed them all here:
Anglo American School of Sofia
Xian Hi-Tech International School
Singapore American School
Leysin American School
American International School in Egypt
Ruamrudee International School Bangkok
Western International School of Shanghai
Chatsworth International School (Singapore)
So what is your journey to the international school you work at? Earn one year free of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’.
All you need to do is take a few pictures of what you see or do on your way to school and then write a description of your journey. ISC members will appreciate you sharing what you know as it gives an excellent insight (for prospective teachers) into what it might be like to go to work at your school each day.
Email us here if you are interested.
How many times have you applied to a school wishing that you knew somebody that worked there?
Knowing somebody and getting the ‘inside scoop’ on an international school could definitely help you in your quest to set up an interview there.
Currently, our top 40 international schools with the most members are (6 December 2020):
30 members – American International School in Egypt
28 members –International School of Kuala Lumpur
27 members – Copenhagen International School
25 members – International School Manila
24 members – MEF International School Istanbul
23 members – Western International School of Shanghai
21 members – Fairview International School
21 members – Brent International School Manila
21 members – Seoul Foreign School
21 members – American International School (Vietnam)
21 members – American School Foundation of Mexico City
20 members – International School Dhaka
20 members – International School of Tanganyika
19 members – Jakarta Intercultural School
19 members – Seoul International School
19 members – Graded School Sao Paulo
18 members – Shanghai United International School (Hongqiao)
18 members – Shanghai Community International School
18 members – American School of Barcelona
18 members – Aga Khan Academy Mombasa
17 members – Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana
17 members – Qatar Academy (Doha)
17 members – International School Panama
17 members – Pathways World School
17 members – International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP)
17 members – American International School of Johannesburg
17 members – International School Bangkok
17 members – Good Shepherd International School
17 members – Singapore American School
17 members – American International School Dhaka
16 members – United Nations International School (Vietnam)
16 members – Cairo American College
16 members – Suzhou Singapore International School
16 members – Western Academy of Beijing
16 members – NIST International School
16 members – Anglo-American School of Moscow
With 100-200 new members joining each month, this list will continue to grow and grow; with even more members showing up as potential people to network with.
It is simple to network on our website: just click on a member and then click on the ‘Contact this member’ button (premium member feature). Then write him/her a message. When your message is sent, the other member will get an email alert letting them know that they have a new message waiting for them on our website (so, hopefully he/she/they will get back to you in a timely manner!). Numerous International School Community members have already taken advantage of this unique feature on our website!
As far as we know, International School Community is one of the only websites where you can quickly and easily network with real people at a specific international school. Meaning, if you want to get in touch with somebody from Suzhou Singapore International School in China and you are currently a premium member of International School Community, you now have 16 members that you can contact on our website that either work there now or have worked there in the past. Get the answers to your questions; now that is easy networking!continue reading
We are getting more and more members every month. Currently, we have over 23342 (up 3796 members since October 2020). We are definitely the place to go for networking with other international school educators!
Out of these thousands of members, we have teachers who hold many types of positions. Check out our Members’ Job Titles page to see how many we have in each of these positions.
Using the data from this page, here are the current Members’ Job Titles statistics: (13 February 2022)
43 Activities Coordinators – (up 4)
17 Admission Coordinators – (up 4)
13 Admissions Director – (up 2)
124 Art Teachers – (up 17)
79 Assistant Principals – (up 13)
113 Biology Teachers – (up 25)
30 Business Office Workers – (up 2)
98 Chemistry Teachers – (up 11)
989 Classroom Teachers – (up 111)
22 Communications Workers – (up 3)
131 Counselors – (up 25)
155 Curriculum Coordinators – (up 23)
232 Department Heads – (up 45)
9 Design Teachers – (new)
21 Development Coordinator – (up 2)
41 Drama Teachers – (up 6)
71 Economics Teachers – (up 12)
361 English Teachers – (up 54)
285 EAL Teachers – (up 25)
209 Foreign Language Teachers – (up 33)
26 Geography Teachers – (up 6)
134 Heads of School/Directors – (up 17)
88 History Teachers – (up 10)
122 ICT Teachers – (up 17)
8 Interns – (up 1)
84 Librarians – (up 9)
42 Marketing Workers – (up 9)
256 Math Teachers – (up 43)
105 Music Teachers – (up 15)
6 Nurses – (same)
339 Other – (up 36)
152 P.E. Teachers (up 31)
76 Physics Teachers – (up 15)
161 Principals – (up 27)
21 Psychology Teachers – (up 3)
121 Science Teachers – (up 26)
10 Secretaries – (up 1)
87 Social Studies Teachers – (up 12)
118 Special Needs Teachers – (up 20)
10 Speech Pathologists – (up 1)
50 Teaching Assistants – (up 6)
Biggest increases: Dept. Heads, Classroom Teachers, English Teachers, EAL Teachers, Math, Foreign Language Teachers and Principals.
Want to get a job at an international school in one of these positions? Log on to International School Community and start contacting our members to get answers to your questions. Many of our members definitely know about the life of an international school teacher at the schools they currently work at and the schools they have worked at in the past.
So where in the world do our current members live? The members, who have stated so on their profile, currently live in the following regions of the world:
568 that are currently located in Asia – (up 149)
61 that are currently located in Caribbean – (up 8)
71 that are currently located in Central America – (up 10)
967 that are currently located in East Asia – (up 116)
241 that are currently located in Eastern/Central Europe – (up 39)
634 that are currently located in Middle East – (up 85)
130 that are currently located in North Africa – (up 14)
1095 that are currently located in North America – (up 88)
184 that are currently located in Oceania – (up 18)
868 that are currently located in South East Asia – (up 110)
218 that are currently located in South America – (up 46)
296 that are currently located in Sub-Saharan Africa – (up 48)
898 that are currently located in Western Europe – (up 91)
Looks like North America is still in the lead! We recommend that all our members keep their profiles as up-to-date as possible so that their networking possibilities can be at their highest. Update yours today.continue reading
It is a time of celebration for International School Community as we now have over 22000 members on our website!
To celebrate our 22000+ members, all members can get 25% off of all premium membership subscriptions from 30 Oct – 5 Nov, 2021 (ending 23:59 PST on 5 Nov, 2020).
The 25% off coupon code is: OKT2122K
Even if you are a member with Premium Membership already right now, you can still add more premium membership during this promotion. Just login to our website and go to the Manage Subscription page, choose the membership option that you’d like and then enter this coupon code (OKT2122K). Next click on the Make a Payment button to pay either with your PayPal account or without logging in to PayPal and just paying with your credit card.
Once you have premium membership access, please take this time to submit some comments on the schools you know about on our website. For every 10 comments you submit, your account will automatically be updated with one free month of premium membership. There is no limit, too. So if you submit 40 comments, then you will get four months of premium membership added to your account for free!
International School Community’s website launched back in February 2011. When our first newsletter came out in May 2011, we only had 49 members! On average, we have been getting over 300-400 people signing up to become new members each month. We hope this trend continues! The more members we have, the more people you have to network with.
International School Community’s goal is to be the largest online community for international schools educators. Our website provides a useful, informative and celebratory environment for networking with other international school teachers and learning about different international schools around the world.
We created a website that would highlight the ins and outs of working at international schools (the benefits, the school itself, the city and travel information, etc.).
Another major goal for this website is to provide experienced teachers the platform to share what they know so that prospective and seasoned international school teachers can make more informed decisions as they venture out to a new international school. Making connections and gathering information about international schools in our community has never been easier! Whether you are looking to make new friends, network with other international school teachers or learn more about the wonderful world of teaching at international schools, International School Community is the place to be.
We want members to provide real information that is specific; information that is related to all the different topics we need to know about before signing a contract. International School Community offers up-to-date information in a highly organized, easy-to-use manner.
We also offer a vast amount of information and links related to the world of teaching at international schools and education in general via our blog.
You can search our vast collection of international school profile pages to find that specific international school you want to know about. You can also search our member profiles and be able to find a contact to send a private message to so that you can get firsthand information about a school that member has worked at.
While the focus of the site is to serve the international school teaching community by providing real and useful information about international schools, we have specifically organized our website to promote our members to leave comments and information that are useful for everyone. Enjoy being an active member of our website!
We strive to have the largest collection of resources and services for the international teaching community. International School Community really wants to take writing reviews and comments about international schools to the next level.
Here are what some of our current members are saying about International School Community:
“It’s really useful…it’s a really good way to find out practical info about schools when you’re looking for jobs. If you are interested in particular schools, you can just contact any member from that school to find out insider info! It’s also good if you just want to find out what life is like for teachers in other cities! Really unique idea!” (An international teacher in China)
“International School Community is a great resource for international school teachers. Whether you are doing research for a new job, or just connecting with other teachers, this site is has a plethora of great information. I especially love that this site has a positive feel to it, rather than a place for teachers to vent. I really recommend registering to be a part of this great idea.” (An international teacher in South Korea)
“You have an amazingly wonderful website and seeing these comments is extremely helpful to me.” (A teacher looking to teach abroad at international schools)
“I am very impressed for a website to take the time to do this. You have a great resource that I certainly could have used when I first set off overseas teaching in 1998!! The site works well and it is nice to get a good background on almost every school I’d wish to work in. You are doing a fantastic job with your website, keep it up!” (A veteran international school teacher)
“I truly love being an international educator and researching and comparing schools, as well as discovering great schools that aren’t as well-known. I am grateful for ISC having a platform that makes it all so easy.” (Another veteran international school teacher)continue reading