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How do I know?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Geographyteacher939, May 10, 2019.

  1. Geographyteacher939

    Geographyteacher939 New commenter

    Hi all

    Thinking about making the jump overseas in a couple of years. After doing some reading, it is clear that there are some schools that I should try to avoid. What are the things to look out for? Is there a site that gives information on what it is like to work for these schools? I'm concerned that I would make the jump and end up at a school that isn't great.

  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Pay for subscription to the International Schools Review for a good start, about 30USD.
    afterdark and blueskydreaming like this.
  3. mas_o_menos

    mas_o_menos New commenter

    This. Although my current school was not on it at the time. It certainly is now.

    Also keep your eye on the overseas job advertisements. You quickly get a feel for schools that have a high turnover of staff and are always advertising.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  4. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    Dodgy and outdated school websites tell me a lot.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  5. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Look out for schools that have a very high percentage of local students (or 100% locals).

    Schools that only offer flights at the beginning and end of contract.

    Schools that offer far fewer benefits than similar schools in the same area.

    Schools that want you to live on site.

    Schools that don't give 100% medical cover.
    mermy and T0nyGT like this.
  6. SPC2

    SPC2 Occasional commenter

  7. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Any school with the word ”Bilingual ” in its title. Here in China many of the new bilingual schools have an expensive English rent-a-name but the real name is written in Chinese below.
    mahipaul likes this.
  8. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    This is a good list
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  9. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Dear OP

    In my experience, if you have excellent references and work in a good school, you could find yourself in a decent environment. You'd no doubt come on here and wonder why everyone is complaining. If your references are weak, you have had time out of work or a multitude of short term posts you may find yourself needing to work your way up the ladder.

    The challenges faced on the bottom rungs are here for all to see. There are equally a lot of poor teachers hiding overseas and wherever you land you need to impress to move up in the world. Ask yourself, am i the type who is independent and can adapt to problems or do I cave in and moan when problems arise. If the latter, stay in the UK.
  10. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    But it’s a bit centered on some regions. Flights at the end of the contract only are the norm in Western Europe. In all of Western Europe, the national health service is more than adequate so private provision is often not offered.
  11. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    In all honesty you don't. Some start their international career working for one of the worst group in SE Asia. Brilliant, polite and g&t students, facilities were outstanding but the group was money driven and had fairly evident and dodgy practices. Nothing was written in ISR probably because no one bothered and everyone moved to bigger and better things.

    As a newbie on the circuit it is wise to do your research. But at the same time don't be too picky because you have applicants who have been around the block looking for the same rosy patch of grass and wonderful rainbows.
  12. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Length of contract is a good indicator. Loads of schools in Spain offer 10 month contracts. These are definitely ones to avoid
  13. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Just thought of this, while its not really an indicator of a good or bad school, you do however want to look at the number of contact and non contact days in a contract. From my experience 180 contact days is average. I know of schools in China that have 200 days. That means you are working 4 extra weeks above the average.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  14. SnorkelingTeacher03

    SnorkelingTeacher03 New commenter

    This is a good point. The school I'm at in Taiwan has over 200 days
  15. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    Dropping cryptic clues about the school on this forum can also get results....
    mahipaul likes this.
  16. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    That's crazy. Which school are you working in? I'm in Taipei at the split campus school.
  17. SnorkelingTeacher03

    SnorkelingTeacher03 New commenter

    I'm also in Taipei.

    I'm at what my wife tells me the Taiwanese refer to as the "Royal School".
  18. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    Like I said, “cryptic clues”!
  19. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    That's a new one on me! I'll have to ask my colleagues if they know which school that is :)
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    There has already been some very good advice given on this thread, so I am not sure that I have much (if anything) to contribute. Yes, of course it is true that some so-called "international schools" are pretty blooming awful places in which to be a teacher. I should know, as I had the misfortune to work in some of them! However, this smelly old hippo is a firm believer in "roundabouts and swings", so there is no such thing as the "perfect" school and all of them will have some positive aspects and some things that you won't like.

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