Alcoholic in the Room Next Door?

October 30, 2014

drinking45647596Without a doubt, life overseas can be lonely at times. Being single at a small school, especially, may lead to feelings of isolation & possibly the need for a “little something” to lean on. Likewise, teachers may be tempted to “wash” away the stress & strain of a week at school if they’re in a party town where bars, clubs & cheap liquor are the norm or the only opportunity to socialize.

We all enjoy a drink off-and-on, be it wine, beer or spirits. But when liquor starts to affect teaching & on-the-job performance, there’s a problem. ISR is dotted with Reviews that complain of teachers who drink to excess & the effect this has on the teacher &/or their school.

We recently spotted the topic of alcohol on the ISR Forum. To expand the discussion, we’ve transplanted the topic to you, our Newsletter readers. Here’s the original post:

“At my current school, a disproportionate number of my colleagues seem to have very serious drinking problems. I’ve heard stories from teachers at other schools about colleagues who enjoying drinking quite a bit, but at this school it really seems to be a very big problem. Since it’s a small school and not easy to just distance yourself, I looked up Alcoholics Anonymous to see if there is a local chapter. No. These teachers seem like decent people, but their behavior – both outside and inside of school – seems to be effected by their alcoholism and its associated problems.
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Has anyone experienced anything similar and have you seen it dealt with in an effective way, either by the individuals themselves or by administrators? I am seriously expecting to walk in some morning and hear that one of them is dead . . . it’s that bad.”

Whether you’ recognize this trend in yourself, a colleague, or simply hoping to realign your school environment toward a healthier situation, what can you do when confronting the dark reality of alchohol abuse? Should you mind your own business, look the other way? Or, face possible ostracism by finding a way to bring help to others, even yourself? The international teaching community, or maybe even the teacher sitting right next to you may be seeking answers to just this question. Go to Blog

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Entitled Students & Powerless Teachers

October 23, 2014

powerlessISR has received an eye-opening letter from a teacher describing an extreme situation that we feel merits discussion among the International Schools Review community. We share this letter with you here and invite your comments:

Dear ISR, I’m currently in South America at a school that caters to wealthy locals and I have encountered a situation I’ve never been forced to confront in all my years teaching overseas. Here’s what happened….

Last Saturday I parked at the mall and as I made my way toward the entrance, the smell of marijuana coming from a BMW was so overwhelming I couldn’t resist turning my head to see who would be so blatant as to be smoking in such a public place, especially here in South America where very distinct laws are in place. I was shocked! In the front seats I glanced two of my high school’s students, one with joint in hand. They both saw me looking and I continued walking without looking back or saying a word.

Monday, before class, one of the boys came to see me, although he’s not a student of mine. He told me his parents are aware of his activities and should I report him to the school, his wealthy and well-connected parents will make ‘trouble for me’. He also brought up my son (also a student at the school), and I clearly got the idea that he was making a not so veiled threat. These kids here are rich and their sense of power and entitlement is off the charts. For all I know, his parents are in the drug business, possibly big time.

I did speak with the director but kept the incident hypothetical. His response was that unless something takes place on campus, “It’s none of our business.” I am stunned that these kids have the power to do as they please and threaten me into silence.

I’m feeling abused, helpless and vulnerable, for both my son and myself, and at this point I am seriously considering leaving for home. If this incident is any indication of how things operate here, I don’t care to be around at report card time!

Any comments or advice in any way, shape, or form from educators with a similar experience as mine, or thoughts on this topic would be very reassuring at this time.

Thanks ISR for being here for us. Sincerely,

(Name withheld by request)

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What Makes ISR Different?

October 9, 2014

fish54907403An ISR member posted the following topic to the ISR Forum & has received some engaging replies. With recruiting season about to switch into high gear, we wanted to share with you what members are saying about the ISR network of International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed. We hope you’ll join us!

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Click here to go to this topic on the ISR Forum


Choosing the Right Recruiting Agency and Fair

October 2, 2014

q-and-aChoosing the right Recruiting Agency and Job Fair can, and will, make all the difference between landing the perfect International teaching job or spending another year stuck in a rut you may deplore. If you’re new to International teacher recruiting, the chances are good that you have questions and/or concerns. You most likely are also looking for someone knowledgeable to ask.

Questions such as the difference between big Recruiting Agencies and how they compare to smaller Agencies, or the best Fair for a newbie, or which Fair to find a specific position (i.e. in Spanish-speaking countries) are inquires ISR receives on a regular basis. Many teachers are also looking for insight into the support they can expect to receive from a recruiter after they plunk down their money.

Choosing the Right Recruiting Agency and Fair is our newest ISR Blog venue, created in response to readers’ requests for a place to ask questions and get answers about Recruiting Agencies, their representatives and their Fairs. Teachers Keeping Each Informed is what ISR is All About! Your participation will be well appreciated by colleagues around the world.

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Note: Do you have a question about your chances of finding a job based on your own very unique qualifications & circumstances? If so, this is not the right Blog for you. Please post such questions to the ISR Forum where the number of responses has been impressive. (Example: “I have two kids, a degree in art & a husband who works from home….” ISR Forum)