Our mission for the International School Community website is to have the most updated information about what it is like to work at the 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!
• Submit at least 3-6 new comments on your school every 1-2 months (on the 66 different comment topics). It takes like 5-8 minutes of your time to do this. It will take a Mayor 2 years to submit one comment in all 66 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 their 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) – 481 Comments
• NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 298 Comments
• Tarsus American College (Mersin, Turkey) – 222 Comments
• Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 155 Comments
• American School Foundation of Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico) – 129 Comments
• Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 180 Comments
• Yongsan International School of Seoul (Seoul, South Korea) – 140 Comments
• Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 387 Comments
• Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 172 Comments
• American International School Dhaka (Dhaka, Bangladesh) – 113 Comments
• International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 135 Comments
• Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 176 Comments
• Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 148 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 a school you work at (or have worked 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
A survey that we did a few years ago made it clear which information international school teachers want to find out about when recruiting; and that is Salary Details.
What if you are only considering working in Shanghai? Or maybe you are only interested in working in Germany and flexible about the city in which you would live. It would be invaluable information if you could access details about the salaries of all the international schools in that area of the world. Once you are able to take a look at the different salary details of a number of international schools, it could help you make a better decision on whether to accept an offer or not or which school you should put most of your focus on.
Compare School Salaries page: A unique feature on International School Community
Currently, we have over 1367 individual comments about international school salaries that have been submitted on our website (August 2020). The specific comments and information about salaries have been submitted on 769 different international schools (August 2020).
The topic related to salaries (that members have left comments on) is on the Benefits tab which can be found on each school profile page. The comment topic is called “Average monthly salary after taxes and in what currency (explain taxation situation). How often do you get paid throughout the year?” Members are encouraged to leave informative details on a typical teacher’s monthly take-home salary at that school.
When you first visit the School Salaries page (premium membership access is needed), you will find that all the international schools (that have comments about salaries on their profile pages) are listed in alphabetical order. You can have a browse though all the schools there. But if you want to just view the schools from a specific region, country or city in the world, then make sure to use the Filter button on the right. The filter feature allows you to filter the schools listed here and narrow down the list. You can more quickly find the specific schools at which you are most interested in checking-out.
For example, let’s say you are only interested in working at an international school in Central/Eastern Europe. Just click on the Select Region tab and select Central/Eastern Europe. After that, press the green Search button and voila…only the schools matching your criteria show (currently 48 comments from 28 different international schools).
To see the exact salary comments, just click on the school. Here are some examples:
You could say that international schools like to keep their exact salary details secret. Rarely do you find specific information about take-home salary on their websites. Even on other websites where international schools display their vacancies, specific salary details are sometimes hard to find. In turn, our Compare School Salaries page is quite special, useful and unique!continue reading
Our Comments Search feature is what makes our website unique.
One major goal of our website is to help our users get to the comments (specific to the topic they want to know about) easier and faster!
Here’s how it works:
Let’s say that you want to read some comments related to the topic of “teaching couples“. Simply enter in the keyword/s in the Search Bar at the top of our homepage (or at the top of any page of our website) or go directly to the Comments Search page on our website to search your keyword directly there.
Then it will take you to our Comments Search results page (Premium Feature). There you will find all the comments (out of over 37372+ comments on our website – 30 July 2020) that have that keyword/those keywords in them. You can also just search by school name here as well, which will show all the comments about that school in one list!
You will find your keyword/s in bold as you browse through all the comments that fit your criteria.
When we searched the keyword “teaching couples” we got 196 comments (up 10 from last year) that had those keywords; ordered by the date they were submitted.
As you scroll down, if you find a comment that interests you and you want to learn more about that school (i.e. check out the other comments about that school), just click on the school profile link to the left of the comment.
Other keyword search results (performed on 30 July, 2030):
• Relocation – 89 comments (up 10 from last year)
• Shipping – 258 comments (new search)
• Gay – 95 comments (up 11 from last year)
• Singles – 163 comments (up 24 from last year)
• Morale – 145 comments (new search)
Search your keyword here!
We are so excited about this Comments Search feature on our website as it really makes finding and reading comments easier for our members. It is one of the many unique features on International School Community that makes us stand out when compared to other international school review websites.continue reading
As all International School Community members know, each of the 2098+ school profile pages on our website has four comments and information sections: School Information, Benefits Information, City Information and Travel Information. Our members are encouraged to submit comments and information on one or all of these sections if they currently work at an international school or have worked at one in the past. It is important that we all share what we know so that we can in turn help other new teachers make a more informed decision before they sign any contract! *Additionally, for every 10 comments you submit (which are anonymous by the way), you automatically get one free month of premium membership added on to your account! The more comments you leave, the more free membership you get!
FOR UNLIMITED FREE MEMBERSHIP, BECOME A MAYOR OF A SCHOOL TODAY!
So, what are the recent statistics about the Travel Information sections on all the school profile pages? The current total number of submitted comments in the Travel Information sections is 2137 (out of a total of 32776+ comments); up almost 458 comments since July 2018.
There are 6 subtopics in the Travel Information section on each school profile page. Check out each one of these subtopics below and find out the total number of comments in that specific subtopic and also an example comment that has been submitted there.
Example comment: “You can fly mostly anywhere in Europe from Berlin. Unfortunately there has been a new airport in construction for many years now with no real outlook on when it will be complete. You have to connect elsewhere to fly internationally (i.e Copenhagen, Paris, London, Reykjavik etc.)” – Berlin Cosmopolitan School (Berlin, Germany) – 72 Comments
Example comment: “Narita International Airport is the most convenient in terms of distance, parking, and bus connections. It is approximately 45-50 minutes by car on the highway (tolls are about $12 or $13 USD each way), 75 minutes by car by more local roads, and about an hour by bus ($25 USD). Haneda Airport in Tokyo is further away from Tsukuba and more conveniently reached by a combination of the Tsukuba Xpress and Tokyo subways (90 to 120 minutes and $18 to $25 USD, depending on the various options and combinations). There is also the more local Ibaraki Airport (which has free parking) about 45 minutes from town, but flights are very limited and only include a few destinations within Japan (such as Kobe, Fukuoka, Naha and Sapporo) and Shanghai and Seoul (and sometimes Taipei by charter flights) internationally.” – Tsukuba International School (Tsukuba, Japan) – 41 Comments
Example comment: “My Switzerland is a very comprehensive and informative website for locals and expats. which provides a wide breadth of information.
https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/home.html” – Zurich International School (Zurich, Switzerland) – 46 Comments
Example comment: “Expatriate teachers are recommended to not use public transit. The school recommends hiring a school driver to drive us to our desired destination using the car the school provides us. School drivers for a very reasonable rate. If there is a place you want to go, ask the head of security and he will check to ensure it is safe to travel to your desired destination.” – Lahore American School (Lahore, Pakistan) – 116 Comments
Example comment: “It truly depends on the teacher and their own personal situation. Many younger, single teachers will travel during breaks. Usual destinations are somewhere around east our southeast Asia. Teachers who are married with children will stay in Korea many times. During summer break, most teachers will go to their home country.” – Korea Kent Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 22 Comments
Example comment: “Queues at immigration can be very very very long. (between 15 min and 1.5 hours of waiting) Just make sure you have some battery left on that phone of yours! ;-)” – Dulwich College Beijing (Beijing, China) – 28 Commentscontinue reading
As the new school year begins tens of thousands of international teachers the world over have a decision to make: do I stay or move on? Our profession is dominated by contracts of two or even one year’s duration leading to an annual cycle of conversations, reflections and the agony of decision-making. It is not unusual for international schools, particularly in developing world locations, to have annual teacher turnover of 20% or more. Needless to say, the impact of such levels of attrition on school and teacher finances, school culture, institutional memory and – most importantly – student learning is far from positive. Constantly changing schools and countries is draining on teachers, their families and on the communities they leave behind. The irony is that it is almost counter-intuitive for international educators to stick around. After all, the travel bug and sense of adventure that made them head overseas in the first place often become the thing that makes them itch to move on. So what can teachers do to feel more comfortable about staying longer?
Here are five things international teachers can do to give themselves the best chance of finding a longer-term fit that works for them and for the schools where they teach.
1. Talk to the boss
How do you know if you want to be part of a school’s future if you don’t know where it’s headed? Any self-respecting school director will relish the opportunity to share their vision of what they hope lies ahead. Book a time and ask the question: where is the school going? As importantly, ask a second question: how can I be a part of the journey? One of the most powerful motivators is having a sense of purpose. You owe it to yourself to know what that purpose is for the school and how you can play a role.
2. Be intentional
I meet so many educators who seem to let life blow them hither and thither. Be better than that. Commit to taking control of your career and being intentional in your work as a professional educator. There is so much that is in your control yet all too often teachers seem to feel that control over their own destiny is one thing they lack. If you haven’t done it already, sit down with your director or principal and start the process of identifying what you want from your career. It is hard to be intentional about anything if there is no focus to the intent. You may be surprised how much professional growth is possible if your director knows what it is you are looking for.
3. Plant a tree
Not literally, though I guess it wouldn’t hurt. Invest in a horizon goal in the school that takes you beyond your current contract. It may be a particular level of achievement for a student, or a project outcome, or something else down the track. The key is to see yourself as being instrumental in achieving that outcome on a longer time frame. You’ll be amazed how your sense of the now shifts as a consequence.
4. Be relevant
To be honest, this one is true regardless of whether you stay or go. To be relevant as an educator is to be meaningful in the lives of others. Find ways to enrich the lives of the students and families whom you serve. Be that teacher who you always wanted to have as a child. I don’t know about you but I don’t remember a single work sheet or test from school, but I do remember the teachers who were relevant to my life, who knew me as a person. Also, be relevant in the professional lives of your colleagues. When we become relevant to each other we build community – and that is hard to walk away from.
5. Only connect
At the heart if all happiness lies connection. The first year in any international posting is hard. New locations, new climate, new cultures, new challenges, new colleagues and a new community all demand time and energy. But the connections we make are like money in the bank. They are investments in our future selves. We draw strength from our connections and find meaning in being part of something larger than ourselves. The success of the second year is directly related to the investments made in the first, and a successful second year opens the door to that deeper sense of fulfillment that lies in the magical third year. Don’t skimp on those connections.
There will always be some international teachers who prefer the here-today-gone-tomorrow lifestyle that comes with moving on every two years. But most educators want more than that. They want to make an enduring difference, to really matter in the lives of young people and to be a genuine member of the communities who welcome them into their homes and cultures. Instead of asking the question ‘should I stay or should I go?’ perhaps the question you ought to be asking is this: should I stay and make a difference?
This article was submitted to us by guest author and international school community member, Nigel Winnard.