The Very Best Reviews

YOU depend on International Schools Review for the latest insightful Reviews on schools & administrators.

ISR depends on YOU for the most insightful & informative Reviews. Let’s consider some tips from ISR members for writing the most awesome Reviews:


Reviews should be objective

What’s IN? Reviewing the state of your school supplies (lacking or bountiful) is beneficial. Reporting how you & your colleagues work together (or against each other) to solve problems is helpful. A healthy objective Review only includes those experiences & conversations you’ve had yourself. Not rumors. Not hearsay. Not the expectations/thoughts/desires of others that you think you know.

What’s OUT? Including in your Review the rumors heard in the staff lounge about how the Director is sleeping around is NOT objective or beneficial to others.  Nor is relating how your school is losing students because the board would rather buy all admin a new iPhone than purchase textbooks. Unless you are on the board or the financial director, you don’t know the internal workings or motivations of your school. You can’t say that simply everyone calls her “Ms Grumpy Pants.” Really. This type of unsubstantiated comment does not make a good Review.

Reviews should be truthful

What’s IN? If you are truly unhappy about, say, the state of your housing accommodations, state the specifics of why you’re not pleased. Rather than resorting to hyperbole (“a gazillion cockroaches”) state exactly what & why it wasn’t suitable. Too dirty? Too greedy a landlady? The school wouldn’t help you in any way with a rental problem? What? Do tell!

Reporting snippets of conversations that were foul (“He called me untrustworthy in front of a parent!”) or situations (“She will not allow any teacher to contribute suggestions at staff meetings”) that you actually experienced will show your Review to be truthful & exacting in actual situations. That type of Review is hugely beneficial to a recruiting person, yes?

What’s OUT? It’s human for people & situations to get under your skin. It’s even truer in new cultures & work environments. But for a great Review, those snarky comments need not apply. If you add your own soured personal reflections on your colleagues/admin/school simply to strike back, it never helps another person who is trying to discover if a school is worth their recruiting time.

Reviews should be timely

ISR has been in existence for more than nine years. While it may be tempting to go back to 2004 & send in a Review just to finally(!) speak your mind, it’s not typically helpful for recruiting teachers hoping to learn what is happening now.

However, writing a Review at the beginning of a school year, and again few months later during crunch time right before recruiting time-off happens, or whenever a big change occurs on the Board or Administration, well…ALL these times are good for posting a Review. How does your school handle leave? Do they balk at news you have to have time off to visit an ill loved one back home? Are they sloooow to give the word on whether your contract will be renewed? Did they show their cards when they changed a grade you posted?

Schools evolve & your experience will, too. Posting several Reviews per school year gives a reader the best idea of how a school changes & improves (or degenerates). It’s in your hands to show, via an awesome Review, how the school develops & deals with change, good and bad.

With recruiting season right around the corner, ISR thanks YOU for your thoughtful, insightful Reviews, International educators keeping each other informed! Thank YOU!

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5 thoughts on “The Very Best Reviews

  1. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up. The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you
    know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon.

    Many thanks


  2. I have started work at what seemed to be a solid school but have been a bit gobsmacked to find that YES the HoSS IS sleeping with staff (not all at once!) and that this signified not a case of falling in love with someone which is human and ok but a series of power arrangements suggestive of other unethical and unprofessional behaviour, at the least foolishness. I want to look to my leaders with respect so that when they suspend a student for lewd behaviour it doesn’t make us cringe because this person was caught in flagrante delicto with a staff member during a staff function! Sexually inappropriate behaviour (based on power) IS indicative of poor judgement and weak character and it is relevant.I don’t want to work with an idiot who thinks that using sexual power is the way to climb the ladder.


  3. I agree, people make typos when typing fast. The point was more to your point of what is the level of the teacher the school is hiring? Are you going to work at a school that has people who professed years of teaching and education, yet they can’t communicate well enough in writing? How well are they grading papers, writiing narratives, curriuculum, et al? It is a definate reflection on the school’s standards. How credible is this writer’s opinion when they profess years of education and experience but can’t write a coherent paragraph?

    I read one review, where the writer complained about the unfair hiring practice of a school and not being hired. Well, their review was so poorly written, I gave the school the benefit of the doubt. Because if he interviewed like he wrote, I wouldn’t hire him either. He wasn’t credible. i am no scholarly writer and make typos, (as you can tell) but, please be professional enough when choosing to write on a venue that is intended for professional people who have university degrees, MAs and PhDs.


  4. I disagree very strongly about what is mentioned as being relevant or not. If admin is sleeping with teachers then to me that can be an indication that someone may be getting unfair treatment. Conversely if teachers are sleeping with admin that can also be a sign of corruption. What’s worse is it represents a very low level of professionalism. I do not want to be at that kind of school.

    Additionally if many students are leaving the school I want to know about that too because maybe it means my job is ended the following year due to dropping enrollment.

    Unusual purchases for school board members may be an indicator that money is poorly managed which means the school could be at risk.

    Because there are so few rules and regulations covering international education it is important to know as much as possible about each school so we can make an informed decision about what we will endure and what we won’t endure. I say let the reviewer write and those who read can then discern the golden nuggets even in the crap pile.

    As for grammar and spelling errors, many people type in a hurry so I can certainly overlook them. I am more interested in the information being provided. However I look at their errors and assume that particular school they are writing about may hire low quality teachers case in point.

    Perhaps my judgements sound harsh but I have had the misfortune of being at some really poor “international schools” when I was younger and I am not willing to put up with lack of professionalism any more.


  5. A piece of advice: Reviewers should write using proper grammar, sentence structure and puncuation. It is hard to believe, or give much attention to a disgruntled ëxperienced” educator when they write at the 7th grade level. When I read a review riddled with spelling errors, horrible rambling sentences and then they proclaim their 10-20 years of experience as a high school teacher, I don’t give the review any credibility.


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