..School Directors like to criticize International Schools Review for providing a place where International Educators anonymously share information on Schools and administrators. Yet, these same Directors feel justified in writing confidential Letters of References about teachers and even discussing teachers secretly by telephone and/or at Recruiting Fairs.
..There’s a huge difference between these types of reviewing. When a teacher shares their thoughts on a school and/or its admin with other ISR members, the Director has the opportunity to read what has been said and respond in writing. However, in the case of confidential references in writing or in person, teachers have no knowledge of what is said about them, let alone by whom. It’s all done behind their back and someone with an ax to grind can destroy an educator’s career!
..An ISR member tells us he and his wife asked their school principal to send a Letter of Reference to a school they were considering for a career move. Being “cheap and lazy,” the principal eventually handed the letter over in a sealed envelope and told the couple to mail it themselves. Not trusting the principal, known to be a back-stabber, the couple opened the letter — the picture it painted was of the couple as lazy, back-sliders, incapable of performing their duties. Upon confronting the principal it came out that her intention was to keep them at the school since she “depends on their expertise.” The couple left the school and later exposed this administrator on ISR.
..Certainly there are two sides to every story and just as there are poor International Schools, there are poor-performing International Teachers. In any case, ISR believes Teachers have the right to know what is being said about them and to respond. Any leader of an educational institution lacking the fortitude and substance to look a teacher in the eye and say to them what they would otherwise write behind their back is, in our opinion, not qualified to lead and should resign.
..If you’ve ever wondered why you were turned down for jobs you thought were ‘in the bag,’ it could be there’s a negative Letter of Reference lurking in your dossier, dead-ending your career.
..How do you determine who wrote the crummy letter so you can remove that person from your references? The ISR Member Area is a good place to start your investigation because often School Reviews include information on a Director’s history of writing poor Letters of Reference, or refusing to write any letters at all. If you suspect foul play to be keeping you from landing a new position, do the research and “tidy” up your recruiting package.
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