Can Recruiting Candidates Trust School Web Sites?

Are school web sites honest personifications of the International Schools they represent? As a recruiting candidate, should you blindly believe what you see and read? More than a handful of educators have discovered that school web sites can be nothing more than carefully crafted propaganda whose sole purpose is to disguise the truth and lure in the unsuspecting. With more and more get-rich entrepreneurs jumping into the International School “business,” it’s obvious there’s no limit to what some school owners will do to lure teachers and students to their “schools.”

What You See May NOT Be What You Get!

Here’s some examples on ISR of how intentionally deceptive school web sites have tricked teachers into accepting a position at schools from which they would otherwise RUN:

In her Review, a teacher reveals that her school’s ultra-professional looking web site is hosting a bird’s-eye, panoramic view of what they want you to believe is their campus. However, in reality, the school only rents a floor in one of the many building at an impressive university campus. All grade levels are crammed onto this one floor. She reports that it’s complete chaos.

A Physical Education teacher whose passion is teaching swimming, water polo, etc., discovered upon arrival at his school that what he saw as an Olympic-size swimming pool was nothing more than blue paint on the ground. It was later explained to him that this “web rendering” is the proposed site and size of a future installation. The school was “sorry” he misunderstood.

A high school English Literature teacher, desiring a truly international teaching experience, tells us she was tricked into accepting a positon at a local school where most of the kids spoke/read/ wrote poor, if any, English at all. To create an international school image, she says the school used the children of the international teaching staff as models on their web site and furthered the deception by stating their students hold passports from 32 countries around the world. The teacher explains in her Review that the reality is the majority of these 32 countries are represented by local kids with dual citizenship, who have never been outside the country in which the school is located. This English Literature teacher broke contract soon after arrival.

..These examples and more Reviews on ISR illustrate how International Schools may stoop to deceptive digital practices to lure in unsuspecting educators. These reviews are sent to ISR by teachers tricked into circumstances they would otherwise avoid and serve as a heads-up warning. International Schools Review strongly suggests you do not allow yourself to be tricked by a school’s slick digital presentation. Use ALL sources available to you to verify that “what you see and read is what you get.”

Comments/Advice? Please scroll down to participate

13 Responses to Can Recruiting Candidates Trust School Web Sites?

  1. Doris says:

    There is a school in Bangkok that uses a brand new amazing facility on its website. The reality is that it has not been built yet and classrooms are makeshift.


  2. Curtis Lowe says:

    The international school I taught at in Thailand always used the faculty’s kids in promotional brochures and videos for the school. It was very misleading since these white faces were the only white kids in the school and the majority of the school was Thai. New faculty always learned this very quickly upon arrival as they were commonly asked if their kids could be used in photo shoots for the school.


  3. Lauren says:

    I’ve been teaching internationally for 20 years. In two instances, a school has changed what I was told I would be teaching after I arrived to begin the school year. One school stated on the ISS website that it provided medical insurance, when what was actually provided was a joke, and it cost me $6000+. These are two crucial aspects of a teaching career that can make or break you. chck them both before signing on the dotted line.


  4. kaduzy says:

    Former boss here in Poland does the same. Nothing on the website but stock footage of model children looking happy and empty classrooms that don’t display the real daily situation. All academic text is now false because she keeps changing the curriculum to placate parents. Disgusting, but not as bad as that poor guy who got fooled by a painted swimming pool. Holy crap.


  5. Debby says:

    One thing that I have found interesting is that many school websites are very outdated. Some have not been changed for over 10 years. Hence, when they indicate faces and names of people working there, this can be images/names from years ago. Most school websites make schools look much better than they are and may not really show the level (or lack thereof) of resources that a teacher actually has. I remember one school that looked great in terms of the general campus, When I got there and actually looked at my classroom, I was blown away: one teacher desk (broken), a few students’ desks (in bad shape). Period. That was it. No bookshelves, no books, no display areas – notta. So I think the best way to get a true idea of the school is to either visit the school or communicate with people who work there.


  6. Jean Gurr says:

    I blame the North American (in my case Manitoba, Canada) governing body-they need to own whatever lies their MOU schools do and they don’t! So stay away from Bangladesh…very few teachers finish their contracts !


  7. Jan says:

    Pay attention to “Keep your eyes open.” ” There are shysters out there in need of your white face and teaching credential to pull off their enrollment….such is life….


  8. Ss says:

    This is so true. One massive example is the British schools foundation. 11 schools over the world. All have the same website and same rubbish. I can’t speak for the other schools but the two in South America are absolutely nothing like the websites states. They seem to con teachers and parents. You can clearly tell it’s an extremely professional website. It’s a shame the schools don’t live up to the spiel they write.


  9. Keep Your Eyes Open says:

    I was tricked by a slick video of a school and the surrounding city. I later met the parent who made the video that was used at the recruiting fair to fool teachers into signing on. The school web site was made by the same person — a professional in the field of advertising. How they made this hell hole look so appealing is beyond me. This woman could make a turd look like cake. Jokes on them…I left. Do be careful. There are shysters out there in need of your white face and teaching credential to pull off their “education” scam.


  10. brian meegan says:

    In the words of a former American President, trust and verify. Trust that the school may be presenting the best possible case for itself, and verify with numerous past and present teachers that what you perceive to be true is so.


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