Sign on as Local Hire, or Not?

February 26, 2015

overseas-vs-foreign-hireDear ISR, I’m confused and thought I better write for some advice.

Here’s the deal: I recruited at 2 fairs and it became painfully obvious that sixth grade teachers are not in high demand in international schools. Thank goodness I was offered a job, but with local hire status. To get the job, I have fly to the school and fill out an application for employment in person–not a big deal since it’s in Central America.

Maybe it’s just me, though, but it seems sneaky to hire me outside the fair. I’m also a little concerned about signing a contract in a foreign country. Then again, if I don’t like the job I can simply walk away from it and what’s the school going to do, report me to the recruiting agency?

I really do want to live overseas but want to make sure I’m not doing something I’ll regret. I’m a 26 year old female and have been teaching for 4 years in the States. I would love to get some advice and hear the real life experiences of ISR readers who may have gone overseas as local hires.

Thanks ISR, love your web site!


Write a Review…or Else!

February 19, 2015

unhappy-at-computer51853762  It appears that in an effort to attract teaching candidates, at least one International School has opted to demand Reviews from their teaching staff. Over these past weeks of recruiting season, ISR has received 3 emails from teachers reporting they were denied Letters of Reference until they posted a glowingly positive Review of their school and locale. With a little detective work you can spot such an extorted Review. Here’s how:

Let’s say the first 16 Reviews paint a picture of low pay, micro-management, despicable housing, unruly students, lack of supplies (as in, one photo copier for the entire school), non-existent professional development, no admin support, and a slow-as-molasses Internet connection. In stark contrast, Reviews 17-19 portray the School as the best thing that could ever happened to your teaching career and advises you to jump at the chance to teach there!! These last few Reviews would certainly be suspect to such extortion, wouldn’t you agree?

Likewise, when a known hot-spot danger zone is reviewed as a lovely city w/ plenty to do, or I always feel safe here (when just last month there were kidnappings of Westerners) and yet the evaluation rubric displays a 9/10 for Security, it should make you wonder if the poster never leaves the school compound or if their Letter of Reference is being held hostage by an unscrupulous school.

Exercising common sense and due diligence go a long way when reading Reviews on ISR. We choose to believe the majority of International Schools are forthright educational institutions with the best interests of students, parents and teachers in mind. But keep in mind, it’s those few landmines out there, both schools and locales, that you surely want to avoid. If a school suddenly sounds too good to be true, proceed with caution!

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Answers to ALL Your Questions

February 12, 2015

As of 5/15/2017, with nearly 45,283 posts organized under 5075 topics encompassing every imaginable aspect of International Education, the ISR FORUM has earned its place as a veritable compendium of ALL things related to International Teaching. Best of all, the ISR Forum is FREE for all! This recruiting season & throughout the year, we encourage you to take part in the largest, on line community of International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed.
Hopeful tales of single mothers being hired?
Renewing a US driver’s license when you work overseas
When did YOU get hired?
Legality of breaking contract in China….help?
How did you get your International School career started?
Getting hubby certified; improving our chances
Qualification quandary
30 applications, 0 interviews
How to list a trailing spouse on Search
Filing taxes

More Timely Topics are Just a Click Away on the

Schools That Change Their Names

February 5, 2015

rebrandingOver the years, we’ve noticed that some International Schools have changed their names, some more drastically than others. Why would a school do this? Here are our thoughts on the topic.

#1. It makes good sense that a school would add a word or two to its name to reflect a major change. For example, with the addition of a second language as the medium of instruction, the International School of Jupiter might become the Bilingual School of Jupiter. Likewise, adopting a Montessori format would prompt the addition of the word “Montessori” to an institution’s name.

#2. If a school were to expand its enrollment policies to include International students and not just locals, it stands to reason that it may decide to change its name from The Jupiter School in Crater One to The Jupiter International School in Crater One. Or, even simply The International School of Jupiter.

#3. Some schools, however, change their names so thoroughly that any and all connections to their former identity is totally erased. Why would the International School of Jupiter become Pluto Neighborhood School of International Education? Of the 13 International Schools listed below, 12 changed their names to just such an extent.

Are drastic name changes done for tax and/or licensing reasons? Or, is it an indication of new ownership or a complete overhaul of the facilities, programs & procedures? Are the name-changing reasons authentic and transparent, or are they to thwart unwanted attention from the glare of previous poor publicity and misdeeds? We do wonder why, if at all possible, a school wouldn’t want to retain at least some connection to its previous name, especially if  it were proud of its accomplishments & reputation under that name?

We speculate that a complete name change, especially in the absence of a regulatory advantage, new ownership or a major overhaul, may be motivated by promotional goals or motives similar to those of a person who changes their name from Bob Smith to Awesome McWonderful.

Of course, all these ideas are just speculation on our part. If YOU have taught at a school that changed its name, we invite you to share your experience. What prompted your school to change its name? What was accomplished by changing the name? In your opinion, was this a good change or a bad one?

Schools Reviewed on ISR That Changed Their Names
Current Name
Former Name
Beijing International Bilingual Academy China Kinstar International Bilingual School
Busan International Foreign School Korea International School Busan
Yongsan International School Seoul
International Christian School
American Baccalaureate School Kuwait American Bilingual School
Canadian Bilingual School Kuwait Gulf International School
International School Myanmar Yangon International Education Center
Muscat International School Oman Muscat Private School
Doha British School Qatar Doha Montessori British School
Awsaj Academy Qatar Learning Center School
Excelsior International School Singapore Emaar Raffles
Heathfield International School Thailand Lord Shaftesbury International School
Al Mizhar American Academy UAE American Academy for Girls
St. Paul American School Hanoi Vietnam American International School

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