…Years ago I returned from a few pleasant years teaching overseas. Recently, however, I decided to throw my hat into the ring this upcoming recruiting season and head back to a life of teaching abroad.
Overseas, I taught in small, independently-owned International schools. Looking around at job opportunities now, though, I’m noticing the trend in International Education appears to have shifted to multi-national educational empires, with names like GEMS, QSI Schools, United World Schools and Nord Anglia.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but there does seem to be advantages to being part of a big, global network of schools: established curriculums, sister schools that share resources, clear management structures, professional development conferences and potential lateral moves between schools, to name just a handful. The downside for me is this: I’m not much of a corporate gal (hence the teaching degree) and worry about being a part of a huge, impersonal bureaucracy. Considering the size of some of these education goliaths, I’m concerned the needs and day-to-day affairs of the little guys (i.e. the teachers) might be overlooked. There is also the ever-present threat of the bottom line…Will the need to turn a profit overshadow the needs of the children?
Anyone willing to share their experience with large education companies as compared to smaller, more intimate schools? Are the corporate schools simply money-making machines focused on maximum profit, or are there schools with heart and community that happen to fall under a corporate umbrella? Should I stick with what’s familiar to me and recruit for a small independent school? Or take my chances in finding a corporate school with a heart?
Thanks for your input!
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