Departing Thoughts

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?

31 Responses to Departing Thoughts

  1. ficarc says:

    I am looking forward the day I leave this school, because there are absolutely incapable people leading it. On the top of it my last monthly salary will be kept behind for months in tax purposes. I must be happy if my EPF will be paid before I leave. There are so serious organisation problems here. These SLT should be send to an expedition to the space, because we had enough of them on Earth.

    Like

  2. Edward C. says:

    As I make plans to head home for summer vacation… I am still unsure if my school is doing its best to get me a work permit for the next school year. My contract is still good for another year but the school seems taking its sweet time to get my permit. Then hearing from a trusted person in school that the school administrators conducted interviews for the subject I’m teaching sends me to dissappointment and betrayal. They plan to replace me even my contract is still active and not even informing me of their plans especially now that we have only a few days before out summer break. Never have I been a part of school who mistreats its teachers so unprofessionally constantly. Guess this is what you can expect from a “for-profit” school and backpacker administrators. Yes, they are not educators at all.
    Wondering if I should start looking for another teaching job now…

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    Even schools in top locations have issues, mine the clicky club or nepotism runs rife, and this means if you are not in, your life is hell. The problem is that the owner thinks that if you have been here a long time you are good, shame but they are not. People move on and then they gossip about you that they were not friendly or with the in crowd, that boozes every night and are just out for a good time and sod the students. Shame

    Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    Name the school – you are leaving Be fair to others.

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  5. Curtis Lowe says:

    ok one is Yangon but the others?

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  6. Curtis Lowe says:

    Would be helpful to know the names of the aforementioned schools!

    Like

  7. Esther Joseph says:

    There’s nothing like being in the departure lounge!

    I agree with the comments and how teachers feel – no matter what good you do – you can do your best but still the school will find fault. The management systems at schools work back to front, cause more confusion – no matter what expert advice you provide, things are still the same with the school. The best thing is to leave and move on. As long as you have all your money, your things and your passport, it’s farewell and all the best to the school and the people you have had good relationships with, outside the school. Excellent teachers will leave and still the school will turn a blind eye. At the end of the day, as long as there are other places to go to, the international teaching community will continually be on the move.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Based on all the reviews,majority really really bad on here, there are less great places to go, and just like teachers move around, so do the administrators. I am new to this and already feel despondent. For my own state of mind I have to ask 1) are people just tired 2) is it that bad everywhere and the profession has changed 3) or are experienced teachers who have been in the profession for many years frustrated by younger administrators who are still finding their feet? It would be so helpful if there was a list of the top 30 schools – those with 5 star reviews – or is that asking too much?

      Like

      • Ralph says:

        It is not that ALL international schools are bad. Many of the top tier schools that tend to recruit only through ISS pay high salaries, provide acceptable housing and excellent benefits get few complaints. They are financially stable, well established and are not controlled by one greedy local owner. Examples of these would be ISB and NIST (Bangkok) but they tend to hire people in the mid 25 – 45 age group. As more ‘international’ school have been established, they are pure money making businesses where owners see foreign teachers as an expendable resource. Many of these owners are not educators but business people. They cut costs, photocopy textbooks illegally and hire sub-standard or unqualified teachers. The qualified and conscientious teachers then have to deal with all this negativity when they unknowingly join such a school. If you are a real teacher, it makes you really angry to see students being short changed by bad administrators and incompetent and lazy teachers. All I can say, is good luck, make the best of it and do your homework.

        Like

      • Anonymous says:

        People are also more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one

        Like

  8. ElleDubles says:

    As I make plans to head home for summer vacation…I’m so relieved to get out of the rat race for 6 weeks. Things have been getting worse and worse at my school; simple improvements have been ignored and the chaos that is occurring in their place is starting to reflect in the attitudes of the students. I think when contract time comes around in November quite a few long-term staff will be dusting off their CVs and looking for a new, better school to work at. I’ll certainly be amongst them.

    Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    Leaving at the end of the month and can’t wait. The influence of the board on the school has affected morale to terrible degree. In general it is felt that the teachers are not cared for, given any feeling of say and when they leave are dismissed with disregard. The misery felt is kept among the teachers, the students feel none of it, thankfully. The level of professionalism is extremely high. They hire wonderful, dedicated and experienced people but treat them as disposable. People either turn to fight for each other or, often times, they unfortunately feel so demoralized and threatened they take it out on each other. It’s been a truly terrible place to be for many years. On top of that, they can’t keep a headmaster for more than two years. It’s a revolving door.
    On to a better place soon, thankfully.

    Like

  10. Mickeymoo22 says:

    Can’t wait to leave in a months time. I have never worked with such structural disrespect, dishonesty, racism and incompetence.

    Onwards and upwards to everyone in the same situation. We are in the drivers’ seats of our careers and anyone that treats us so poorly is undeserving of our talent.

    Like

  11. The Mole says:

    Yay! I am ecstatic and relieved, bitter and disappointed to be leaving this slum of a school that calls itself Yangon International Academy. I am proud that I made it to the end of the year and didn’t walk out as other teachers were forced to. I gritted my teeth and aided by alcohol stayed put and have a great job in a great location for next year. After being at his sorry hole with its filthy, overcrowded classrooms and bullying, pathetic excuses of administrators I will have a new appreciation for my next school. Good-bye dirty, polluted Yangon, crappy housing and slum school. Suck it up greedy, money grabbing admin. You are sad losers!

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Good job sticking it out for your students.

      Like

    • Anon3 says:

      You should review this school on ISR – only fair to other teachers who might be tempted to work there. I have heard negative comments about is as I have a couple of friends who work in Yangon at other schools.

      Like

  12. Anonymous says:

    The next couple of days will be long for a few reasons but mainly because we are mentally and physically exhausted (big increase in enrollment, long hours, lots of weekend work, extra-mural commitments, meddling parents, tough task masters at the top, too much paperwork, grading) AND because of a batch of energy sapping leavers. I am one of a leaving batch and what a leaving batch it is. Divisive, toxic and unprofessional. If I am ever a school leader or hear of any future head of school considering some of this leaving group I will either run for the hills or intervene by providing my own reference for them. They have forgotten their primary role, that of teaching, being role models and making a positive contribution to the community. My own kid came home with stories of the unprofessional conduct in the classroom. I suspect the school we are leaving will be a better place in the future due to the departure of some of these teachers. I will go as far as saying the recruiters need to be more rigorous in their hiring process and reference collection as some teachers on the circuit are tarnishing the reputation international teaching by treating it like a gravy train – expecting everything and giving little to nothing in return. ISR would do well with a section on teacher reviews – the stories would be gob-smacking. Counting the days!

    Like

    • The Mole says:

      Many of us have been there at a school like this. Just move on and forget it. Life is short.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        As long as my child is in an international school and moving with me I would be failing as a parent (as well as an educator) if I hear of any of these toxic teachers applying at my future school or other schools for that matter. I will intervene. These people need to take time off, work on themselves before re-entering a classroom or to my mind, any other form of employment. Half of this group of teachers who are leaving have not found jobs and there must be a reason? their reputation is following them or the hiring schools have heeded the unspoken cautionary that none of the divisional heads (or head of school) have been listed as a referee on their resume. Many of us work very hard and are extremely proud of the work we do. I for one cannot, as you suggest, “forget it” by dismissing the slander, the lies, the strange, erratic behavior and outbursts, the refusal or inability to collaborate, the lack of classroom control and dare I say it, the glassy, red eyes in the morning along with dishevelled appearance – no, that would be me failing my personal and professional values. I want to and hope to work with people who are as committed as I am.

        Like

        • Anonymous says:

          I hear you but what can YOU do about it apart from ignore it and move on. You end up stressing yourself to death over nasty, negative and incompetent teachers and at the end of the day, it achieves nothing, especially if admin, support the trash (which is what happened in a school I worked in). The toxic ones told me that I worked too hard and showed them up and they didn’t like that!

          Like

          • Anonymous says:

            I feel that I have established a credible reputation for myself, particularly in the manner in which I chose to conduct myself in my final few months at this school. It was not easy all the time and of-course there were things that I did not agree with but, I did not sling mud because when we sling mud, we also get covered in it and boy, it sticks for years to come. I am guessing that my voice is an important one as I do get asked “did you work with xxx at xxx?” In the future when I get that question I will now provide my unreserved opinion and reference. There is a great deal to be said for the way in which I start my summer; a nice job in the bag, a clear conscience and no burning bridges in the rear view mirror – a far cry from some of my leaving colleagues who have still not cottoned on to the common denominator that they were not renewed and still don’t have jobs elsewhere. Those of us who pushed through to the very end (for the students) can walk away feeling proud, it is going to be a good summer. Wishing you a happy summer too.

            Like

  13. Hope says:

    I’ve had 4 great years here but I’m moving on because I went into international teaching to see the world. I’m getting too comfortable here, just like I felt back home when I realized some new stimulus.

    Like

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’ll be leaving my school here in China after just one year. The new visa restrictions on age have made it impossible for me to continue. I’m relieved however because of an insurmountable conflict with the only other colleague in my department that has made the experience tense and bitter. I’ll be moving on to a school in Africa where I can work until 70 and enjoy a one person (me) department.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, visas in China are flexible depending on the school and the province and interpretation. I know of people in their mid-60s getting teaching visas – based on a points system now.

      Like

  15. On my way says:

    Oh….wow….I am leaving tomorrow, never to return. We got a new director this past year and we are all leaving, at least those that can. it’s hard to believe the influence one guy can have on a school. If my contract wasn’t over this year I would have broke contract.

    Like

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