Should I Stay or Should I Go?

We’re mere weeks into the 2017-2018 school year and some International Schools are already pressuring teachers to declare their intentions for the 2018-2019 school year: Will you be staying or leaving next year?”  Not too many years ago it was the trend for schools to wait until after the winter holidays before asking teachers to declare their intentions. Why the change?

One obvious reason is that the big Fairs continue to move their venues closer towards the start of each school year. ISS, Search, ECIS and the lot of them seem to be in competition to hold the first Fair of the recruiting season. We note a total of 5 Fairs (one of which is a Leadership Fair) spanning October through December of 2017. Clearly, not all school will be attending these Fairs.

Other than teacher recruitment, what would motivate International Schools to push for a stay/go commitment so early in the school year? Could it be to separate-out faculty for preferential treatment? It’s well known some schools only offer professional development opportunities or leadership positions to teachers planning on extending for at least another year. Using ‘commitment’ information for dubious purposes, veiled by claims it’s needed for recruiting purposes, is highly unethical in our opinion.

Most teachers report that when forced into an early decision, they will choose to leave if there is the slightest doubt in their mind about returning for another year. To punish those ‘on the fence’ who would prefer to leave their options open, some schools have announced a substantial financial penalty and/or have threatened to blackball teachers who indicate they will renew their Contract but later change their plans.

Which of the following best describes your school’s stay/go commitment deadline?

Take our Survey & let’s compare:


6 Responses to Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  1. Anonymous says:

    At my school our contract date is October 15th. There is a financial incentive for signing (and even a smaller incentive for informing that you are definitely not returning) by September 15. At my previous school I had through the winter holiday.


  2. Anonymous says:

    While the school does encourage teachers to let admin know if they are staying or leaving by November, the country labour laws apply where I work and we have had some teachers give notice as late as the last week of June because they knew they could wait it out. The last minute resignations meant that we had a limited pool of candidates from which to choose for some positions. Frustration exists on both sides of the coin if a reasonable period of recruiting time is not agreed upon and adhered to by management and staff.


  3. Exbelfer says:

    One of the reasons which I have encountered for justification for an early commitment for the next year, was a shortage of experienced teachers, especially in Math and Science. One of my principals said, that unless you have the most of faculty completed before Christmas, the school is in trouble.


  4. John says:

    Things can change a lot in a school between October/November and the following June. Most schools seem to want a commitment by the end of December and that is fair enough.


  5. Jody B. says:

    Our head of school is so disorganized and overworked (his own mismanagement and time problem because he comes in late and leaves before any teachers) contracts don’t get to teachers on time, and renewables don’t happen until the very end of the school year. No one really knows what is happening, except those veterans with a permanent contract. Even they can be “removed” as one teacher was last year when his position was simply eliminated.


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