Home for the Summer – The Bond That Keeps Us Close

June 29, 2017

When I went overseas to teach in an International School I vowed to stay close to my family and friends back home. And I did. We Facebook-ed. I flew home every winter and summer vacation. I continued to be part of their lives, and they part of mine.

..As my years overseas turned into 11, 12 and more, staying “caught-up” with folks back home was….well, it wasn’t happening as I had planned. Not being there to experience life together on a daily basis put me out of touch. It didn’t help that I was returning home less often, opting to stay put and/or travel with colleagues sharing the international experience along with me.

..Long stretches of absence stealthily changed my relationship with family and friends. I’m far more than just a visitor when I do return home, but the “vibe” isn’t the same as if I were living there. I wasn’t around for my dad’s 82nd birthday bash, the birth of a good friend’s son, a wedding, a funeral, a graduation, a friend winning the battle with a dreaded disease, and the like. It’s shared experiences, good and bad, that grow relationships.

..It’s just not the same when you’re thousands of miles away witnessing life-impacting events on Facebook.  Through years and miles of separation I’ve slipped into the status of distant friend and even distant relative to some family members. I’ve been asked why I can’t be “happy” with good ‘ole American friends and neighborhoods. I keep my ever-expanding language skills to myself while back home. No one wants to hear about my like-minded colleagues/friends who share my “exotic” lifestyle. I’ve been accused of “bragging endlessly” about my around-the-world adventures when asked what I’ve “been up to” in far-flung posts.

..This summer I decided to make the trip home. No one wants to hear about, or can relate to my tales of climbing mountains to visit Buddhist Temples on rocky hill tops, scuba diving off tropical reefs in Thailand, or the fact I’m pretty good at three languages. Conversely, I don’t relate to their satisfaction in climbing the corporate ladder and amassing more and more stuff, most of it crammed into closets and the dank corners of garages. But underneath it all, we all know who each other is at heart, and that’s the bond that keeps us together through the years and miles. I just mostly listen and smile within, glad to be home.

To Share your experience and/or offer advice, please scroll down to Post.


Surprising Survey Results

June 22, 2017

Considering the quantity of School Reviews, both good and bad, that fill the pages of International Schools Review, our recent survey  What’s Your Next Step?  — produced some unanticipated results.

Of the 357 Educators who took our survey, a  full 80% of International Educators are staying in the game. Of the remaining respondents, just 5.3% said they will be breaking Contract.

It’s this number that surprised us. At ISR, we anticipated more Educators could be breaking Contract due to the increase in School Reviews from teachers obviously completely disgusted with their schools.

ISR Asks:

*  Is the fact 20% of International Educators are dropping out, some “unannounced” to their schools as of yet, an indication that job openings will be popping up in the near future? Is now the time to contact schools directly or are sudden vacancies just prior to the new school year a red light?

* Are International Educators willing to stick out truly awful schools, as reviewed on ISR, in order to keep the door open for a future opportunity to recruit for a better school?

*  Are International Educators willing to put up with the abuses outlined in some School Reviews simply for the opportunity to live overseas?

Please scroll to participate in this Discussion


June 15, 2017

With the academic year over or soon to be ending at International Schools around the globe, you no doubt have a clear idea of what the near future has in store for you. Take our quick Survey and check the real-time results to learn what’s up for your colleagues in the summer months and onward into the next school year. It’s always nice to know how YOU fit into the picture! Here’s your opportunity.


Go to follow-up survey results article


Comments? Please scroll to post

7 Nations Close Borders with Qatar

June 8, 2017

A sudden turn of events may adversely affect International Educators planning to, or currently working in Qatar and the surrounding region:

Monday, June 5 – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Yemen and the Maldives collectively cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. Citizens of these countries have been banned from traveling to Qatar, living there, or traveling through the country. Citizens of the aforementioned countries have 14 days to leave. The UAE and Egypt gave Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave. Middle Eastern airlines are canceling all routes to Qatar. The participating 7 nations have closed their airspace, along with land and sea borders with Qatar.

Qatar has long been accused of backing militant groups, including so-called Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda, which Qatar denies. It is believed that wealthy individuals in Qatar have made donations to terrorists and the government has given money and weapons to hard-line Islamic groups in Syria. Qatar is also accused of having links to a group formerly known as the Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate. The countries closing their borders with Qatar say they are doing so for security reasons.

While the US, UK and other Western nations have not levied actions against Qatar, the consequences of the 7 participating nations is sure to have an effect on teachers from every nation working in the region.

To discuss the significance of these events in relation to living/teaching in Qatar & the Gulf region in general, please Scroll down to participate.

For more information:
BBC  News
Aljazeera News
The Hill


Departing Thoughts

June 1, 2017

Whether you’re departing your International School for the very last time, or just heading home for the summer break, countless experiences have influenced how you’re feeling about saying goodbye. Some of us have had the experience of a lifetime and depart with reservations. Others of us will say we had a so-so experience but are ready to move on. Still others will say…This sucked–I’m glad to be out of this hell-hole of a school!

With summer vacation and/or completion of Contracts on the horizon, ISR asks: What are YOU thinking/feeling as you prepare to depart your school?

We’ve supplied a writing prompt to get you started. Just copy a statement (in green, below) that applies to you, paste it into the Reply Box and let ‘er rip. Keep it short or go into detail–it’s up to you.

Prompts & Examples

Prompt 1: As I make plans to leave my school for the very last time…
(sample reply – your experience may be different) I’m experiencing mixed emotions. I’ve formed some wonderful friendships with colleagues and host nationals. The kids have been a joy to teach and the parents have been supportive. I probably could have stayed longer but I just want to see what else is out there. I’m not getting any younger. I hope my next school is as special as this one. (Optional – Enter School name)

Prompt 2: As I make plans to head home for summer vacation…
(sample reply – your experience may be different) I feel relieved and ecstatic to be leaving this poor excuse of a school and putting this nightmare to rest for at least a few months. I’m seriously thinking of not returning at the end of the summer. I don’t think I can face another year of this. (Optional – Enter School name)

Now it’s YOUR turn. How do YOU rate your upcoming exit on the Depart-O-Meter?