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First International School Experience

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Unconventional33, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. Interista

    Interista New commenter

    I would tell myself to be prepared for an incredible amount of nepotism and a complete lack of professionalism. Management will often have no clue of what is going on really and that making friends with the right people is more important than having integrity. But then I've worked for some complete jokes of Head Teachers.
  2. oldgit

    oldgit New commenter

    Have PM-ed you - look in your Conversations - and see T&C for 'Naming and Shaming Policy'.
  3. michellezim

    michellezim New commenter

    oldgit, Please could you PM me which schools you're talking about as I"m seriously considering a move and would love some firsthand knowledge! Thanks
  4. mas_o_menos

    mas_o_menos New commenter

    My first experience hasn't been great. The school has a high staff turnover, no-one cares about the school or staff and there is nothing in place for anything. Also the wages don't go far relative to cost of living. As a result, the teaching staff I worked with have become fantastic friends.

    It has however taught me lessons and what to look for and seek in my next school. I know exactly what to ask with regards to packages and wages. So in a way this experience has set me up for a (hopefully) positive international teaching career!
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    mas_o_meno, an excellent post! Sometimes teaching at a dreadful school can actually be a positive experience, in some ways. Teaching in a hellhole often brings teachers together in a spirit of camaraderie, rather like the soldiers in the WWI trenches, and of course it provides you will a fund of after-dinner stories. Being in a really scummy school helps to shape your ideas about what a good school really ought to be like.

    My year in the DAF (or maybe DAFT?) school in Jeddah was a ghastly experience. Whenever I have had a noisy class or some bad behaviour, I just sit back and remember those unspeakably foul Saudi teenage boys, one of whom just happened to be a nephew of Osama Bin Laden (but the teachers all called him "bin liner").
  6. claytie

    claytie New commenter

    I've been very fortunate to have working in some fantastic overseas schools, including my very first Swiss one which was advertised in a tiny no-pics paragraph in the TES, long before the Internet. I wanted an adventure, another facet to my life; my family had never, ever stepped on a plane, so it was a real leap of faith! From then on, I have acquired such wonderful, cultural enrichment over the past thirty years; it has all been fantastic. Then I had to return to the UK for family reasons a couple of years ago, and have genuinely felt like a fish out of water. I really don't feel I have very much in common with the majority of people I rub shoulders with every day in my staffroom or my neighbourhood ; ironically my homeland feels strangely like a 'foreign' place to me now! Thankfully my partner and I are now a position to fly off back to our comfort zone - the international classroom - and explore the world once again. Bring it on!
  7. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Our first overseas posting was El Salvador in the last year of a long and bloody civil war which ended on our son's twelfth birthday (he turned forty two days ago). He was best mates with the son of the acting US Ambassador who brokered the peace, so we were privileged to attend the dinner at which the leaders of the government and guerrilla forces met 'socially' for the first time. The school was HMC Overseas Division but the management was shaky to say the least. The students were delightful and many readily admitted that their social class was largely to blame for the problems of the past fifteen years. Assuming that all Latin American pupils would be similar, we moved to Pinochet's Chile and found that they weren't. As a Chilean colleague remarked 'Their parents are the people who sold out the oldest democracy on the continent for washing machines and spin driers'.
    geckopoo likes this.

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