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What is a top-tier school?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Millionsandmillions, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. SPC2

    SPC2 Occasional commenter

    Well none I've ever worked at.

    I know my place.
    tb9605 and kpjf like this.
  2. Beagles111

    Beagles111 New commenter

    I think that a top tier school is one where you are happy. I know so many people here in Bangkok who work for what outsiders would, perhaps, class as top tier because of the wages, shiney classrooms, aircraft hangar sized gymnasia, new arts block, campus by the river, double backed primary classroom noticeboards and, of course the kudos. However, whenever I meet up with them they whinge, constantly about all of the above plus the hours, the management, the traffic on the way to work, the parents evenings, the traffic on the way home etc etc. I work at a place that few have heard of, I earn enough to keep me in all the things that I need such as holidays and ample savings, I am happy and I seldom if ever take a day off. That to me means my school is top tier.
    tb9605, rouxx, makhnovite and 5 others like this.
  3. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    I just want to strongly agree with all of the above, relevant everywhere, but particularly in Bangkok. Friday night in the watering holes favoured by the international teachers there's much bemoaning workload from those working at 'the big 3'. Our school is much lower profile, but most staff are very happy (we have about 10% turnover - mostly for reasons other than BKK). Just like Beagles111 we get paid enough to live comfortable lives in BKK, save & travel as well. I estimate that we get paid about 20% less than those at the big 3. Is it worth the cut ? oh yes..., it probably works out the same when calculated per hour.
    stopwatch likes this.
  4. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    What makes a top tier anything in a competitive market - football club, blue chip company, school, etc? I would say one which regularly outperforms it competitors over a long period and therefore garners a substantial reputation. This in turn enables it to recruit and retain the best staff and as such the staff would be rewarded with an appropriate remuneration package. The same is true of International Schools.
    frogusmaximus and dumbbells66 like this.
  5. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Top tier school...

    It is that time of the year when the question again arises. The best description comes from Decline and Fall which, for those who have been in the English Public School system, could almost be referred to as a how-to guide.

    “We class schools, you see, into four grades: Leading School, First-rate School, Good School, and School. Frankly," said Mr Levy, "School is pretty bad...”

    Now, of course, Leading School could easily fall into the "fur coat but no knickers" brigade and Good School could be the classic "champagne dreams on a beer budget".

    I digress. If you are happy, enjoy going into the classroom and trusted, then your school is about as good as it can be. All the prestige in the world isn't going to count for much when a parent complains and the head with the spine of jellyfish that has been through the blender calls you in for the "no coffee served" meeting.
  6. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    This is a really good perspective @Beagles111 , and one which doesn't always get considered or promoted by those who regularly identify certain schools as tier 1, tier 2 etc (myself included).
    I would say that a tier level is usually decided upon by salary and package, type of cohort, parental support, efficiency of SLT, curriculum type, level of facilities, formal grading by outside agencies etc.
    I was 'fortunate' to work in Tier 1 schools, which I aimed for because I needed to maximise saving. However, it was very hard work with long hours, which often took the joy out of it. I think that, given a straight choice, money aside, I would definitely prefer to work in your school @Beagles111
    Beagles111 likes this.
  7. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Excellent posts by Beagles and Karvol. I am sure that most people who use the term 'tier 1school' or 'top tier school', don't really know what they mean by it except that they are fairly sure they work in one!
    dumbbells66 and stopwatch like this.

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