Would You Teach Again at a Previous School?

At any school, 2 years, 3 years max, & it’s time for me to move on to a new school, a new adventure. I became an international teacher to see the world, not permanently transplant myself.

Would I teach again at any of my previous International schools? I’ll answer that with a resounding, NO! I’m glad for the experiences garnered at each, but once was enough for me.

One school Director’s idea of an intranet was his scribbles on the faculty room dry-erase board. We were all expected to pop in for updates between classes. At another school it literally took days & an act of God to get a photocopy or a few pencils for the kids. My last school made getting your paycheck a 90-minute after-school ordeal. Ridiculous practices like these were just a peek behind the curtain. I’m thankful for the experiences but I’d have to be a masochist to subject myself to such lunacy again.

I would, however, gladly return to most of the countries where I worked. Thailand, Romania & Pakistan are tops on my list. Recall of poor experiences at schools has faded, but vivid memories of the places I lived & traveled have made indelible imprints on my life. I’d say this:  I most definitely met my “see the world” goal!

ISR Asks:  Would YOU return to teach at any of your previous schools?


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25 Responses to Would You Teach Again at a Previous School?

  1. N Simpson says:

    I would rather eat my own intestine then work at Yangon International School again, or set foot in Myanmar. Once I got that last stamp in my passport two years ago, I left and never looked back!


  2. I wouldn’t ever never and at all be back to the latest school that I went to before , I just praise the experiences that I’ve tasted there , So then it a time to go over to face other challenges and chores . It’s sound great .wow!


  3. Anonymous says:

    I would because the Director left! This person gave me a different position than I was hired for but oh, well, later I moved into something I liked better. Then wouldn’t let me interview for the interim job I was already doing (on top of my full class load). He said 20 yrs. and a Masters wasn’t enough experience. Then he hired a man with 6 yrs. experience. Why lie? Why not just say you have decided to hire a cheaper teacher with a different gender, with the same color, and with the same religion as the locals? But I loved the families and the city so now that the misleader is gone I’d go back.


  4. Paul Johnson says:

    Currently on my 5th International School and 5th Country, what make me want to go back to three of the schools is the administration, I can handle the red tape and not being able to get resources etc but for me the administration of the school is often the deciding factor.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Having survived my experieces at 4 different international schools in 3 different countries, I am looking forward to experiences in other cultures and at other schools.

    My cultural experiences and the people who I worked with were FANTASTIC but I am moving on as far as schools go.


  6. Anonymous says:

    I would teach in a country I previously worked in but at a school that paid more with better conditions. The excrement pile you navigate at a school changes in tone and texture but at any school there is always one so go after the best contract.


  7. Anonymous says:

    I did. Taught at one establishment for 3 years and returned 9 years later and did another 2 years under the same principal. It turned out to he a positive move at the time for both of us.


  8. Anonymous says:

    I have only taught in three different international schools in over 35 years of international school teaching and would happily go back to any one of them. Yes, I know that I have been very lucky and I feel grateful to have spent time with great colleagues and amazing students. Yes, there were people I would rather not teach with again and students who were hard work but on balance, each experience has been positive and I would definitely do it all again!


  9. Anon says:

    People are not loyal to institutions but to the people running them. A bad Board of directors running for-profit schools does not engender loyalty in any teacher! Why would you return to such a place? I think this is an inane question

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anonymous says:

    Two out of five of my international posts I’d return to “in a heartbeat” – my experiences were that good. However, the first of the two schools is no longer in operation, and it ended up with a “director from hell” – that was the reason I left. The other school has an age restriction, and that is the only reason I left that one. Both of these schools had generous salaries and benefits. The second school had a more than ample Fine Arts budget, and plenty of space in which to provide the visual arts program, as well as all of the extra-curricular programs. I still have friends teaching there – another incentive to return, except for my age. People remain healthy, vital and productive much longer than they used to – it’s a shame that they put us “out to pasture.”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Anonymous says:

    I taught in Taichung, Taiwan for 4 years. I would love to go back there. But right now I am working in the states to build my retirement. The problem with working overseas is that you can’t build a retirement that has a lifetime payout like a PERS system and social security. Sure teaching overseas is fun, but what happens when you hit 65 and have nothing to show for it? Or a retirement account that will run out someday unlike a PERS or Social Security account. Return in a heartbeat, but not until I retire.


  12. Tim Fritz says:

    If I were invited to teach there again, it would mean things had changed significantly enough that I would be happy to return.


  13. Anonymous says:

    For me the big issue is pollution. My health has been adversely affected by pollution so I cannot return to places even if I enjoyed the country because of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jean Gurr says:

      Yes, Dhaka and the air quality along with rats in the school made me VERY ill with a respiratory disease that they wanted to hospitalize me for…I left and have not had one sick day since !? So was it the air, the rats or a combo?


  14. Anonymous says:

    The good ones – of course! The bad ones – Never! As others have noted, there are so many factors involved that this is impossible to answer with a simple yes/no.


  15. johnny O says:

    If you got a divorce, would you re-marry the same person?


  16. Shannon says:

    This discussion sounds like it’s not so much “Would you work again at a previous school” as “Would you work again at a terrible school you already had a bad experience with?” For the latter question, of course not – it’s hard to know the full picture about a school in another country, so once you discover it is terrible it’s time to move on and never look back. I’ve worked at an outstanding school that I slightly regret leaving, and would definitely consider going back for the right opportunity. But there’s also the suspicion that it has moved on without me and it is best to leave it in the past. It’s like when you go travelling in a place for a second time with a spouse and kids after great memories of going there when much younger. You can never replicate the conditions that a younger you enjoyed and it’s always a bit disappointing.


  17. Barb says:

    I’d go back to my second school in a heartbeat. I’d even consider the first one, if the situation was right. The current school, absolutely not.


  18. Smartone says:

    Never! They change payroll at a moment’s notice (and come in with a bag of cash); they hold your last paycheck for 2 months past your last day and then keep a chunk of it with no explanation. The faculty handbook is a Google doc that changes on a daily business. There are literally chunks of the school coming down on a regular basis. The insurance provider will survey the whole school for pre-existing condition and then chose to insure only the 2 least occurring illnesses and will pretty reject anything else. They promise IB training and then don’t make good. So no, never and can’t wait to be done for good.


  19. omgarsenal says:

    Your preferences will depend on your experiences. I had both good and bad experiences and therefore would return to the good schools I worke din, if the urge took me, but refuse any rteturn to a bad school, regardless.


  20. Four schools, four countries says:

    In several schools we found great students and staff and facilities that would be great to return to.
    In all cases, the deciding factor to leave: underqualified and incompetent administrators. Said admins have since been given the boot, so we will consider returning — but this experience reinforces the incredible worth of a good administrator, particularly in an overseas independent school.


    • Jean Gurr says:

      Administrators can be replaced in an instant! As an experienced administrator as soon as I refused to “go along” with bad practices I could no longer be their administrator-many only keep administrators who support their $$$making agenda-not the ones looking out for students and teachers!


  21. Jon Cristofer Miller says:

    There is a big difference between “would I work for the school again?” and “would I work with a certain administrator again?” Indeed, at the same school, I had one year with a remarkable and great principal, followed by a year with one that wasn’t. The kids and the community were unchanged; the environment was not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gail says:

      Yes, you are right. I had a similar experience where a new and very inexperienced administrator has turned what was once a warm, productive community school into a micromanaged and negative horror for its dedicated teachers. I cherish my memories but am glad that I didn’t have to experience its current dismal state.

      Liked by 1 person

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