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Diversity of staff in schools abroad

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

  1. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I have worked with many black teachers - these were all either locals to the country (when I was in africa) or to the region (when I was in the caribbean). I did once work with a black British teacher.
  2. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    @WOMANONAMISSION50 , not sure what it's like in other countries / schools, just posting personal experience: there are four black teachers out of about 30 in the secondary section at my school in China. Then we also have some Hispanic, Arabic, Indian and some more in the mix. White is the majority, but not necessarily British. Some South African or Australian, Dutch, Swiss...
  3. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I would second the comments about my school in shanghai having a broad ethnic mix in its western staff and half the teachers been chinese anyway.

    Biggest restrictions on ethnic diversity is the Chinese visa regulations on obtaining a degree from a native English speaking country.

    Colour not been a restriction here in Shanghai.
    agbak likes this.
  4. agbak

    agbak New commenter

    @WOMANONAMISSION50,I'm British,of African background,in my 50's teaching in the 'MIDDLE KINGDOM',borrowing words from 'Legendary,Hippo,I've never encountered racism from the staff,whatsoever...Most times we talk about the Grand ol Blighty (Great Britain),we've all left behind,in pursuit of a better life...
    I never encountered any form of racism from the parents
    Outside,the school gates was more of 'The Chinese',curious to know where one came from,and my lovely TA,will always reassure me that 'The Chinese' are not used to coloured people...
    Beyond that,I never encountered any problem....
    Most times,I'm mistaken as an 'Afro-American'....or called Beyonce!
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    A legendary hippopotamus? Well, this ancient beast is still in China. Much though I love the Middle Kingdom, I must say that coloured people here do get a lot of stares and finger-pointing. It is not so malicious and nasty, just curiosity (in most cases) and of course in China it is still very unusual to see a coloured person, except in a few big cities. Yes, sometimes coloured people might be upset, but sometimes they quite enjoy their "novelty value" and maybe some ladies don't mind being mistaken for Beyonce.

    In Qatar, alas, the racism really was pretty blooming awful and in-your-face. Mrs Hippo used to say that I was being silly whenever we went to a petrol station, as I would always get out of the car, talk to the guy who was working there, ask him where he was from and then give him a tip. Racism is horrible, but maybe we can all do a little bit to make undervalued people feel more respected and more human. Overall, it still left me feeling dirty and degraded, like the time I saw a horribly arrogant Qatari walking right to the front of the queue and pushing in front of a young black chap who had been waiting there patiently for at least half an hour.

    My mind goes back to when I was teaching in Kenya. We had a lovely Kenyan lady on the staff: intelligent, articulate, well-qualified. All of the children adored her and she was a great colleague. A lot of my white colleagues were angry and made their feelings very clear at a staff meeting, when it transpired that she was paid a lot less than the wazungu teachers. I am glad to say that the head did give way and soon she was on the same payscale as the rest of us. (But they should never have treated her like that in the first place!)
  6. makhnovite

    makhnovite Occasional commenter

    "I must say that coloured people here do get a lot of stares and finger-pointing."

    Its not just coloured people. When I have travelled outside of the expat bubble in China I have had the same kind of treatment. I have been followed in the street, stared at, touched and asked to have my photograph taken. Most Chinese are just not used to foreigners.
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, but it is rather sweet, makhnovite, when they ask to take your picture or they want to include you in their "group photo". I will swap Chinese racism (if that is what it really is) for Qatari racism, any day of the week.
    makhnovite likes this.
  8. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    My friend has a little boy who has huge blue eyes and blond hair. People take photos of him without asking which understandably upsets and annoys her.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    People often take photos of Mrs Hippo. And they are very welcome to - as long as they pay the going rate. As the husband of an international model, you just have to get used to these things. Here is a fairly recent photo from one of her "shoots", as a glamorous grandmother with her "granddaughter". (Actually it was an advert for furniture.)

    Alldone likes this.
  10. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    It does happen frequently the other way around as well. Expats with hard drives full of pictures of cute/traditional/authentic looking Chinese children - the other one is old faces which are full of 'character'. Have frequently seen expats think that it is fine to take a photo in this case without asking.

    Yes of course you should always ask. I have watched expats and Chinese alike try to surreptitiously take photos.
  11. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    No matter which way it happens, totally agreed it is wrong.

    WOMANONAMISSION50 New commenter

    I should have added a black female educator with many years of experience, but just even now re-reading some of the comments on this thread, I am still apprenehensive about applying to some schools in some places... it leads me to axknowledge that though we are in the 21st century, racism and prejudices are still not dead nor are they dying soon...so how does a school profess to be international and diverse and still treat some ethnic groups and racism with such disdain and in instances downright cruelty? The only good thing is that even hearing these stories do not make me want to stop teaching...
    dlhall1985 likes this.
  13. cherpat87

    cherpat87 New commenter

    In Asia as a non-white teacher most likely you will be scrutinised more and have to prove your worth (due to the parents), however if you are good at what you do, it shouldn't be a problem.... just very annoying.
  14. WatchYourTongue

    WatchYourTongue New commenter

    This seems like an absurd generalisation even as I type it, so apologies in advance for a pretty ugly post. I've found racism to be stronger in SE Asia and much less so in the ME, and even less so in Europe. This is only where 'professionals' such as teachers are concerned. In the ME I've worked with people of colour (of African, Middle Eastern, Indian, and Korean heritage) and the only person of colour in SE Asia was from the Philippines, in a kiddies school and we know kids aren't born racist. Sexual orientation hasn't been an issue anywhere, because it isn't as though teachers tend to wear that openly. Unfortunately it would be foolish to do so.
  15. pink_reindeer

    pink_reindeer Occasional commenter

    I work in a Canadian International school in the ME. Most of the teaching staff are Canadian (I would think over 80% of the staff are Canadian) so not very diverse at all.
  16. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Established commenter

    you could say that of the whole international circuit. they are by far the largest nation represented in my experience. closely followed by the Australians. you do have to wonder what their own countries are like if so many of their teachers prefer to work abroad :)
  17. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    Canada has a surplus of qualified teachers, for whom there are no jobs. It's no surprise that many of them have come to work overseas. One of my Australian friends took a sabbatical to work overseas for two years. She was guaranteed a job to go back to. With that option, why not get a two year contract and see how it goes. As safety nets go, it's a pretty good one!
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  18. pink_reindeer

    pink_reindeer Occasional commenter

    Ah, I see. I didn't know this.
  19. pink_reindeer

    pink_reindeer Occasional commenter

    Out of the many Canadians I work with, most of them have a two year 'release contract', i.e. a job to go back to. Lucky them.
  20. peachestotulips

    peachestotulips New commenter

    @WOMANONAMISSION50 I'm just seeing your post, but there are a few FB groups for us certified international educators of African and Asian descent that will be much more resourceful for advice, job postings, and all around support on your search. Members are working all over the globe and share their direct experiences with international schools as teachers, counselors, and admin. If you can't find any of the groups send me a message via conversation.

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