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Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by ChaiLattePlease, Jan 24, 2018.
How do you know where your school/city sits?
I've never been quite sure of this, I think different people have different ideas of what it means. It's surprising how quickly a discussion about first and seond tier schools becomes a comparison of the relative size of the financial packages however, and I often end up with an image of overgrown schoolboys seeing who can pee the highest.
If I'm happy where I am, then it's first tier as far as I'm concerned.
There is no official "list", its more hearsay than anything else. A lot of schools would like to think of themselves as first tier but in reality they arent. As i look at it, if the school is really difficult to get a job in, like in places like Singapore, HK, Bangkok etc then in my mind they would be a "higher tier" school. I dont think the package has much to do with it. Just look at schools in the Middles east, they pay very well but can be 5th or 6th tier schools. I earn a rediculous amount of money and im definietly NOT in a top tier school
Short answer? You don't really. There isn't a list or or agreed upon criteria you can check or apply with any type of certainty.
In general, people seem to talk about a combination of facilities, quality of faculty/students, package and reputation (among other factors, including location in some people's view) when attempting to assign a tier to a particular school (or vice versa). Tier one schools are generally adjudged to be highly rated in all of these categories. Some schools may be seen as slightly deficient in one of these areas but have another area that more than makes up for it.
Some people seem to take the position that a school is tier one if it is the best school in a particular large city and/or country and/or region. I've always had a problem with that view since you could end up calling a school tier one even if it is a relative shiite school in a relatively undesirable location, simply because it is the best of a bad lot.
There are some schools that are by general consensus considered tier one and which very few people would argue about (which we can't name here). Many other schools could go either way and this can change over the course of a few years with changes in management, package, local economy, student body, etc.
Hope that helps a bit. I'm sure others will have different, possibly more useful input.
In China First Tier means it is a city that has self government , so this is Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Zuhuai, Tianjin and a few others.
Second Tier usually means the capitals of the province or a big city like Wuxi. Third tier is out in the sticks and 99.999% of the population hasnt seen a white man.
Also schools are placed in order of the clientele they teach. First are the foreign student schools, second foreign students in a Chinese school and third Chinese only students.
I think that this depends which side of the fence you are on. To a parent a top tier school is one that will deliver a great education and extra curricular timetable to their offspring, probably get them excellent examination results and then sort out a place at a top university. They will not take into account working hours, pay and conditions etc.
Meanwhile to a teacher however I think a top tier school is one where they are allowed to get on with their job, earn a reasonable wage for a reasonable days work and are given the type of package which they can be comfortable with. Hardly any interference from the owners and very little from management who actually do what they are supposed to do: Manage. kids who want to learn but are not entitled or snobby.
I must say that for the past few years I have been lucky enough to work at a place that falls into the second category.
Half Term...isn't it nice?
I’m not sure that teaching in a top tier school in necessarily a good thing. Of course it depends what you are looking for. The teacher responsibilities section of an advert on TES at the moment, for what is widely regarded as a top tier school, states “be in School prior to 7.00 am and until at least 4:00pm”, it also states that teachers are required to do 4 duties per week and 2 after-school activities. The impression from the advert is teachers there are worked into the ground!
As said before, it’s very varied and personal.
I don’t mind that teachers include a measure of package, workload and location when they make their judgment. Fair enough if you’re trying to decide if you want to work there.
I also find it vital to consider the quality of the school’s philosophy and education. I cannot count any school as top tier unless it’s doing good things for kids.