The International Educators’ Bill of Rights – Protection we ALL deserve

  In the excitement of the upcoming recruiting season, as a newbie or seasoned veteran, remember that your first priority to yourself & your career should be to find out exactly what a school is asking you to commit to. Can this International School be counted on to treat their teaching staff honorably? Do they historically follow moral & legal rules of contractual engagement? Are they honest in their obligations to teachers & in compliance with their nations’ laws? While most International Schools are true to their word we can see on ISR that not all schools would be able to answer “Yes” to these questions.

Schools that withhold salaries, switch contract terms, substitute poor housing for promised housing, fail to reimburse visa, travel &/or shipping allowances, renege on health insurance & engage in other dishonest practices are not acceptable schools to work at by any stretch of the imagination. The International Educators’ Bill of Rights was created through the input of hundreds of educators working around the world who experienced just such abuses.

What would it take for a recruiting agency to bar a dishonorable school from their recruiting venue? Although we can verify that through the years a handful of schools have been banned from recruiting, based on ISR School Reviews there remains more than just a few schools that deserve to be sanctioned. And yet we find them listed to recruit at major venues this season.

Until the time recruiting agencies accept full responsibility for bringing abusive schools into compliance or banning them altogether, ISR recommends recruiting candidates consult the International Educators’ Bill of Rights as a yardstick by which to measure a school’s commitment to their teaching staff.

Why take chances with your personal well-being & your career? Before accepting an overseas teaching position ask the school Director if his/her school endorses basic rights for teachers as outlined in the International Educators’ Bill of Rights. You’ll be glad you did!

Click here to read International Educators’ Bill of Rights  
Click here to download/print International Educators’ Bill of Rights

3 thoughts on “The International Educators’ Bill of Rights – Protection we ALL deserve

  1. Please, can anyone tell me the “legal” amount of teaching hours that they may demand? A friend got employed at an international school, but they gave her 32 hours teaching a week, wheras the norm here in Kurdistan is about 25hours for expats.


    1. As far as I know, mostly from experience rather than a prescribed fact, is 26 (45 min) periods per week, or an equivalent thereof. However, that still doesn’t account for student numbers or number of preps (how many different or repetitive classes per week one has). E.g. my current school has nearly doubled the number of students I have in a couple of years, and my teaching periods went from 20 to 25, so according to them I have no right to complain because I am within the contractual norm – so to them the workload is almost the same.
      But if I may add something that hardly any school takes into account – differences between the programs. The IB has the toughest load, both for the students and the teachers (I currently work in a school offering three different programs, so it’s pretty obvious), and all the extra IB stuff is simply not accounted for in the schedule. Not to mention that usually a ton of dept/staff meetings, as well as those with students and parents, take up a ton of prep time. And if the school is undergoing an accreditation process or developing a curriculum – hardly any of them provide the time for it, it’s just dumped on the teachers on top of everything else. I remember a former colleague once commenting that “once she’s done with eeeeeverything they had us do, she miiiiiiiiiiight have SOME time left to teach”.
      I have no idea when was the last time that a teaching load norm was (re)evaluated, but I do know that my teachers had it the same when I was back in high school – and there was no differentiation, there was no individualism, there was no project-based anything, there was no experiential learning, no constant feedback, none of that which we are now supposed to be doing – which is somehow still all considered the same workload.


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