Let’s Talk: Legal Matters

hammerIt can be stressful here at ISR when a school or attorney threatens us. Usually they express outrage over a poor Review or a critical Comment and want it removed. These schools would like us to prune Reviews to represent their school as they think they should be seen rather than as Reviewed by their teachers on ISR.

Some excerpts from recent mail:

We consider this as an abuse from an unethical few teachers. And you as professionals, we expect you to take action towards these reviews, or at least remove their posts. Otherwise, unfortunately we have to take a legal action towards the owners of the web site.

If all libellous comments are not removed within 31 days of this notice, or libels are repeated in the future, legal action will be taken in the US, UK and Malaysia, and substantial compensation will be sought.

What has been posted on your web site is a pack of lies by people who failed to do their jobs and were let go during the two month probation period. Also please note, that what’s written under Director Report is personal slander and libel. If you don’t remove the post immediately you will hear from the school lawyer. (see blog for more letters)

You will be receiving a letter shortly from our attorney.

I hope you will see the wisdom of this request as if not I am authorised to begin legal proceedings against your company as we consider you to have been complicit in this libel. If the material is deleted we will consider the matter closed.

I formally request that all comments that are personally related to myself (and totally inaccurate) are removed before I decide to take legal action. I await your confirmation of removal of the slanderous / libelous comments…

We should add that in light of the nature of the violating content and your refusal to cooperate the damages could be substaintial….You should take legal advice if you are in any doubt abut the seriousness of this matter. Please confirm if you have instructed lawyers and, if so, ask them to confirm they are authorized to accept proceedings on your behalf.

Of course, we take these letters seriously. Still, we’re waiting for someone to call and lavishly praise ISR for the outstanding reviews we host of  their school and leadership.

ISR would like to confirm that when you join ISR you become a member of a global network of International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed. ISR does NOT remove Reviews. Although at times it would be an easy way out, we will not allow overbearing individuals to force ISR into hiding the stark truth of poor schools and/or leadership, as reported by teachers in the field.

An ISR member sums up the situation succinctly: “If these directors only worried about why so many people leave their schools and address the problems, rather than blaming others, they might actually begin to solve some problems and improve their schools in the process.”

We invite you to Scroll Down & Comment :

76 Responses to Let’s Talk: Legal Matters

  1. Shocked says:

    At a school in Yangon, an outstanding teacher was physically slammed against the wall and assaulted by a jealous older teacher with serious anger issues. Management didn’t want to lose either teacher and took no action. The victim stayed for the sake of the students, that being the only reason. The assaulter is still walking around the school looking aggressive and clearly on a short fuse. Female staff all avoid him as much as is possible in a small cramped environment , after all, who will be next? The consensus is that this individual should have been fired immediately. Many schools have unprofessional practices and the least we should expect, is safety and professional behavior in our own school.

    Like

  2. Fascinating debate. I’d like to know from ISR admin: “In how many instances have legal ‘threats’ from school administrators turned out to be anything more than hot air?”
    In other words, have you had ANY cases where ISR has received a ‘Dear SIr unless you xyz we shall file a case against you in the abc court on behalf of our client schooladmin123″?
    If the answer is “none” that’s surely clear proof – ”Intimidation by school management” – isn’t it?

    Like

  3. Jax says:

    “If all libellous comments are not removed within 31 days of this notice, or libels are repeated in the future, legal action will be taken in the US, UK and Malaysia, and substantial compensation will be sought.”

    This quote/threat is from Mark Curnane. He’s the director of Sri KDU International School in Malaysia.

    Like

  4. roberto says:

    Dr. Eric Sands is the Director of Qatar Academy. On the other hand…he has the opportunity here to be a hero!

    Like

  5. roberto says:

    Back to the topic: Where are the adminstrators??? We need their names and so they can be held accountable by all of us for what they have done or in this case refused to do. Please let us know. To leave a teacher out in the cold like that is a crime beyond compreprehension. Keep us posted!!!

    Like

    • Jax says:

      “What has been posted on your web site is a pack of lies by people who failed to do their jobs and were let go during the two month probation period. Also please note, that what’s written under Director Report is personal slander and libel. If you don’t remove the post immediately you will hear from the school lawyer.”

      This quote/threat is from the director of Al-Ghanim Bilingual School in Kuwait.

      Like

  6. Dick Cheney says:

    Someone posting a name with a review means nothing. I can choose to use any name I like.

    Like

  7. Anonymous says:

    “I have worked in several schools where I have received overt threats and where female colleagues have been physically assaulted. No teacher should be expected to work in conditions of criminality, and it is important that we know who engages in such practices.”

    Heavy stuff, B. Rawlins. So why not tell us “…who engages in such practices”? I think you need to blow this whistle very loudly and name the schools and the perpetrators.

    Like

    • B.Rawlins says:

      Given the seriousness of these incidents, which I would agree are clearly “heavy stuff”, I have indeed referred the details, with names of schools and perpetrators, to lawyers, police, embassies and host government agencies. I have also made reference to these episodes, with names of schools and perpetrators, in postings and blog entries, not only on this website but also on the professional networking site “LinkedIn”. Incidentally there was an interesting debate on that site about ISR and alternative websites for international teachers, including considered contributions from a leading International Head in Japan.

      Like

  8. B.Rawlins says:

    I would argue that one thing it is very important for reviews to mention is bullying. This is simply a euphemism for intimidation, and it constitutes an offence across the globe under local laws. I have worked in several schools where I have received overt threats and where female colleagues have been physically assaulted. No teacher should be expected to work in conditions of criminality, and it is important that we know who engages in such practices. Recourse should certainly be made to the law, without time being wasted on ‘having a talk’ with offenders. As many colleagues will be aware, sometimes the situation teachers find themselves in is so threatening that it is best to get out with the advice of one’s embassy. Nevertheless, no teacher should merely ‘go quietly’ or just ‘move on’, allowing perpetrators to continue as before, without whistles being blown very loudly.

    Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have been involved in Education for over 40 yrs. now and had my first international posting 33 yrs. ago. Sadly, there are VERY few of these schools that place ‘education’ and ‘student welfare’ at the top of their priorities lists. Whether it’s for-profit, incompetence, self-proclaimed ‘experts’, parental interference, local government influence, or a combination of these, the bottom line is: There are a lot of less-than-desirable schools out there! In most of them, the owners/management/admin mistake candor for slander! There is a terrible lack of transparency and information is ‘controlled’ by management. A few years ago, I took a break from teaching and tried a couple of alternatives. During that time, I became familiar with the writings of John C. Maxwell, an American leadership-teamwork guru. I started to compare the earmarks of a ‘good’ organization to the practices I see in various ‘international’ schools. Mostly, the two are ‘disjoint sets’. They have nothing in common! The things that Maxwell (and most leadership professionals) say are detrimental to an organization are the practices used in these schools.
    Of course, there will be good reviews. There are a few teachers who can ‘skate through’ their posting without making any waves or taking not of what’s going on around them. And, of course, there are the sycophants who will write a ‘good’ evaluation to score points with ‘the boss’.
    Fortunately, there is ISR!!!
    Many of us subscribe to ISR so that we can get the ‘unvarnished’ truth. It’s fairly easy to separate the ‘cooked’ reviews from the unbiased (mostly) ones! If one is ‘out on the circuit’ for more than a couple of years, one develops a network of friends/colleagues in many schools in many countries. They give us a glimpse of what’s out there. ISR fills in many of the gaps.
    Please, keep up the good work!
    I am personally familiar with one of the individuals who is threatening to sue you. He is a person of high academic standing, who is very limited in his scope of educational systems and has absolutely NO idea how to develop an efficient and effective school.
    He has alienated most of the staff in every school he’s been in and, in the current case, is alienating a large number of parents, too!
    Please, keep up the good work!!!

    Like

  10. Gary, you misunderstood, or perhaps I wasn’t sufficiently clear. I personally believe that the severity and magnitude of labor abuse which occurs at international schools is severe, systematic and goes largely unrecognized and unaddressed. You don’t have to agree with me, and that is your perogative. International educators are just beginning to respond, to develop a common voice and strategy. Yet, we are still largely on our own. Have you seen or heard any legal or civil group come forward and openly express concern or offer to help mediate the injustice that so many people report on this site?

    ISR, again in my opinion, by taking the legal risks involved in helping to raise awareness of large scale and systematic abuse and discrimination at international schools is arguably at the cutting edge of what could very well be an emergent global labor rights movement for international educators, in the same way that early civil rights activists were on the cusp of immense social and political reforms of racist Jim Crow Laws and segregation in the south. It was meant to be a symbolic comparison, not a literal one.

    Are international school teachers comparable to disenfranchised and oppressed Blacks in the south in the mid 20th century? Not even close. Is ISR putting itself in the same physical danger as the young SNCC volunteers,for instance, who put their lives on the line for racial equality and justice? I would be a fool to suggest as much. Are international school directors and boards reacting with the same threats, intimidation, and violence as entrenched white racist groups, such as the KLAN, during the early civil rights movement? Absolutely not.

    The analogy was meant exclusively to point out that both quarters (civil rights activists and ISR) represent reform elements at the historical edge of large scale social change. (Of course, we will see how strong and enduring the labor rights movement in international education proves itself to be, Much potential but little unity and vision to date.) The other dimension of the analogy is the willingness of both quarters to take risks for a larger ethical, arguably political, cause. (And, of course, ISR is receiving revenues for its risk taking, Civil rights volunteers were exactly that.)

    I understand if the comparison seemed strained. I hope this helps.I am just grateful that we have the opportunity to be heard, even if most of the time we are preaching to the choir. Under conditions of acute isolation, intimidation, fear, and uncertainty, with huge potential for loss of income and professional damage, not to mention personal and family trauma, keeping this site alive has got to be to our collective advantage. Hopefully one day it will contribute to creating real working and codified understanding between labor and management at international schools.

    Best regards.

    Like

  11. ISR you are my hero/ine!! The only site in existence who has the chutzpah to go the distance with oppressors in the international school system!! If you ever need a legal defense fund, do consider me a financial contributor!! Two points, briefly:
    1) In historical retrospect, I firmly believe your work will someday be seen as one of the cutting edges of an international educators’ rights movement that will eventually be as well established as global environmental protection law is today. At present, your work is a comparable to the civil rights movement in the deep south of the US in the early 1960s: the first stirrings of a movement whose time has come, despite the attempts at repression, denial, and persecution.

    2) On a more personal note, the information at your site recently allowed me to decline a job offer from a school which by all indications would have been a two year living nightmare. Equally, I was able to pursue a position with an a second school that got rave reviews, and so far has all the earmarks of a truly positive professional experience. You just can’t put a money value on that kind of usefulness.

    Keep on keepin’ on. Don’t mourn, organize!!

    Like

  12. anonymous th. says:

    I can’t bear witness to all reviews for the obvious reasons. I must say though that I’m familiar with quite a few schools mentioned in the site and reviews are accurate. International teachers have a hard time as legal actions can prove at least difficult in many areas of the world. I deeply thank ISR for providing a forum where democracy is still alive. The fact that many of us are willing to remain anonymous simply underlines the fact of the poor protection international teachers receive. I have attended conferences from international agencies where ISR was implicitly addressed. Their ‘official’ advice was to take it with a pinch of salt, but NOT to ignore comments. I think this speaks for itself. Education is (has been for quite a few years now) a blossoming business and it’s easy to take advantage of teacher in very vulnerable positions. This I’m afraid is unlikely to change in the immediate future.
    The fact that relevant agencies require the recommendation letters of authorities reinforces a self-defeating cycle. This is clearly in the benefit of those whose integrity is at least subject of debate, in the meanwhile teachers students and parents cover the costs. Thus, maybe, just maybe, some pressure could be applied there. Why should teachers need the reference letters of authorities in their schools when being able to provide solid references from prestigious alternatives??
    We know little about education but enough to realize this is hardly a win-win situation. My gratitude for ISR to provide information and a place where I can have my say.

    Like

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never taught in a public school in the states and have only had a brief stint in international teaching. If I had read these reviews before teaching, I would’ve just dismissed them as nonsense from whining individuals. Now after having taught in the international circuit, I felt relieved knowing that I’m not the only individual who has had to face power hungry lying incompetent people working in management and administration in schools. A lot of these stories seem unbelievable at first but ISR is an invaluable resource for teachers. I’m glad this site existed because it made me feel at ease to know I wasn’t the only person out there going through what i was going through.

    Sadly, the people who want to take down ISR are usually administrators who REFUSE to change anything about the practices of their school yet feel offended when everybody else is jumping ship on their sinking boat. Change your practices, people are willing to leave the US are usually good hearted people who want to make a difference in other countries only to find more corrupt and daunting practices than back at home.

    Like

  14. Lisa says:

    As a prospective international teacher, I have been following ISRs website for a couple of years. I, like others have said, take the comments with a grain of salt and take into consideration that some of the most scathing reviews could be from a disgruntled teacher. Nonetheless, as someone mentioned earlier, it is helpful to know if the school is for profit, runs short on supplies, cost of living in relation to salary, housing, the management style of the administrator, etc.

    ISR- please don’t let this school or any school bully you. And shame on the school that called in their teachers trying to force them to step forward and held their paychecks!!

    For prospective teachers abroad, this website helps us make the first step in the move since we are still in our home country, and we need all the info we can get. Most of us are bright enough to sift through and determine was is helpful and what might be too harsh.

    Like

    • I think it would be an amazing site if ISR just stuck to things people really care about.
      1. Do you get paid on time? Salary? Retirement funding? Medical stuff (plans, payments, in-country medical)
      2. What is the housing situation? Where? How much?
      3. Class sizes, teaching loads, building maintenance/appearance, and location.
      4. Country info – safety, people (community), travel, entertainment, etc.
      5. Contract issues – do they honor contracts? Contract lengths. Really, really late non-renewals. Extra things they do (weekend buses, shopping buses, trips, etc).
      6. General staff morale.

      Things I don’t want to see (and I literally have seen these about our school):
      1. About someone being gay (yes that was in one of the awesome ISR reviews people rave about).
      2. How Mr./Ms Insert Admin Name is a bully, a jerk, unfair, etc.
      3. How Mr/Ms Insert Admin Name won’t change something in your contract, or actually held you to your contract even though you wanted it changed.
      4. Badmouthing specific people.

      Like

      • Anonymous (and proud of it) says:

        I sometimes wonder if people that make comments such as these are actually int’l teachers. Some posters seem to be missing the big picture here. They want admin and owners to be able to face their accusers (like in the good old US), but ISR exists BECAUSE int’l teachers do not have that same right in many/most parts of the world.

        These teachers often do not have easy/fair access to the courts, freedom of the press, fair labour laws or any realistic way of fighting back when they are treated unfairly or unjustly. So, they post on ISR to try and warn other teachers/parents and yes, fight back against unscrupulous/unprofessional admin and owners in small way.

        According to you, other teachers should not be told that teachers often left an admin’s office in tears after being shouted at, or being falsely accused of something. If a leader acts like a jerk, is unfair or a bully, then they should be held accountable for it in some small way.

        Which is the point of ISR and teachers being able to post anonymously. What consequences will admin/owners have for a bad review? Precious little in most cases.

        What consequences could/would a teacher have for making such a review in their own name? Firing, of course, if still at that school. Possible financial consequences if the school wishes to be nasty. Blackballed or held in suspicion by future potential employers? Certainly a realistic possibility.

        Specific people with power make choices to be fair/unfair, professional/unprofessional, ethical or unethical. Teachers who make poor choices can be fired, receive bad references and have trouble finding future positions. ISR exists to give consequence to the poor choices of those in power, because few consequences exist for those people. ISR is certainly not perfect and discernment is crucial for the reader of any source of information. I would rather have more information, not less when making decisions that dramatically impact my life and that of my family.

        Like

  15. China Teacher says:

    Let me try to go right down the middle of the fairway here.

    Certainly ISR provides a service to international teachers that is necessary and worthwhile. I have no doubt that hundreds of teachers over the years have avoided years of professional misery by being forewarned about problem schools and administrators. And don’t forget there are are many positive reviews of schools here, although my gut impression is that a majority of reviews are negative to some degree

    (It would be interesting to see ISR generate some statistics about the nature of its reviews. That data could be sliced many different ways that might tell some interesting stories.)

    However, you have to admit that some portion of negative reviews do turn out to be unjustified, untrue, inaccurate or contentious. Perhaps some portion of positive reviews are faked. I have been reading ISR a long time, and it definitely took some experience and skill to begin sorting the wheat from the chaff. Even then, I still find many reviews and groups of reviews in which I can’t be sure who is at fault, despite my best reading-between-the-lines.

    And if an old hand like myself is confused at times, what is a brand-new international educator supposed to make of ISR? I suggest that the people who ISR can help the most are at the biggest disadvantage in trying to understand it.

    Sometime I fantasize about someday retiring, buying ISR, finding a way to tone down the vitriol, making the reviews and ratings more objective, improving the web design and functionality (a whole different topic) turning it into a more authoritative and respected operation, and raising the subscription price. Trouble is, I have no clear idea how to do that. Maybe somebody smarter than I knows the secret.

    Like

  16. B. Rawlins says:

    In my postings and blog entries I for one have always attempted to be as objective and truthful as possible, treating my comments like a form of legal testimony. I therefore welcome the opportunity provided by the ISR website for professional teachers to document the abuse, exploitation and “bullying” (i.e. intimidation) they regularly experience. On our side it is important to maintain objectivity and be prepared to defend our statements in courts of law wherever necessary, as well as inform legal authorities in our countries of work. As a positive example of this one could cite the recent withdrawal by ISR of the so-called offer of “assistance” in China from an individual already described on your profiles of administrators; ISR quite rightly sided with the school management.

    Like

    • I like what you said and you seem very reasonable. International teaching can be amazing. We all know that it can also be bad. The problem is sorting it all out. I just think ISR could be so amazing if it followed it’s own terms of service and cut out some of the slams. As a first step I would mandate that no names be allowed in reviews. If names are used, the reviewer has to present his/her name and be verified as being at that school. I understand if someone had a bad time at a school, but that person doesn’t have to slam people by name to let us know. How would we as teachers feel if schools did that to us? How would we feel if the schools wrote a public review about every teacher they fired? I forgot the part about the school doing it all anonymously. We know if a school gives us a bad reference. If you are going to go public with accusations, you have to be prepared to back them up. That’s actually in our Constitution (If you’re an American, you have the right to face your accuser. Make a libelous statement and the claim of anonymity disappears). With the power of the internet, comes more responsibility.

      We are educators and should be setting the example for courteous conduct. Is this how we would model solving problems with our students? “Hey kids, if you don’t like someone, or like what they did, go online and slam the person (just do it anonymously, hush-hush okay?). If that person doesn’t like it, or wants to know who said it, we’ll gang-up on him/her online. Quiz on this tomorrow.”

      Can’t we be more civil? Can’t we politely say what’s on our mind and move on with our lives? Do we have to get our ounce/pound of revenge? Let’s model how we teach students to behave in similar circumstances.

      PS I have worked with many amazing teachers/admins. Few are perfect, but almost all are way more perfect than I am (or ever will be). I’m not about to point out their weaknesses when their weaknesses pale in comparison to my own. I would feel awful about slamming any of them – I’m sure they could double the slams back at me. My name is above and I’m privileged to have worked with amazing people. I don’t feel the need to publicly tell them everything that is wrong with them, how they work, act, etc. If I have a problem, I’ll go talk to them privately.

      Like

  17. Ed Jackson says:

    I have been on the International circuit for a number of years. I have witnessed many examples of unprofessional behaviour from owners and Headteachers. My answer to it has been to move around frequently and take each couple of years as an interesting opportunity—-but then to move on!
    As I approach retirement, I have been interviewed many times during the last few months————the way Heads conduct their interviews, make no apologies for timings delays, don’t provide refreshments even though a long journey has been made, don’t send a response as to the outcome of the interview, ask for a SKYPE time over the next few days-but then never respond! I’m afraid the teaching profession is not what I joined several decades ago .
    I am a great believer and supporter of International education——it has many excellent teachers but it is controlled by a poorly principled administration

    Like

  18. Jax says:

    The egos of many school directors/administrators are ridiculously fragile. Many of them can so easily criticize, insult, bully, intimidate, and humiliate teachers. When such directors/administrators are judged–fairly or not–they crumble to pieces and threaten to sue.

    Like

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am so thankful for ISR. Perhaps there are some inaccurate reviews on ISR but then usually the school’s reputation in the international community is usually enough to overcome 1 or 2 bad apples. Inaccurate reporting seems to be rather rare.

    This past hiring season I took a chance and agreed to work at a new school, one that because it was so new had never been reviewed on ISR. It has been the biggest nightmare of my 20+ years career. I never dreamed such irregular, strange, unethical practices could exist in a school. I am going to finish out my 3 year contract and leave.

    My advice to teachers would be to read ISR because in most cases when I have verified negative reviews with people I know who work at those schools the reviews are accurate.

    I will never again work for a school not reviewed on ISR. This experience has been far too painful and unlike previous years it is very hard to find another job unless one is young, married, attractive, etc.

    Please, please ISR stay open and don’t bow down to the pressure. As a result of my current experience at a school where there are no checks and balances on the admin’s power I will most likely return to national schools in my home country rather than risk another dreadful experience.

    Like

  20. David says:

    I have used ISR several times to both review schools before even applying as well as to see (not review) what others have said about the schools I have been a part of. I have never found the reviews concerning schools to be entirely false. And, since these are all personal reviews about schools and directors, I doubt the issue of libel would stand in court. It is such a very hard thing to prove. In the US for instance ,”first, the person must prove that the statement was false. Second, the person must prove that the statement caused harm. Third, the person must prove that the statement was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement.”

    Like

  21. Anonymous says:

    “we will not allow overbearing individuals to force ISR into hiding the stark truth of poor schools and/or leadership, as reported by teachers in the field.” from the passage preceeding the comments. How do you know that it is the truth that teachers are reporting?

    Like

    • They don’t and by god they will not even try to verify it – not even a little bit of trying to verify it. They don’t care if people’s reputations gets hurt. They have no problems spreading rumors and gossip – even though it goes against their own terms of service. It’s ironic because that is often the major complaint against the schools. Could you imagine the outrage and indignation if an administrator spread rumors about their teaching staff, and made no effort to find out the truth before posting to an International Teachers Review website? Oh, but it just someone’s opinion so it’s okay. Oh, the irony….

      Like

  22. ISR makes no claims. Teachers post to the ISR venue. The stark truth is the poster’s truth. Ben @ ISR

    Like

    • From your terms of service, “You shall not use the Web Site in any manner that attempts to, or is likely to be libelous, defamatory, indecent, vulgar or obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive, racially, culturally, or ethnically offensive, harmful, harassing, intimidating, threatening, hateful, objectionable, discriminatory, or abusive, or which may or may appear to impersonate anyone else or effect us adversely or reflect negatively on us or the Web Site.”

      When have you ever removed libelous reviews? Defamatory reviews? Abusive reviews? Why don’t you follow your terms of service. You say people can’t do the above, but then you hide behind it being the reviewer’s opinion. Which is it? Your terms of service do not add an exception for doing those things as long as it is an opinion! I’ll bet there are a number of reviews which fall into this category in your own terms of service. I guess your sense of fairness only applies when they attack you/your site (which you do remove remarks attacking the site) or your friends.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Gary, I think you need to move on and stop looking at ISR (and getting yourself so upset). You are trying to re-make a site that is not yours. If you think it can be done better, then go do it. In the meantime…you sound like a very petty person with all your arguments here. Also, I’d like to say…DUH?…people who read the reviews KNOW they are opinion. Give teachers a LITTLE credit, won’t you? They read the reviews to get a “feel” for what they are getting into or to know what to ask about in an interview or when talking to other teachers at a school before signing a contract. It’s nothing more than that. You are putting TOO MUCH energy into this. Move on.

        Like

        • I am not upset. How do I sound petty? If asking for fairness is petty, I guess I am very petty. If I knew who the teacher is, I can decide how much credit I can give him/her. Most teachers are awesome, many are okay, and a few are terrible. I would just like to know who is giving me the info so I can make an informed opinion. As educators, don’t we want to encourage informed decisions? Wait, wait… I’m getting angry and upset. I’m about to destroy humanity, the world, and the universe. Now that I said that, you can disagree with me again. Why do people have to build something up in order to disagree? Anyway, why do you disagree with one standard? Mention a name, give your name. Seems fair to me. In America we have the right to confront our accusers. Is that being petty and are people getting angry and upset when they ask for that? Just seems fair to me.

          And thank you for telling me what to do. Isn’t that a form of bullying? Who are you to tell me what to do? Why are you so upset, angry, frustrated, bitter, and hate people asking questions?

          Like

          • RD says:

            I don’t really get the point of the names – for the majority of people reading the reviews, the name isn’t going to mean anything. Knowing that Bob Smith is the one who wrote review 3 about ABC School in Country X tells me nothing if I don’t personally know Bob Smith. No one knows every international teacher in the world. We’ll all still have to take everything with a grain of salt.

            Now if you’re saying you want to know the names of who is posting about your school, that makes me a bit leery. Maybe you and your school are awesome and would deal with the commenters in a reasonable manner, but what about the teachers in really bad situations who are just trying to warn other people away? They deserve to do so without fearing what will happen to them in an already bad situation. In America, there are also plenty of situations where an informant’s identity is confidential.

            Like

          • Anonymous says:

            LOL…wow. On and on and on and on….every single post on this page you have to reply to in the same manner. Sad. Like the post below says…If Bob Smith posted about a school on the other side of the world, knowing his name is not going to change how I read it. I most likely don’t know him. In reality it sounds like you want to know who posted about you. That is a different story…sounds like “someone” wants retribution. And, that, sir, is why this site is anonymous.

            Like

            • I know I post the same thing because it’s just the right thing to do. I do not feel right about slamming people publicly. I don’t get how people are okay with doing this. Putting your name with something is not about retribution (that’s just as wrong, but you are going to ignore my saying that), it’s about standing up for what you are saying. If you have to badmouth someone, stand up for it and take responsibility for what you are saying. Can’t someone express their discontent in a way that doesn’t go out of their way to publicly name and shame? We seem to hate it when admin does it to us, so why would we do it to them? And if admin does do it to us, do we have to be an equal jerk and do it back? Is that what you teach your kids/students? I’m sorry but it’s just not right and it sounds petty and childish when someone does it.

              I think someone can get the idea that a school is pretty rotten without naming and shaming.

              Like

            • Tammie says:

              You say this: I think someone can get the idea that a school is pretty rotten without naming and shaming. How can people know that a school is this way if others do not post what they have been through? I posted a review for the school that I am currently working for based on my experience, but as I am currently there finishing out my contract I would definitely get harrassed by the administrator of the school and I am already stressed enough that I don’t need that. I said and made it clear this was my experience and only wanted to know my experience so they make an informed decision before accepting a job. My school loses 50 to 70 teachers every year so that tells you something and many people break their contracts after the first year which tells you something else. I have been hit in the face twice this year by local boys and there were no consequences for these local boys and people have the right to know these things. I can back up what I say with documentation as well. I don’t want to bash as you put it I want the truth to be known, because I would not want a woman to come and experience the same disrespect from the students or the administrator. The best thing about the school is all the new friendships I have made with the principal and teachers.

              Like

  23. 009rjm says:

    While I do appreciate the fact that you are not removing comments, I think it would be wise to remind people that comments are not verified and may not always represent the experience of all teachers there. I enjoy the service this site provides, but I always take the comments with a grain of salt. I am disturbed that you are implying all comments are completely true, as it is often human nature to embellish to make ourselves look better. I’d say don’t delete but also don’t make the exaggerated claim that everything posted here is “the stark truth” or unbiased.

    Like

    • Keith Miller says:

      Let’s see, as I understand it, these comments represent personal opinions, as reported. Opinions are neither true nor false as they represent an individual perspective. But you make a claim or ‘truth’ that you are purveying ISR says “all comments are completely true…” Can you please show me where this text appears anywhere on the website. Just sayin’…

      Like

      • The problem with the reviews is that they are often stated to be fact. Not many of the reviews state that they are just opinions. From what I’ve seen, the reviewers state that they are only relaying facts – that’s the problem. I also think ISR actually hurts their standing by not being a little more diligent sometimes. It’s really hard to separate facts from fiction in these reviews. when that happens, people ignore ISR. I can honestly say that I would never recommend that someone depend upon reviews here. At best it maybe raises a red flag. Lets be honest here – ISR loves to sensationalize and seek out bad news. ISR seeks out conflict as does mainstream media. If it bleeds, it leads. As educators, are we interested in the truth or are we looking for gossip? The forum is a little bit more even and may be the more reliable part of ISR. If people have questions about a school, ask in the forums and you will get a much more reliable picture of that school.

        Like

  24. weedonald says:

    For those among ISR’s readership who fail to understand the need for some form of educator protection from the above witch-hunting and abusive ¨schools¨, this article and its implications speaks for itself.

    Like

  25. Anonymous says:

    I think you should post the letters threatening action and let readers know from which schools and administrators they came. I would certainly want to know that information before I hired on with such a school.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. Would it be possible to attach the names of the schools who write such letters? If these administrators complain about the anonymous nature of this website then they won’t mind standing behind their own words.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. If this is how the school/director approach problems in the school (legal action, ranting, bullying, etc), then I would certainly wish to know which school and admin this letter came from. This is certainly not a school I would ever want to work for.

      Why not actually look at the feedback and think of ways to improve?
      Also, if this is a good school and these are all supposed lies than surely there would be a wealth of positive feedback to counterbalance this?

      Like

    • I would agree. But if you are going to post an administrator’s name, you should also post the reviewer’s name as well. Fair is fair. We have all met great teachers, okay teachers, and teachers from hell. Give us the names so we can use that to add weight to (or take weight off of) their opinion. I have no problem with legitimate gripes about a school. I also understand people being afraid to say something. Being anonymous is not an excuse to bully, belittle, libel, etc. someone. If you are going to badmouth someone, man/woman-up and say it with your name. Take ownership of what you are doing and saying. People’s reputations are at stake. It’s wrong for admin types to publicly badmouth teachers, and it’s wrong for teachers to publicly badmouth admin. Fair is fair.

      Like

      • Keith Miller says:

        Actually, how could it be fair for an individual to post his name along with his review and get fired while the school administrators continue being unfair to others? I’m not sure I understand your definition of ‘fair’.

        Like

  26. Tammie says:

    I as a teacher in the field am very happy this web site exists. I as a first time overseas teacher did not know about this web site before signing a contract with my current school. If I had known and seen what other teachers had said about this school (which are extremely accurate), I would have never come. This has been the most stressful teaching experience of my life! Please keep doing what you are doing and don’t let these schools scare you away from the wonderful service you provide.

    Like

    • Malaysian adventurer says:

      Likewise. My experience in an international school matches the reviews about this school on ISR. I am not sorry to have had this experience (‘…as we call our ‘failures’ wasn’t that Oscar Wilde?) because through ISR, I am now able to interpret phrases like ‘the owners only care about profit’, ‘they recruit all year’, ‘promises made at interview have not emerged’, ‘photocopied resources’… and many more. Much as the experience has been interestingly anthropological, life is too short, and I am too valuable a professional to waste more of my life with amateurs who ‘play at being educators’.

      Like

      • Tammie says:

        I agree. I am not spending one more year at this school. I have found another position that is much better suited for me and I am excited for the next two years. It to has its challenges, but it is a government school and my sister has worked in one of the school for two years, boys school, I will be working in a girls school.

        Like

  27. mvrentchler says:

    ISR has a backbone, kudos.

    In the USA, a good enterprise of any kind does Six Sigma and 360 degree evaluations as a standard practice. If your employees are routinely treated fair and square, there shouldn’t be any concern even if you received a less than stellar review as it points out room for improvement/development/professional growth. Of course not everyone will be happy and it will be clear they are outliers when few support their commentary. But when many support a complaint, you do have problems which need to be remedied.

    From this full time teacher in the USA in an esteemed public school district in SoCal.

    Like

  28. Keith Miller says:

    I wonder, how does one verify an opinion?

    Like

  29. Anonymous says:

    Even newspapers verify comments from sources. I find what is written to be pure entertainment. The sad thing is we have to pay money to belong to a site that should be free.
    I have written things that were never posted.
    My question is….why can’t comments be verified before being posted?

    Like

    • Keith Miller says:

      Maybe they should remove your comments which suggest you have not had items posted (for verification purposes only, I’m sure you will understand)

      Like

    • What do you mean by “verified?” I think that’s a rather open word when it comes to opinions and reviews. All reviews are opinion, and it is up to the reader to verify for themselves whatever they need to know.

      I personally am glad that ISR exists. As a discerning reader, I make judgments and investigate claims of quality on my own, negative or positive. I can usually tell when a review is sour grapes, a school plant, or a balanced assessment. If I can’t, then I seek sources outside of ISR to confirm.

      Like

  30. Anonymous says:

    I really cannot believe your approach to such serious matters. Whilst you claim to be championing the rights of teachers , the often scandalous and often libelous comments here are a dark stain on what should be a brilliant and accurate resource for teachers across the globe. The fact that you constantly add the most salacious and oftentimes incredible claims by anonymous teachers is just breathtaking. Yiou do not even check to make sure that the teachers who make the comments have actually worked in the school.

    On top of this when posters try and make comments on the blogs involving recruitment fairs offering sound advice and alternatives to say for example ISS and Seach fairs they are not posted and when they do slip though the net swiftly removed…. why do you continue to utilise this form of editing and yet when it comes to the comments on some of the schools , gleefully accept them as the out right truth and therefore eternally defensible?

    Your site smacks of double standards and untruths all the way through.

    DISGRACEFUL

    Like

    • I show no record of your claims. Nothing has been removed about ISS or Search. Ben @ ISR. In addition, WE do not add anything by anybody as you claim. Teachers post about their experiences in their words. Just saying they are libelous does not make them so.

      Like

    • Keith Miller says:

      Disgraceful appears not to understand the fundamental premise of a democracy, freedom of speech. In fact, Mr. Anonymous, by posting your opinion here, you are enjoying the very right you trounce, for you comments could easily be interpreted as libelous (hardly scandalous). Also, I’m guessing incompetent, cowardly school head, I’d start using a spell checker before posting anymore rants. It detracts from you message.

      Like

    • Donna D says:

      DISGRACEFUL is obviously not an International Teacher. This person clearly has no idea of what it means to have your rights trampled on before being thrown right back into your face by heartless people whose idea of a school is nothing other than a means of earning cash. When this happens to someone, particularly when they’re away from home, there’s going to be some very strongly worded accusations expressed via whatever means necessary, the ISR in this case. I have been teaching internationally for over ten years and thank God I have not had major issues but I have seen a lot of mismanagement, discrimination, blatant dishonesty, manipulation and corruption and I have learnt that the two groups most severely affected are usually the children and expat teachers.

      I also know for a fact that most of the teachers who’ve left their comfort zones behind for the sake of international teaching are qualified and talented professionals. I know too that there are and will always be some rotten apples in the barrel hence there will be some less than honest reviews on ISR from disgruntled teachers. What all or most international teachers know, is that MOST OF THESE REVIEWS ARE GENUINE.

      It is therefore up to schools who are crying foul to examine their policies and modus operandi and yes, continue to relieve professional ‘holiday makers’ and ‘travel enthusiasts’ of teaching jobs in the name of Education.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Your remark infers that this site only publishes negative reviews. I wanted to post a positive review about my school because I have really enjoyed my time. My “positive” post was added and has helped my school recruit in the process. Most international schools do not have to abide by the same laws as schools in the US. If shady practices are going on, people should know about it.Schools and administrators don’t get to operate with impunity and should be called on the carpet when they do.

      However, I would like it if more teachers stepped up to present positive posts as well. There are many great schools out there and you have to take each negative review with a grain of salt. A positive review here and there helps that process.

      Like

    • Expat 4 life says:

      What’s fun is working at one of these “disgraced” schools for 5 years, reading all of the “slander” and nodding my head profusely and laughing at all of the atrocities of poor personal and school management. The fact that all departing employees do not use this site to substantiate or refute claims made by others is choice.
      ISR is a great tool to follow repeated posts that show a constancy of claims… or conversely note that some schools have never had a review – that is how I chose my next school.
      I am leaving a poorly rated school for one with no rating at all. My expectation is it will have better working conditions.

      Use this site at your own discretion. If you do not like what is on it – choose not to read it.. If you are a poorly rated school or administrator – use it to better yourself, or again refrain from best practice.

      Like

  31. stephanie says:

    I agree with the poster above! Keep fighting the good fight, ISR! We appreciate you!

    Like

  32. Second Time Around says:

    My school shared the letter they sent to you with the entire faculty. They school wanted ISR to tell them who posted the reviews or they would take legal action. When they were unable to extract that information they told us they were suing you. They then went on an extensive witch hunt to try and ferret out the person/s who posted the reviews. They called us in one at a time to be interrogated by the school lawyer. The school even claimed they knew someone who worked at ISR and that person would tell them who wrote the stuff. They never found out who wrote the reviews and even threatened to withhold our paychecks if someone didn’t step forward and tell. The school was acting exactly as they were portrayed in their reviews. Why was I not surprised?

    Well…instead of calling us together as a group and discussing our grievances in an effort to improve the school, they chose to squander the opportunity and turn the situation into a tribunal. I’ve left this hell hole but when I read current reviews of this place things haven’t changed. Thanks ISR for providing us with this venue. You’ve saved my rear more than once. I hope my reviews have helped others avoid the place I just mentioned.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      excellent, I make it a point to post good reviews also, to give credit where it is due or not due

      Like

    • Keith Miller says:

      This sort of behavior by the school authorities appears to validate the review.

      Like

    • Given the semi-literate quality of these threats and their “protests too much” quality, they can be safely ignored, or seen as a warning to stay away from places that come up with these sqwauks.

      Like

    • David Lederman says:

      Having worked at a school run by a paranoid tyrant who nothing about education and now at a school that is affiliated with the US embassy, I can honestly say that it is, in my opinion, privately owned school owners who do not want ISR to exist. The reason why there are so many negative reviews of so many international school is because so many of them are run for-profit by people who either don’t know anything about education or who don’t care about the quality of education. Furthermore, such people aren’t used to having people talk back to them… they are tyrants and most of them are not from the US and have the mindset that you are their servant and nothing else. Having been exposed to this very early in my international teaching career I make sure that a school is ethical before I consider them.

      I consider ISR to be an excellent resource to finding out about schools. Many of the schools which are reviewed here indeed are awful schools. I have worked at one of them and presently have friends at others. Unfortunately, that is the majority of the schools in the international arena in my opinion. Read reviews carefully and take them with a grain of salt, yes, but if a school consistently gets negative reviews, or gets reviews that are negative counterbalanced by reviews that seem that they are written by management, avoid them. I know because I worked at such a school and the tyrants couldn’t stand the negative reviews they were getting so they had a teacher write a glowing review. And then on a local expat website, they themselves wrote themselves a glowing review.

      In short, if there are red flags going up in your mind about a school, AVOID. You do not want to be abroad and deal with these people.

      Like

    • I would agree about the school being called out in this situation. Bad form. The school should remind everyone to be civil, privately voice complaints/suggestions, and move on. If you want someone to be civil towards you, you must be civil towards them. School fail here.

      Like

    • Andrew Somers says:

      I follow ISR out of a general interest. It does give voice to mostly a disgruntled lot many of whom take no responsibility for their own behaviour. It is a disservice to many schools whose reputation is besmirched unfairly. It says something that few bother to dispute the statements – probably that most don’t take it seriously. I’m sure there are better ways to serve the teaching community than publishing much of what appears here.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s