Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Guatemala

June 28, 2020


Around the world, there are countries (like Guatemala) that have more than one international school. Many times there is an American school, a British School, and an international school that uses an international curriculum.

The big question always is…how do the comments about each school compare to each other?

This blog series looks at comparing some of these comments, all coming from international schools in the same country.

Guatemala

Currently, we have 8 schools listed in Guatemala on International School Community.

6 of these schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are some that have the most submitted comments:

American School of Guatemala (47 Total Comments)
Antigua International School Guatemala (14 Total Comments)
Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala (124 Total Comments)
Han Al American School (11 Total Comments)
The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya) (75 Total Comments)

Amount of Money Left to be Saved

“If you are very frugal or share an apartment you can save money. If you have debt or loans to make payments on, you will likely not save any…” – The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya)

“After you have been there a couple of years you get extra bonuses which help with saving money. Most teachers save between 5 and 10k…” – Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala

“Because my experience was minimal at the time I made $1,500 a month. I was able to save $500 a month…” – Antigua International School Guatemala

School Campus

“Building is old but in working order. Reparations are done in a timely manner. Pre-K classrooms are recently renovated, plans to renovate all classrooms in the future. Class sizes are standard. Teachers are mostly from North America…” – American School of Guatemala

“The school campus is basically small, but cozy too. There are four buildings where classes are held…” – Han Al American School

“The school is located on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The campus is on a steep site that goes uphill from the carpark at the bottom to the elementary school at the top. There is a lovely nature-scape play area, primarily for use by the elementary school, at the top of the campus. There are also plans in place for a new “Innovation Hub”, which will then allow the school to relocate Middle School classrooms and provide more space for project-based learning…” – The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya)

Housing Information

“There was no housing allowance provided by the school…” – Antigua International School Guatemala

“$300/month housing allowance…” – Han Al American School

“The school provides gorgeous apartments which are usually 2 bedrooms 2 bath got a single teacher. The apartment standard is high with many teachers commenting on how great their place is…” – Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala

Pension Plan Details

“Your first year, the school will match a measly 2% of your salary. Your second year, 3%. This continues to a maximum of 5%. Plan is through Raymond James…” – The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya)

“No pension provided, teachers are expected to save from their salary and use the gratuity at the end which is one money salary per year worked…” – Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala

Are the Expectations High of Teaching Staff?

“As a bi-lingual school, foreign staff members in elementary/early childhood have a large amount of planning because their Guatemalan counterparts teach for approx. 1/3 of the day. Some of this time is spent in mandatory meetings, some is self-directed planning time. Middle and high school teachers have more than adequate planning time…” – American School of Guatemala

“The staff had to have a club each term. It could be an academic, sport or art club…” – Antigua International School Guatemala

“Extra curricular responsibilities are minimal especially when comparing with other schools. MS teachers and HS teachers don’t really do extra-curricular, and the ones who do seem to always be the same few individuals taking on that responsibility…” – Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala

(These are just 5 of the 66 different comments topics that are on each school profile page on our website.)

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #15: Tara Moore (An international teacher currently working at Colegio Granadino)

August 7, 2012


Every 1-2 months International School Community will highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight feature.  This month we interviewed Tara Moore:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

My name is Tara Moore.  I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada and for the last eleven years I lived in Ajax, Ontario Canada.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

I graduated from Teacher’s College in 1995 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and there were no jobs for new teachers.  I had already volunteered overseas at the Baha’i World Centre in Israel for 18 months and spent 6 months volunteering in East Africa and the Baltics so I thought that International teaching made perfect sense.  I subscribed to The International Educator (TIE) and applied to several positions.  Within 3 – 4 months The American School of Guatemala hired me.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

I have worked at The American School of Guatemala and Colegio Granadino.  The American School of Guatemala was quite large and as I was teaching high school the students were fully bilingual.  The English classes only had fifteen students so I found that it was much easier to give the students one on one attention and really get to know them.

At Colegio Granadino the staff and students are very laid back. The students are really helpful and love to give advice as to which hairdresser I should go to and where I should do my shopping.  It is really easy to develop a relationship with the students, which is what they want as Colombia is very family/friend-centric.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

One of the things that amuses me in Manizales is how inquisitive people are here.  I am very fair and my four year old daughter is biracial with brown hair and skin.  When we are out together people stop me to ask if she is Colombian, where I adopted her and how long I have had her.  I find it funny because these are questions that people in Canada would think but certainly would not ask.  Also, people here are amazed that she can speak two languages as there are very few English speakers here and almost no young children who can speak English.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

I look for a smaller school in a smaller city.  I do not enjoy huge cities and quality of life outside of school is just as important as within.  I also want to know the average stay of the expat teachers because if there is too much turn over, for me that is a warning sign.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Challenging, enriching, frustrating, reflective, confirming

Thanks Tara!  If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here.  If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!

Want to teach at an international school in Colombia like Tara?  Currently, we have 15 international schools listed in Colombia on International School Community.  Many of the international schools there have had comments and information submitted about them on our website:

Colegio Anglo Colombiano (8 Comments)
Colegio Granadino Manizales (22 Comments)
Colegio Nueva Granada (14 Comments)
Colegio Panamericano (23 Comments)
Columbus School Medellin (17 Comments)
Colegio Karl C. Parrish (17 Comments)
Colegio Albania (19 Comments)
Fundacion Liceo Ingles, Pereira (21 Comments)

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