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top tier etc,

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by batrachian, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. I have been following this forum for a little while and reading comments about top tier and second tier school etc...
    My questions are:
    Is it so important ?
    Are people happier in top tier schools ?
    Can you be a good teacher in a bad school ?
    Can you be a bad teacher in a good school ?
    Eminent international educators your thoughts on this would be appreciated
  2. Only to some
    Not neccessarily. They have high expectations and work you to the bone.
    Most definitely!
    Most definitely!
  3. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Depends on how happy or well paid you want to be.
    Not necessarily.
    Yes, but rarer than the previous question / answer.
  4. No.
    Usually they are knackered, look harassed and are heavy drinkers with weak chests, hollow eyes and do not need to put money away for retirement.
    I have been.
    I know loads who wouldn't cut it unless their intake had been so highly selected. Its also true the other way round (eh?)
  5. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    It depends on what you consider important. Generally better schools pay more and have more motivated children to teach, which makes life easier.
    People leave top tier schools all the time. Some due to personal circumstances, some due to promotion and some because they get fired. Some because they are fed up with the kids, the management or their fellow colleagues. It doesn't answer your question, but it is a fairly nonsensical question. Your place of work can influence your happiness but it is not the sole arbiter of it.
    Of course.
    Just as easily, but you will be much more likely to get found out and fired.
    Top tier schools are not easy places to teach. There seems to be the general impression that a top tier school - whatever that means - makes everything wonderful. It can be a fantastic teaching environment but it can also be an absolute hell for someone who is not up to the expectations of the school.
    I have seen colleagues, who were no doubt excellent teachers in their previous schools, leave feeling bitter at the perceived treatment that they received at the hands of the school, hating the kids, hating the management and also some of their colleagues. The usual complaint is a "lack of support". Which brings us to the crux of the matter.
    Top tier schools are not places where you learn to teach. If you wish to teach in such a school to perfect your craft then you are asking for trouble. Parents do not pay - at least here in Switzerland - the equivalent of 50 to 60 thousand pounds a year so that their children can have inexperienced teachers finding their way through a syllabus. Both the parents and the schools expect all staff hired to be at the top of their game. They expect them to be lifelong learners who will be up to speed on the latest developments in their field, who will be actively looking for CPD opportunities and who will push the kids as hard as they can to get them to achieve more than they could elsewhere.
    The underlying message is you need to be completely self-sufficient. If you have a classroom management problem then deal with it. If you have a problem with one class then ok. If you have a problem with two then eyebrows will be raised. You will not be around for the problems with the third class to manifest themselves.
    So, before sending off that application to the school with the fantastic IB or A Level results, with amazing facilities and a stellar reputation, ask yourself how it gets those results, what the expectations will be of staff who work in such a place and are you willing to do what it takes to be successful there.
    Good luck.

  6. A top tier post.
  7. I posted these questions because I get the feeling that for some teachers, working in a top tier school is a validation, a sign that they are good teacher.
    Karvol, I hear what you say, but I would think that dealing with money-grabbing owners, lack of decent resources, poor salaries, unsalubrious living quarters in some war-torn, mosquito ridden backwaters, while still being professional and giving your best for the kids, requires an ounce of self-sufficiency too.
    Thanks all for the input[​IMG]
  8. qualiteacher

    qualiteacher New commenter

    I would like to work in such a school to ensure that my children receive a good education.
  9. Oh dear!
    You may not want to mention this as your main motivation to your future employers. Hope you get what you want though[​IMG]
  10. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Oh I am sure it does and more than an ounce.
    At the end of the day it is completely in your hands. If you like a school and wish to teach there, apply and good luck.
  11. qualiteacher

    qualiteacher New commenter

    Well, it's the truth and I'm sure it's the top priority for anyone with a family.
  12. Well for me it is happiness and being able to spend time with my kid, so I guess I am not top tier material [​IMG]
  13. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Well it would depend on my aspirations for my children, my children themselves and what kind of school is best for them, what we as a family want in terms of lifestyle, how financially independent they are, etc, etc . a "top tier" school is unlikely to be the ideal place for a teacher, with a trailing family, to work.

    Middle and working class teachers seeking to teach in schools that mimic those that the British nouveau and oldeau rich send their kids to? A minority, methinks.
  14. I work in a top tier school. Is it a bed of roses? I'm comfortable, but a bed of roses could be a bit too cosy, yes? I like it because I think I am pretty ok at what I do - have seen weak staff come and go and others develop.
    What is 'check the boxes'?
  15. I suppose boxes are drier than showers.
    sorry FP --- please don't report me
  16. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Checking the boxes is a distant exotic cousin of ticking the boxes. You work in one of the better "top tier" schools, FP, methinks.
  17. 'ticking the showers' would certainly be a concern..

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