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Diversity of staff in schools abroad

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by GrayFox23, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. GrayFox23

    GrayFox23 New commenter

    I'm thinking of applying for teaching jobs abroad in the coming months. I just wondered what experience people have of being in ethnically diverse schools around the world.

    I won't say any more than that because I want to get as many answers as possible.
    dlhall1985 likes this.
  2. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    In our experience, the staff of most internationals schools is not very diverse as far as ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation etc. Obviously there are schools that are exceptions and most schools have at least some representations of minorities. The most diversity we saw were schools that had a mix of Brits, Aussies, Canadians, Americans etc (but they were still generally white, Christian (at least nominally), etc.

    Despite that, we never really saw those staff members who were from diverse groups have tougher times than anyone else (aside from a friend who was of Indian descent who got a tough time from the Egyptian students).
  3. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Established commenter

    The majority of faces i have seen as international teachers have been white. im not saying there are not anyone of any other ethnicity, as i have worked with quite few teachers from various backgrounds, just that the vast majority have been white. as an example in 3 international schools over 3 continents in total i have worked with 5 people that were not white. that is overseas hired staff, and not counting local staff, there have obviously been loads of them.

    it can be a vastly diverse with regards to nationality. as a Brit in all on my schools i have very much been the minority group. the largest group of teachers abroad i have found, by a significant amount have been Canadian.

    im not sure what you are expecting from responses to this question, but i suspect you are not going to be overly happy with the results.

    but this is only my experience, and others might have other opinions.
  4. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Established commenter

    just responding to something that @wrldtrvlr123 said. i have worked with a large amount of gay people. singles and couples. but again that is just my experience.
  5. GrayFox23

    GrayFox23 New commenter

    The answers so far have been largely as I expected!

    It's a mixture of lack of applications, not being good enough and racial discrimination...let's call it what it is.
    dlhall1985 likes this.
  6. cellerdore

    cellerdore Occasional commenter

    You are probably right and I would hasten to add that it is probably the racism of the client base rather than the employer that is more often the major problem.
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  7. PuRe

    PuRe Occasional commenter

    I have seen a lot of diverse staff at my school.
  8. fsmc

    fsmc Occasional commenter

    Understand that large sections of the world does not share the western idea that racial (and other) discrimination is wrong.

    It's quite common in Thailand for instance, to see the words 'attractive female applicants between 20 and 30 only' for receptionist jobs. For ESL jobs it's common to see 'Caucasians only'.

    You can hardly blame the schools though. If I ran a school, and I knew that parents wanted white teachers, and if they didn't get them they'd take their kids elsewhere...guess who I'm going to employ? The alternative is a school with no students and no one has a job. I highly doubt most western management of schools are racist (some will be, but that's true of all industries), rather they're just following the wishes of the clients.
  9. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Very diverse ref ethnicity/race over the years at my school in Spain. More difficult to comment on sexual orientation or religion without being more nosey than I usually am.
  10. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Established commenter

    Not sure that covers the whole of Spain though. In the school i "survived" at in the South, the school my sister worked at in the North, and two close friends that worked in the East, the faculty was very mono-chromatic.
  11. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Yes we can blame the schools. Good leaders stand up for what's right on a regular basis.
    Having said that, there is generally a shortage of diversity in applications, which makes it harder to hire a diverse staff even when the school prefers to do so.
  12. mermy

    mermy New commenter

    I counted in a staff meeting the other day. Leaving out local staff we have:
    3 Black-African
    2 Indian
    1 Hispanic
    1 Arabic
    Everyone else Caucasian, which is 30 plus. Mix of British, American, Australian etc.. International school.
  13. pinot

    pinot New commenter

    Here in Vietnam the English Language Schools are notorious for looking for a 'white face'. However in the International schools I have observed many different nationalities, ethnicities (as well as Vietnamese teachers being employed on an expat salary) and a lot of gay couples as teachers.
    The world is a big place and some places are more racist than others, this is evident in reviews on the other site where I actually read a review that was scathing because the school had employed someone from India. I think maybe that individual was more xenophobic than any of the schools here.
  14. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    from the other side, seeing friends and colleagues leave for international posts, there has been no difference in the success rate of people of different ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations in applying for and being accepted for overseas roles. And non have reported any issues to be whilst working abroad, in fact some have told me they have faced less racism in their new positions than at home in the UK. I don't think the whole of the rest of the world is one pace with one set of characteristics! There are as many different cultures as there are schools
  15. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    Out of interest, Dunnocks, are you a straight christian / non-religious Caucasian?

    Facing less racism overseas than in the UK says more about the UK than it does about 'overseas.'
  16. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    Apologies to Dunnocks, I wrote the above post without reading the last line.
  17. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    hi helen balck, no need to apologise. I am not all the things you ask, but don't want to be too specific, because of being identified. I don't think
    people necessarily experience less racism and prejudice, or have fewer thoughts and ideas about it though
  18. fsmc

    fsmc Occasional commenter

    Amen to that. Being Caucasian does give you some advantages in some situations, but it's a drawback in others.

    Get into a fight with a local, and you might well find random strangers also join in to beat you up, just because you're the wrong skin color.

    Go to a local market, some people will try and rip you off, because they assume every westerner is rich. Try finding accomodation by yourself, and watch as the landlord jacks the price up when he sees your face.

    In Japan and Korea, some bars and nightclubs won't let 'foreigners' in.

    Traffic accident abroad? Even if the local rams right into the back of you while your car is stationary, it'll somehow be your fault in a lot of countries.

    On the flip side, jobs are somewhat easier to get at the lower end schools (higher end ones won't care so much about race, though tbh I think this is more an ESL school thing), and it has dating advantages with the locals in some countries. Certainly in Thailand for instance, the local women generally would prefer a Caucasian partner over a Black/Middle Eastern one.
  19. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I don't actually think caucasians have immunity from racism in this country either. Without being too specific, I fall under two catagories, some people would say I was white, and some people would say I was not, and I have had racism for being classed as white, and racism for being classed as non-white.

    I think it is widespread and universal, and whether you are a victim or not can depend on the situation you are in, whether you are a minority or not.

    For example, lets say for arguments sake, in a red and blue population, 1% of the population are actively racist once a day.

    In a group of 1000 people, 100 are red and 900 are blue.

    That means 100 red people are living within a group in which 9 blue people are actively racist against them, and so are on average going to experience racism an average of once every approximately 11 days.

    The blue people, on the other hand, are living within a community where only 1 person is actively racist against them, and are going to experience that approx once every 900 days.

    so even though the red and blue people are exactly equally racist, the red people are going to experience it more than 80 times more.

    Of course, it is evil, whoever it is coming from and whoever it is directed against,

    and in our communities and social structures, there are many different combinations and ratios, however there is no getting away from the fact that the UK is more than 95% white, and that whites are the majority everywhere except London. That doesn't means white's are more racist, or are unlikley to experience racism though.

    Then when you classify people in other ways, male/female gay/straight/bi/asexual disabled, speakers of other languages, etc, there are many other basis on which people experience prejudice.

    Many people fall into one "minority" category or another, and if you don't ie, are white, straight, male, English speaking, ablebodied,...... then you are a target for that!!!

    WOMANONAMISSION50 New commenter

    i want to weigh in on this discussion because I am a black educated teacher with many years of experience at the secondary and undergraduate levels, but I am scared to apply to overseas schools for fear of not being accepted adn even being accepted and victimised... how then does one decide if one has a vested interest in teaching abroad?
    dlhall1985 likes this.

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