What to Believe?

ISR-on-laptopDear Staff @ ISR,
I’m new to overseas teaching and hoping to go international for the first time this upcoming academic year. I’ve been researching schools and I found your website quite by accident. I became a member, and truthfully I’m just not sure what to think!

Here’s an example of what confuses me: The website of a school I’m looking into is professionally done with a bird’s-eye panoramic view of a campus that rivals any K-12 school here in Ohio (USA). However — a review on your website says the school just rents one floor of a building from the university shown in the photo. The school’s website makes it seem like they own everything in the photo. It looks impressive! So what’s the truth?

I’m also finding major discrepancies between what some school websites have to say and the reviews on ISR. I don’t know what to believe. It’s just hard for me to fathom that some of the stuff on your website actually happens.

I am writing to ask what you guys have to say about what I’m telling you. If you would be so kind as to write back and give me your take on this it would really help me.
Thanks,
A Newcomer to international teaching

Dear Newbie,
Thanks for writing with your question. This is an interesting and deserving topic of discussion. Because there are many, many facets to your question and a simple answer will not suffice, we plan to include your comments in our upcoming Newsletter. We’ll add a blog feature so teachers familiar with both ISR and the realities of teaching overseas can leave insightful comments.

This should offer a comprehensive answer to your query. I’ve checked and you are on our Newsletter mailing list so keep an eye out for Thursday’s newsletter. This topic should be of help to other educators new to International teaching.

Thanks for joining and supporting ISR, and for taking the time to write.
Best Regards,
Ben @ ISR

Please scroll down to comment

38 Responses to What to Believe?

  1. DB1 says:

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned the hard way it’s to assume that (almost) every school promotional photo or video, especially those on websites, is staged, enhanced, faked, created, or otherwise maximized to reflect a perfection that likely does not exist. Websites are ads. They are advertising aimed at perspective students/parents and they are advertising to perspective staff. Many middle to high profile schools have promotion/marketing departments populated by people (unconnected to to education) who manage the school’s image. The best “teaching and being a part of a community” experience I ever had was at a small, under-the-radar school in Japan that had a very casual vibe, ONE administrator, no promotions department, modest and very honest promotional materials containing “day in the life” photos taken by teachers and students! The worst experience? Big, for profit SE Asian school that actually cancelled a real class of mine so we could stage a photo shoot (with professional photographers, lighting and crew) of a fake class comprised of pre-selected, especially attractive students – some of which I did not even know. I had to strike dramatic, exaggerated, teacher-ish poses before them as the camera clicked away. It was professionally traumatic for me. Photos ended up on website and public adverts. I did my two years.

    Not to hammer the obvious but if a school (especially a proprietary institution in a hot climate) tries to dazzle you with too many images of palatial, ultra-modern facilities and parklike grounds, or can only talk to you about about villas, golf access, private clubs, servants and cheap, lavish dining – take heed. If they cannot articulately hold forth, with specificity, on curriculum, workload, academic/social school culture – take heed again. Don’t get hypnotized by salary figures. Caveat emptor. You are the emptor.

    ISR reviews? Anecdotal, possibly helpful, often interesting, sometimes lurid, always worth reading…but always the subjective opinions of individuals and the positive or negative personal experiences they’ve had. Use them to temper your views on a school, but in the end you must do your own homework.

    Like

    • Steven says:

      Hi, I completely agree with you about the lesson we all should learn about private schools (and companies).
      Except for canceling your class, what did you have against the staged photo shoot? Why was it professionally traumatic?

      I have been through a handful of these experiences, too. Also, I’m a photographer and amateur videographer.

      Could I ask others who’ve been through this to answer these questions, too?
      Thanks, Steven

      Like

      • DB1 says:

        They cancelled a real class to stage a fake class in an attempt to look real. Instead of allowing a real teaching/learning experience to happen, they opted for one that was not real in order to outfit an idealized vision of what one should look like. Meanwhile my “real” students sat in the hall. No instruction that day. The irony of it all was bittersweet

        As someone who had prior to this (and has since) taken pride in planning authentic, sensible and effectively used instructional time, the experience shook me. On that day I realized what was really important to the school (the appearance of things as opposed to the substance of things) and thus the kind of devil I was dancing with.

        I have nothing against the photo guys. They were 100% pros and we had some laughs. The entire situation was what bugged me.

        Like

        • It was a wide topic of discussion at my most recent school (with which I soon parted company) that everything was about appearance, very little about substance. I fear that there are too many international schools of which this might be said.

          Like

      • Teach says:

        I laughed at canceling your classes for a photo shoot. Honestly, that happens all over. It frequently happened at a school district I taught in, in the US. They only wanted the best photos for the district and school websites, billboards, pamphlets. This is not something exclusive to international schools. Ha, ha!

        Like

  2. Gillian says:

    some teachers have a grudge against the school and so write a bad review. other schools have a string of bad reviews, how many do you need before you see a pattern? some reviews are obviously written by the owners/principle. Use your brain. If there are no reviews, it usually means the school is OK.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      “Use your brain. If there are no reviews, it usually means the school is OK.” I disagree with this comment. A previous school that I worked at didn’t have reviews because the admin were so powerful, teachers were scared to post their views. We would all talk about the lack of ISR reviews and talk about how we should have the guts to do something to let prospective teachers know the truth. A whole bunch of us have left that school and a few have finally written truthful accounts, AND they’re interspersed with reviews obviously written by the administrators themselves; so yes, they write on ISR too to counter the negative reviews. Take it all with a grain of salt and know that every piece of information you receive helps you to make an informed decision.

      Like

  3. TRAVELINGTEACHER says:

    Hi Newbie! I agree with you on both of your inquiries. My spouse and I both felt the same way as you, and good for you for asking!!! These are the types of questions many wonder, but fail to ask. As for me, I too stumbled upon this site while researching teaching overseas. It was VERY helpful, but as others have said I had to start taking each review with a grain of salt. I have a system now of how I read the reviews. If they are completely negative, then I usually chalk them up to a disgruntled employee and definitely take their opinion with a grain of salt. If the person reviewing talks about the pros and cons of the school and the city and gives honest suggestions of what the school did right, and what they could have done better with a positive constructive criticism type of review,- Then, I am more apt to take their words as honest and helpful.
    The school we chose to work for did not have any reviews when we accepted the jobs, but I was not too worried. Because, I had learned from other reviews, mostly on ISR, the right questions to ask and the right answers to look for. We also made sure to ask to talk to several employees at the school before we decided to even consider going there. I soon found out the reason the school did not have any reviews was not because it was shady, but just the fact the school was well established and had good integrity. The company/school (Not for a Profit) did not need reviews to get teachers to consider working for them. I take that as a good sign! Sometimes if there are no reviews, it CAN be a good thing. So, don’t just take someone’s post here saying that it’s always a bad thing to not have a review.-or to be weary of schools that don’t have reviews as the only way to decide on a school. It isn’t always the case. Anyway, That is just my two cents. I have been teaching Internationally for 7 years, and all at the initial school that we accepted the offers from. So, I can’t say I have a lot of experience with different schools, but I can only tell you our experience.
    I do agree with the teachers though that posted and said sometimes people will not be honest or do reviews, because they are in fear of losing employment. I think that could very well be the case for some schools, but I just know it wasn’t the case for ours. I check the reviews occasionally when it is time for our contracts to be up every few years, and just take a look at what is new. I have to say, I do get frustrated when I read one glowing review and then one that is completely awful right under it. Also, some of the reviews are quite old, so I always wonder if the school got better and that is why they stopped reviewing it, or just too many bad reviews caused the school/company to threaten their employees to not do reviews anymore, or they would be found out and fired? Who knows?? It’s strange to me when they just stop.
    Regardless, I find this site serves a purpose, and I would have been lost going to my first interviews without it. I also found a really quaint, small ebook that I downloaded about teaching overseas. It was written by a woman, not sure who anymore, but it was like $30, and actually very helpful! I was a little worried we had just thrown away $30, and we were dirt poor back then, haha! But it had some really good ideas and ways to organize yourself when going through all the fact sheets from your Job Fair you signed up for. (Which I recommend you make sure to do, even if you don’t end up going. The Iowa Job fair was the one we chose, because it was recommended by the ebook, and we saw it mentioned on most of the schools websites that we were interested in. It was also very well established and at that time, did not have a finder’s fee).The ebook even told you good questions to ask that we didn’t come up with from just reading things on this site. So that being said, you might want to look for something like that too.
    As for school websites, my spouse and I can honestly say it was not our school’s website that sold us on the school. LOL! The website was pretty archaic and needed updating. It looked pretty puny compared to a lot of the other schools we were looking at. But, it was honest, and the pictures were exactly what the real school looked like. The students and teachers were all real too. We saw plenty of other SUPER COOL websites that made their schools look like the best place ever, but then soon found out through talking to others and actually interviewing with a few of the “said schools,” that they were exaggerating quite a bit. So yes, websites can be deceiving. It’s better if you can actually get some of the employees at the schools to send you real pictures they just have for themselves.
    Once we signed up for the job fair, we started getting emails from several schools that had positions that were a good fit for us. So, that is when we started building the relationship, so we could get to the point that they would allow us to reach out to the teachers that were already there. If they are welcome to doing this and everything matches up with what they said and what their employees said (don’t just talk to one or two…make more like three or four), then I would say that the school is worth considering. We had a situation where we were interested in a school in South America. They were nice about emailing back and forth, and even offered their whole faculty directory of school emails so we could talk to whomever we chose. The employees were very honest and gave us the pros and cons. We had a young child at the time with a few medical conditions that she has now outgrown, but all the teachers and admin. we spoke to were very honest about the living conditions of the area we would be in, and that it was very common for us to be without water on certain days or electricity, because it was rationed. That was crucial for us to know since our child had asthma, and sometimes needed electricity for her nebulizer! So, we were very thankful that they were not trying to sugar coat their school or city. They were just honest people looking for good teachers for their school. Hope this helps, and feel free to reply directly back to me if you would like more information or just have questions. We wish we had had helpful overseas teachers to ask questions to more often at first. It’s a great opportunity, and I thank ISR for choosing your questions for their blog this Thursday! You rock ISR for being so open and forth right about these misconceptions.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect the e-book mentioned in this review (above) is the one you receive when you join joyjobs – $40 in today’s money. Yes, it is excellent value, although slightly dated. However, note I have followed their advice and have been receiving many more interviews (and it is harder for me, in middle and higher leadership positions).

      Good luck, everyone, in your searches!

      Like

      • gw says:

        I tend to work at smaller schools in developing countries and none of them had any reveiws in ISR. Thankfully all them were good places to work. Also I am a bit skeptical about schools that only have one or two reviews.

        Like

      • Traveling Teacher says:

        I did not receive it after joining anything. I just researched International Teaching, and it popped up.

        Like

  4. I’ve worked at four international schools so far, after a career of 16 years as a teacher and 8 as an administrator in the States. The school I’m at now, in Africa, is awesome. There are no discrepancies in our website and our practice. That would be unacceptable to the entire school community, from the board to the staff, because integrity is highly valued here. Naturally I feel extremely fortunate to be part of this school. The first international school I worked at, in Bangkok, although it had huge problems with the integrity of its administrative team, attracted the upper echelon of the social strata in the area, and it would have been suicide for this school to have lied about what it was. It had an amazing campus (like a small college campus in the States), wonderful students, and a dedicated faculty. A great place to work at in spite of the dicey administrative team.

    It’s interesting that both the school I’m at now and the one in Bangkok are both over fifty years old. In other words, they have had time to get their act together. Plus neither of these schools is a for-profit school.

    The other two “international” schools I worked at, both of which were located in the Middle East, and both of which were for-profit schools, were a complete nightmare. Integrity was not a highly-valued trait at either of these schools. In fact, exercising this trait caused intense suspicion to be directed at one as a staff member. The trait was too risky for the owners of these schools to deal with. Contracts were an inconvenient cost of doing business, and were violated at will. Racism was rampant. I could go on and on. Lesson learned the hard way – twice! I would be extremely careful before I worked at a for-profit international school again, though I know that good ones exist.

    One problem in the question of being forewarned, and in being able to discern what to believe, is that to this day I don’t know that I could have found out enough information about these two nightmare schools beforehand to have avoided them. It wasn’t possible to visit the campuses beforehand, being in another part of the world. Neither of these schools at the time were listed on ISR. I had no access to contact other staff working at the school, and even if I had, it would have been awkward, bordering on unprofessional, to have contacted them to try to get the “real” scoop on the school. Not that they would have been willing to reveal it, for obvious reasons.

    After my awful experience with the last of these two schools, I simply wouldn’t go to any international school that’s not reviewed on ISR. And since then I have declined invitations to interview for positions at schools that looked great on their websites but had a pattern of negative reviews on ISR. As has been mentioned by other commenters to this post, it’s the pattern of reviews you have to look at. If the pattern is negative, avoid the school. That’s about the one thing you can say. It’s not worth it, in my experience, to end up at a nightmare school just to rack up some international school experience. Along with the two-years of real-time heartache, going to a bad school is likely to hurt you in the long run: hurt your effectiveness as a teacher, hurt your resume, hurt your idealism, etc. Do your homework, and find a decent school. Avoid those that have a pattern of negative reviews on ISR.

    Like

  5. Tom Jr. says:

    At my first job they told me I would be in Bangkok, we were 1/2 an hour out of town. They told us we would have a 3 month initial lease, it was changed to a one year on the day we arrived. Some of these schools are desperate to get teachers and will do and say anything to obtain them. You can usually tell in the interview which direction the interview is going, if they seem like they are working to sell themselves and less interested in seeing you sell yourself then you know you have a problem.

    Like

  6. Anonymous says:

    Buyer beware; location location location; keep your wits about you; be prepared to forgo your thinking ( what’s right and what should be); you can’t change the world; forget about ideals. Be open minded to the situation you find yourself in and make the most of it, take it for what it is; decide why you’re going-saving, culture, experience, career move. Don’t be blindsided by the negativity that you will experience, as you decide whether to join in and become part of that movement or be part of the movement to get on with it and take it for what it is. Again you can’t change the world. You are a commodity and the sooner you realise that the sooner you will realise where you fit.
    Keep asking questions as previous post shave commented, you probably will get a half hearted response as we are employed and don’t want to become unemployed. You need to be savvy, best of luck. International education is not what it used to be and these posts are pretty on the spot.

    Like

  7. gw says:

    I wish all the people who have replied to the reader’s questions would also write comments about their school on the ISR website. One problem with the review is that some schools have so few comments. One or two disgruntled reviews might be realistic or just coming from a few bad apples.
    One important thing to realize is that a change in a director can completely change a school – for better or worse.
    Try to get emails contacts from staff currently working at the school you are interested in.

    Like

  8. deleted says:

    I have been teaching internationally for over years and most of my experiences have been positive. The only one that I would stay away from is working for a man name Peter Hodge who is a ´principal´(I use that term loosely) for GEMS ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT!
    1. On arrival at the very wee hours of the morning I was collected by a driver who didn´t speak any English. I was then taken to a flat with no telephone, no TV, No internet, No sim card.. NO way to communicate with anyone for days.
    2. All the flats were sub standard and although he said he would visit all flats and make recommendations, he didn´t.
    3. Complaints went on unattended for long periods of time till one has to take action yourself and that becomes costly and aggravation.
    The list goes on…..

    Research! Research! then hope for the best.
    Contact other people for info and hope for the best
    If you are not happy when you arrive give them time to fix the problem and if no success… LEAVE

    Like

  9. Sarah says:

    Hi Newbie

    I’ve been teaching internationally for 14 years now. Regarding the reviews you read I believe you have to take some with a pinch of salt. By human nature we tend to write complaints rather than positive comments. It would be interesting to see what percentage of posts of negative and what percentage are positive. It’s also down to the perception of the individual. For example one teacher posted about how poorly behaved kids were at one school I was at. But really the kids were fantastic. He just didn’t have very good class management skills. You need to do thorough research which includes reading reviews on this website as well as looking at the school website, but you should also ask for contact details of someone at the school who works in your department or year group to ask questions as well. Also you should be able to read inspection reports of schools which are members of BSO, CIS or other accrediting bodies. There are also many countries such as UAE which operate their own inspections and you will have access to these independent reports too. The number of international schools in the world has quadrupled in the last 10 years and I think the quality has significantly improved as more and more countries are introducing regulatory bodies to hold schools accountable. I’m hopeful the number of unscrupulous schools are fewer and that the main decisions to make is whether the culture and direction of the school is a good fit for you. One school may be a bad fit for you, but dreadful for another. All schools have their positives and negatives and it’s whether you can grow with the school, help develop the negatives and enjoy the positives. Good luck!

    Like

  10. Anonymous says:

    Use websites (this one and others), reviews, and try to contact a current teacher at the school. You will never know for sure until you get there.

    HOWEVER, once you are in the “international system”, you will begin to get a good feel of schools’ reputations. You will learn which ones are famous and respected in certain sections of the world. That will be the main drive for you to reach out to one of those schools.

    In other words, your first international teaching position should be viewed as somewhat temporary, though I would recommend staying there 3 or more years, as it looks much better to future employers (many top-tier schools don’t want to hire the “2 year” crowd of traveller teachers).

    Like

  11. Steven says:

    Hello Newbie, posters, and readers!
    I agree that you MUST do your homework. Looking at a website or video or even meeting with a school rep or recruiter does not qualify for a complete profile of any school.
    I worked for an international school in Vietnam (run by a Korean man for mostly Korean expats and their family) for one year. I saw their promo stuff that were complete fabrications. This was mixed with some truths. They had pictures ripped off from the internet displaying their school. They wrote lies about having a gymnasium, and recreation center. They promised the world to the prospective students (e.g., students will be fluent in English in one year), which were impossible tasks. Basically, they lied … a lot!
    As a teacher, this school was a pretty good deal with a good salary, comfortable living conditions, small classes, good resources, hard-working teachers, and a dedicated, knowledgeable principal. Unfortunately, this did not stay this way for the entire year. The principal was fired (for unjust causes), some staff were fired or threatened to be fired, the resources didn’t come through any more, the staff became corrupt, and our visas never came.
    So, the entire faculty, except one, left.
    Please use this website and other like it to find out what is real about the schools you’re interested in.
    A small word of caution: Some reviewers are written in the raw moment after a problem was not resolved or resolved unfairly or resolved fairly, but against the reviewer.
    A colleague of mine wrote reviews of my current school (on FB sites, and other review sites) that was very skewed and did not include the situation accurately. I have to say that his review was not fair, accurate, forthcoming, or entirely honest.
    Use reviews to find patterns.
    Lastly, I wish you great success in finding a school and life abroad!
    Steven

    Like

  12. Anonymous says:

    All schools try to present themselves in the best possible “light”. Best to start with reading reviews on ISR and then network to see if you may know someone who knows someone who is at the school you are thinking of working at. I have personally found contacting teachers at the prospective school a bit of a waste of time because they are limited in what they can say. Most people who are at a miserable school will hide it because they can’t escape that school without being on positive terms with the school. The international teaching world is so very small we all have to be extremely careful what we say because we never know when it will come back and bite us. However most teachers will tell their friends how the situation is at their school without thinking twice but they will not tell the same information to a perspective teacher because it may get back to their boss.

    Sometimes if a school is very small people will even be afraid to post on ISR or will speak very generally which was the case at my last school. If someone is willing to post a negative review on ISR it means they feel so strongly about it that they posted despite the possibility of being identified due to the details they gave.

    I personally will NOT consider working for a school that had a negative review on ISR unless the review is very old and the admin has completely turned over and even then maybe NOT. This is because of my experience at my current school. My current school had several negative postings on ISR. I was told during an interview those items had been addressed by the school. Upon arrival I found out otherwise and now it has been a miserable 2 years of smiling and trying to “make nice” so I can escape this hell hole and go onto something better.

    One last word of advice, always follow your gut feeling. If you have any apprehensions walk away, no make that run away. Your gut level instinct is almost always right.

    Like

  13. Miall says:

    When I am considering a job with an o/s school I ask the myself the following questions;
    1. Is it a country I would like to live in for a while,
    2. Does the salary offered allow me to live comfortably in that country,
    3. Is it easy to obtain an exit visa,
    4. Then research the country (particularly the availability of a first world medical service – in some form),
    5. Then research the school.
    Approach the job as a traveler first and a teacher second and take all the precautions you would take when considering travelling to another country e.g. have enough money saved to that will allow you to ‘travel’ in that country and also have a return flight booked.

    Like

  14. Anonymous says:

    There are other websites too that have school evaluations. Check them out. Best advice: read the comments here, and try to connect with Skype or EMail to people working at the school. Everybody would be willing to give info, no doubt. We are all in the same boat there! I am working 20+ years international, and was disappointed once (my current school). Reason: I trusted the opinion of a couple working there (and the school had no reviews online yet). Now I know, I should have asked others too. This couple just does not criticise, use no tech, are not involved in other school activities other than teaching. They don’t even check Mails over the weekend. They are happy with this mediocre for-profit school, and I am not. You see, do your extended homework, it pays off.

    Like

  15. Tom says:

    Many of the comments mention doing your ‘homework’ and also taking what you might read/hear with several grains of salt. Having said that, my experiences from a couple of decades worth of working as a teacher/administrator in private,international schools have led me to the following:
    Yes, the horror stories you may read/hear about are generally true, and likely much worse that you don’t know about. My experiences with many administrators and quite a lot of teachers is that they wouldn’t be able to get hired or keep a position in their own countries. International private schools in many parts of the world are ‘for profit’ which means ethical standards are disregarded if they conflict with making money for the owners. International teaching is not for the faint of heart. Some have delightful even transformative experiences, but those are in the minority. Basic rule of thumb…try not to have any great expectations, be very flexible, and always keep your passport and an open airline ticket out of wherever you may be.

    Like

  16. Ken says:

    When reading the comments on this website, you will find many are very negative. If you read many comments about a school though, you should begin to see a theme emerge. Different people have different tolerance levels regarding corruption and lack of due process. I have worked in 6 international school in different parts of the world. Most are not what they claim to be.
    Be very careful

    Like

  17. E.C.S says:

    I would say it was obvious that what you see on the website is going to differ from reality. A website is generally for advertising a product and this is of course the case for a school, if you make it look good it is going to attract people.

    Applying for overseas jobs via the internet is a huge risk especially if there is very little information on what the school is like. It is also worth remembering that once you get somewhere you are very vulnerable and pretty much at the mercy of the school you have signed a contract with. Some are fair many are not.

    The only real way to find out what you are getting into is by personally speaking to more than one teacher who has worked, or better still is still working at the school. If possible go and see the school.

    I am not trying to disillusion you but I know from experience that there are a huge amount of very bad international schools out there and it pays to be very cautious before accepting any job.

    Like

  18. omgarsenal says:

    Hey newbie…….very valid concerns but here’s what you should always do, as a minimum before taking anything for the absolute truth, either on ISR or the schools’ websites:

    1)Prepare a list of questions you have about things that confuse or concern you. Be as specific as possible.
    2)Keep this list close at hand and either e-mail the prospective school or call them, if that is feasible. Don’t speak to their personnel or Hr department but rather the director-general or failing that, the section principal.
    3)Surf the net and check out what is said about the potential target schools you are considering. There is a ton of information out there….some true,some rather biased and a lot of spin as well.
    4) Read the reviews on ISR and if you can, connect with some of the reviewers, You can ask them to contact you as well, and many will reply. They’ll give you the real low-down and what to expect if you apply to their school. Most teachers are fair-minded and honest to a fault, but always ask intelligent questions, prepared beforehand or at least based on what you’ve heard,read or learnt.

    do your due diligence and use existing resources to help you clarify your concerns….be frank but positive when questioning people….most interviewers and hiring professionals like that.

    Like

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am at my 4th international school and found all of the schools to be worthwhile. Was everything up front. NO! However, I could say the same for working at several schools in the US. This is a good web site to get information. However, take it with a grain of salt. If you are concerned-ask. Going through one of the job fairs can help as well. I researched my current school for years and have wanted to work with this specific school in this specific country and now I am. It is a very good fit, much better than some of the others. That doesn’t mean, I wasn’t happy at the other schools, they just weren’t long term for me. My suggestion is- always talk to someone who has worked at your school who is not trying to hire you, but not someone whois angry and bitter. Good reputations are hard to get, bad ones can be a matter of opinion. However, some are deserved, so do your homework and get connected.

    Like

  20. Re your comment: “It’s just hard for me to fathom that some of the stuff on your website actually happens.”

    OK, I’ve been in education for 20 years and in international education for 5 years. I don’t want to sound like some old cynic, but believe me, all that stuff happens. I’m reminded of what Balzac once wrote: “Believe everything you hear about the world. Nothing is too impossibly bad.”

    Like

  21. Brian Meegan says:

    Sym’s Clothing Store in New York City used to have a motto worth following: “An educated consumer is our best customer.” In the case of teachers, I think this is very appropriate. Read, read and read some more on any school you are considering. And make sure to find out early on if the school you are considering is a not-for-profit or a for-profit school.

    Like

    • Wizzy says:

      @Brian Meegan. Your comment is perfectly stated. I cannot stress more about the looking into whether the school is not-for-profit or for-profit school.
      I have worked in for-profit schools and it was a complete nightmare. Parents not educators ran the school. From grade inflation to curriculum.

      Like

      • Tom Jr. says:

        Yes, but you also have schools that say “not for profit” but in that particular country it has a different meaning. For example, if the board members own the land that the school is on they receive the rent money. That means that is the school is doing very well they can raise the rent, so to speak. One school I was at made all of the teachers live in housing that was owned by the board. That meant that the school(board members) were making a profit off the school.

        Like

  22. Ouch!!! says:

    I was completely burnt and tricked into going to a school after seeing a professional video and the very well done school web site. this was many years ago so I won’t mention the school. I’m convinced the creator of the video and web site could make a mosquito infested swamp look like the deep-blue Caribbean. This all took place pre ISR and the reviews I later saw of the school substantiated the huge discrepancy I experienced between reality and the electronic images I fell for. The place may be better these days with the new admin – at least that’s what the more recent reviews are saying – so I’m sure things have changed. My advice is to take these school web site with a grain of salt and invest some time into finding out what teachers who have been at the school have to say.

    Like

  23. whatonomy says:

    You raise an interesting point. You need to take some ISReviews with a pinch of salt. Most are good faith, but a minority of them are sour grapes or deliberately misleading (both positive and negative). Look for patterns across multiple comments to get closer to the truth.

    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