Do International Schools Promote Colonial Racism?

Dear ISR,

Years ago, I worked as an international educator, happily exploring the world through the better part of my 20’s. With the increasing racial tension, violence and divisiveness here in the United States, my husband and I are considering taking our kids and reentering the circuit.

My concern is that while I will be introducing my children to different cultures and the wider world, I worry we will be jumping out of the ‘frying pan’ of racial tension in the U.S. and into the fire, so to speak. I’ll explain:

Part of why I previously left international teaching was my dislike of the culture of colonial-era social racism that pervades the whole concept of international education. Not in every international school, of course, but generally speaking the hierarchy tends to be:  A few (usually) white men in leadership roles, a bunch of white teachers, and a large group of grossly underpaid, host-national staff and teachers in subservient positions. This microcosm of the ‘colonial model’ of society is pervasive. I’ve witnessed it extend to off-campus life as well.

The idea that a white face bringing Western values and a curriculum such as CCSS or Cambridge is somehow perceived as superior to anything and everything local is colonial racism, at best. The narrative begins with school websites and brochures featuring almost exclusively white teachers and white students, and extends to the very fabric of the school itself.

Wealthy people around the world have apparently bought into the belief that a white, Western education is the expected path for their children. At least that’s how it was before I left the profession. For example, at one school that I know of, parents refused to allow their kids to be taught by a credentialed, African American who had been recently recruited. Rather than stand up for their teacher the school cancelled the contract and replaced her.

As a parent I worry that early exposure to the antiquated hierarchy of international schools is not the world view I want to instill in my girls. Short of only looking for schools in Europe, I am not quite sure how to avoid this dynamic. I am seeking feedback. Is the culture of international schools as white-washed and outdated as it was, or has social progress changed it for the better?

Sincerely,

Mrs. B

Comments? Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion.

138 Responses to Do International Schools Promote Colonial Racism?

  1. US Marshal says:

    If you call out someone as a white supremacist or white privilege, then you are marking that person to be hunted and that violence against that person is justified. This is on the same level as Al Qaeda.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Recent civil unrest in American cities are giving parents a negative view of young black Americans

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    Systematic racism is especially entrenched in international schools. When I started my career back home in Africa, I wanted to change jobs to different international schools in my country. I can’t count how many times I applied to these schools but I failed even before application. All the jobs advertised had a disclaimer that interviews would be held in London! I would go ahead and try my lack anyway and my applications were immediately followed by a generic regret; I doubt anyone ever looked at my CV.
    I managed to leave the country and teach internationally now for over ten years. But not much has changed. A couple of years back, I registered my CV with a recruiting firm, Teach Anywhere. They got back immediately, televiewers me and praised my qualifications and experience. Then we got to passport details and the interviewer candidly told me their clients schools only want native speakers. Mind you I’m not an English teacher and I’ve taught the British system and IB for over twenty years. And that was it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is rather ironic, I would say, that those who disagree and cannot comprehend what she has stated are (in fact) exactly who she is speaking to and about. As a black educator in the international world, I have experienced this and witnessed it over and over again. I have witnessed black teachers and students demonized by their peers. I have watched privilege in all its glory in the form of hiring practices, where unexperienced, unorganized directors, principals and assistant principals are hired over qualified people of color. I have witnessed this where educated and qualified black people were overlooked for certain key positions, and obvious dingbats with no experience were promoted instead. I have witnessed obvious discrimination in schools that pride themselves on inclusion and empathy. I have seen team members create false narratives and lies about black people they want to get rid of. I have experienced being undermined and harassed by administrators and team members. I have witnessed other black educators called “upity”, arrogant, condescending and aggressive.

    It is easy to sit behind a computer screen in all of your privilege and denounce what is happening, because to say “I will do better” will require empathy and ownership. I guess it is much easier to say it cannot happen in this global white washed world of international teaching or that it happens to the best of us. You are not understanding, and that is the problem. This conversation is not about you right now. It is about something bigger than you. This conversation is about a system that needs to change. This conversation is about racism, and how it is continually justified or pretending that it simply cannot or does not exist.

    I would challenge you to pay closer attention to your colleagues and the role you have played. Instead of talking about your black colleagues, creating your own narrative about who they are and jumping on the bandwagon, try and get to know them. Do your part to make meaningful changes instead of saying “there is no racism.” The micro-aggressions at these schools are ridiculous, and especially so on the African continent, which was the saddest experience of all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fred says:

      How unlucky are you to have worked around so many people who did not obey your desires. Really, everyone around you that is of different skin color is wrong?
      You would be a nightmare to be around. Seek help.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t doubt your experience and I agree, we need to do better, but as for dingbats being promoted before qualified brown or black people, it seems to be the practice in many schools that dingbats are promoted before qualified people of any color, white, black, or other.

      Like

  5. BP Rawlins says:

    The teaching of History is an interesting litmus test for racist practices in overseas schools. The less ‘Eurocentric’ the curriculum the better, with the AP World History course being good in that regard. All History teachers in secondary schools should pay attention to the philosophical aims of their exam curricula: they are not just there to decorate an introduction.

    Teaching should be balanced and as objective as possible. You cannot eliminate your own interpretations entirely. Indeed, they add interest to the historical controversies you can debate in class, but you are not there to peddle western propaganda. Neither does that mean kow-towing to local cultural prejudices. You have a professional responsibility to explain your academic discipline and its pedagogical approaches to both students and parents.

    When interviewing possible History teachers, I certainly welcome non-‘Anglo’ candidates, but my recommendations about hiring are based on their qualifications, experience and teaching abilities, not filling any kind of quota. The academic demands of the subject take priority over any considerations of culture.

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  6. Alexander Hughes says:

    It’s not racism.
    International education is a refined product and the most reputable educational institutions are based in US, U.K. and the wider western sphere. We also have English the global lingua. Having a white face is a marker of these facts, nothing more. And international education is a hierarchy predicated on competence in the classroom and school.
    I think as educators we need to be careful of teaching for catch-all doctrines that on the face of it seem to explain everything but in reality explain nothing. We should be mindful of the fact that an accusation of racism is a slur when applied without direct evidence.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Anonymous says:

    Some of the greatest Americans are recent immigrants and their progeny. Very wonderful immigrants from Africa- hard working and building a fruitful life. In history many ethnic groups suffered. Early Irish had no work, no food, no housing and really suffered. Many lost their lives fighting in the Civil War. Every (nearly) group has a story of hardship and building their lives with no hatred or racism to others. Let’s hope more good people immigrate to the USA, the more, the better. The biggest truth of all is All Lives Matter

    Like

  8. Evgenii says:

    I am an international educator. I come from Russia. I went to two job fairs organized by Search Associates in 2018 and got rejected by 247 out of 250 schools. I am a licensed ELL teacher. Back then I had been teaching ESL for 5 years. Despite my qualifications and international teaching experience I got rejected 247 times. So, it’s not only about sexism, ageism, racism but also nationalism on top of that. Nobody wants you to be an ELL teacher because you are not American. Period. Now tell me that most principal aren’t stereotyped and prejudiced.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And the worst part about it is non native speakers make the best ELL instructors. A lot of this is crybaby nonsense but on your point I do agree. My wife is a Russian speaking ELL teacher and can teach circles around most I’ve seen. She has the tiniest accent so nobody wants to hire her. It’s a shame.

      Like

    • rrickarr says:

      No, but this post is about racism. If you wish to talk about sexism or ageism, or native speakerness—start a post dedicated to that.

      Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of ethnicity and racial background, people should be respected. Note the attempt to divide, African American/ Africans/ People of colour. We should never be one against another. Uplift each other, get the best training possible, be positive and make a difference in the lives of the people that we serve.

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  10. ken says:

    All this talk of racism and discrimination is presuming it only goes one way. I am a white Canadian international teacher. I have been the target of racism in Canada’s Arctic, the Middle East, and in a large US city. All the perpetrators were visible minorities. I did not deserve it just like most visible minorities don’t deserve it. My point is that it does indeed go both ways. Governments need to quietly spike the water supply with ecstasy.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Concerned says:

    Arthur, you must be brain dead or a rabid racist if don’t see the problem. I hope my kids never find their way into your classroom. You have no business in education. If you don’t see the poof on your own, you must be asleep. The schools may be diverse but the pay scale starts at the top with white teachers and then decreases radically as we move down the scale to the “diverse” teachers, as you like to call non whites.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    As a senior leader your perspective is truly one sided. It erase the fact that racism and discrimination currently exsist within the International education system. Western curricular and assessments are not the only frameworks that are considered acceptable. Believe it or not, there is a need to further evolve from these western teaching and learning/ pedagogical theories. When you state non white people, are you referring to people of colour? People of indigenous decent?
    Based on you statement, it is obvious cultural responsiveness is needed on your part.

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  13. Arthur Dent says:

    I’m sorry but most of this is ill informed. I have worked in three international schools since 2010. All were in very different contexts. I’m a senior leader and each of the leadership teams were incredibly diverse. The same was true of the teaching staff. They were far more diverse than their catchments and provided a very important multicultural education for the local families that could afford to send their kids. So, I take exception to the posters’ comment about ‘white, western education’. Yes, it’s true that many schools have adopted western curricula.This is for a variety of reasons in addition to university access, for example the well developed assessment frameworks and use of up-to-date teaching, learning and pedagogical theories used to develop them. It’s also about the availability of resources. So, I’d like to correct the poster and propose ‘racially, gender and sexually diverse western education’. That will mean the amazing LGBT, non-white people I’ve worked with aren’t disregarded with a single, ill informed post.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    This bigotry is not really the author’s fault. For decades, the government in the USA has set up infantilizing policies for African Americans and the byproduct is this victim culture, racism and ‘black privilege ‘. Other ethnic groups are forced to compete in this unfair system and that causes other ethnic groups to mature faster and attain higher success in the long run. Look at the better results from children of Hispanic immigrants

    Like

    • What? says:

      I think you miss the point. You don’t see the police beating Mexicans to the ground or Chinese or any other race. Black people are singled out by the police and murdered. This is what has to stop. This isn’t about college admission scores.

      Additionally, all these other cultures came here on their own to find a better life. The Black people are decedents of slaves and here by no choice of their own. You are obviously a racist at best and have no place in education.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Anonymous says:

    This article (from an educator) is intellectual laziness of the highest order. Blind assumptions and virtue signalling are weak sauce. Ashkenazic (Eastern European) Jews are white too. Would you care to tell them how privileged they’ve been historically? Here’s some inside baseball: there are quite possibly many students and families overseas in any school one might encounter that have absolutely no interest in the American version of social justice. Forcing ideology of any stripe down their throats, as I have seen colleagues do, is what this author supposedly abhors. Lastly, I’ve noticed some really excellent commentary that has been removed from this thread by ISR. Though they encourage “no holds barred/candid discussion” I suppose they have taken a side. No?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A Different H says:

    3 schools in 3 countries, Middle East, Southeast and Far East. I have had African American principals in two schools. The school management treated them well, as far as was shown to staff, but some parents were unashamedly hateful to them. Parents who were so kind to me, a Caucasian, would completely ignore the African American principal. I have had colleagues from all over the world and management has been generally supportive of them. As far as the students, there is definitely racial and color bias, even among themselves. Isn’t that everywhere, though?

    Honestly, as a white American, I have struggled with the ramifications of teaching local, usually wealthy, children. The parents complain that the kids can’t speak their native language and are less connected to the local culture. I know that my skills, accent, and training are valuable, and I want to continue living overseas. But I always encourage parents to tone down the pressure for their 8-year-old to have the skills of a native English speaker. I understand the desires for US education, and I support that. Kids need to connect with their heritage so that the future of the country isn’t in the hands of those who don’t truly value it.

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    • H says:

      I agree with your synopsis. I do think parents usually respect those in authority and it is shameful if they didn’t have that respect for African American administrators.Then again, I have seen parents argue between themselves at meetings if their children were fighting at school.Often because they were from different Countries and had histories from WWII or pre WWII or another conflict..Sometimes I wonder if the parents are aware of what they do. I have often seen students attend to their International School daily and then go to school in their home curriculum after school. Besides the workload, you can have 3 languages going on, English, home nationality and Mandarin/Cantonese or Arabic as the host Countries language, and perhaps each parent speaks different languages, depending where they were from. When that happens and the child falls behind in the English curriculum, I wonder at teachers or parents who recommend a tutor and extra homework. Mind boggling. Then there is the “Nanny” culture….lots of stuff to navigate.

      Like

  17. H says:

    If a teacher wishes to work overseas, they should have the right to do so. Do a lot of research before you apply. A study of ISR school and administrator reviews will tell you a lot. You have to weave through the gripes and complaints and decide what seems reasonable or not. Even so, you will notice there are many personal interaction issues that arise, I haven’t noticed ones based on race, but then we seem to have determined there is a shortage of non-white staff. First, consider the Country or region and think if you will enjoy it.The big one is the school. Large, established accredited schools tend to look for teachers who have international experience and are certified in IB/AP/IGCSE etc. Smaller, lower tier schools will be very enrollment dependent but may be your best chance for an entry point. If you have the skills they want, they will hire and train. Schools always have yearly turnover-but if many jobs are advertised year to year-you need to consider why. Salary and benefits are very important, as well as how well the school facilitates your transition. Things vary from Country to Country including the expectations of their local DOE for certifications, the type of entry visa you get, how far your money can go, and the local culture. Avoid going to places you will not agree with and think you can change it. You can be help by supporting families understand and deal with their childs learning profile and performance, and that can be very effective. International Schools, whatever you feel about them, often provide opportunities for students who have difficulty in their home schools and were not successful there. They can provide a safe environment but if the student ever has to return to local schools at a later date, there is the same worry.

    Often students who do go through the International School system and return home from Universities overseas can be change factors in their home and Country. Sometimes it takes several generations. Often the mothers are the ones who attend meetings at the school but don’t make the decisions. Get both parents in and try to effect attitude change-without offending. Admin do not enjoy complaints but will stand by what is right.Thats where your research about the school before you go is important.

    In consideration of the the discussion about native speakers and color, yes, International Schools really look for native speakers, and yes, some passports are easier to hire re: local authorities. Qualified teachers must be encouraged to apply. Only 20% of teachers in the US are black. Approximately 14% of the population is black. That doesn’t count for a lack of diversity internationally. There are many other Countries teachers can come from. I hope that diversity grows.I also can’t help but to notice people often take sides and become quite adamant in their own take on things. Educators should be there to guide and make students aware of opposing views and arguments aka :TOK.

    Teaching internationally can be very addictive and some people do not want to leave and return to what they perceive as poorly behaved students and public systems. Those public systems often have infrastructures and procedures lacking in International Schools. Classroom management is another issue-but then either you have it or can develop it-or you don’t. Leadership change is slow and they often are less visible in and about the school as they are in US schools. They can make or break the school discipline as well. Ask about the schools population during interviews- International Schools have diversity in their enrollment. Schools with majority local populations can have more student engagement and discipline problems along with parental interference.

    My thing is if you don’t try, then you will never know if you can get into the “circuit”. If you have good skills, have a thick skin and stay out of local politics, you can be successful. I can’t say that International Schools are not an entrenched system-but it is a system. Not every white teacher gets along in it either ( just read the reviews). If you want to try it go for it. Just realize the parameters and do your research and good luck.

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  18. Stop Real Racism says:

    Racism is a problem. Many Asian Americans lose their opportunities in good schools because they lose their positions to African Americans. Asian americans need to score much higher on entrance exams than others so that schools fill their quotas. This happens every year and will happen this year. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/us/affirmative-action-battle-has-a-new-focus-asian-americans.html

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    • rrickarr says:

      And this is exactly why wealthy white actresses had to bribe officials to get their daughters into university!!!! You know nothing about what you are talking about and either does the article you have posted. Please tell us how G. W. Bush go into Yale. Please read all the articles about wealthy donor´s always having spots saved for their children. Your own racism is astounding.

      Like

  19. Anonymous says:

    View at Medium.com

    A must read article: Inside view to the International Education Industry. Gives further insight and perspective on the International teaching experience.

    Like

  20. Been around long enough says:

    Thank you to all who have spoken up. It was high time that we opened up about this.
    There have been many incidents that ring true in this discussion. The white bosses do what they feel like. Top positions are cleared for the most undeserving. I have received responses from schools that say they are looking for “native” English speakers only or passport holders from certain parts f the world.
    In my own country, I was told by an Englishman that the position of responsibility given to a teacher had “”nothing to with ëducation qualification or experience”. This person was the IB coordinator and did not how to find the average of a handful of numbers among other serious shortcomings.
    All in all, it is a case of racism in a place where we say that we are sending out students prepared for the modern world.
    Are we really doing that????
    The worst part is that the boards of such places turn a blind eye and ear.
    The world is changing fast and we need to recognise and adapt to it. English speaking is no more the privilege of a certain passport holder. there are many parts of the world where people speak English pretty well if not at a high level.
    When will schools realize that English is more a language of convenience for the masses?

    Like

  21. Good for you says:

    Well said Mrs. B.I agree with everything you have to say. I suggest you ignore the haters and narrow minded “teachers” who have criticized you comments. Their lack of compassion and insensitivity brands them as unfit for the teaching profession. You certainly wouldn’t want your girls in their class.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Anonymous says:

    I have considered applying to jobs in Europe such as Germany Spain Portugal etc in a couple of years. However Thailand I will not be able to teach again so my feedback is yes try Europe Mrs. B. I’ve taught in Asia and since we lived there for so long I think Europe is better at exposing my daughter to a more Westernized country. We came back to the U.S before co vid so will be here for a couple of years then see how racial tensions ease up. However being that I lived in both Europe and Asia I would say try to visit first see how you feel. Me personally I’m over Thailand…

    Like

  23. Ben says:

    I used to concur with the OP. I have many friends who do so as well. But now that I’ve been abroad for 15 years in Asia, I’ve realized it is now white people that are becoming coloniolized. Rich Asian parents want white people to work for them because it feels good. Teachers today are not perceived as bearers of knowledge nor as people of high status, but as little more than nannies and babysitters to the rich. International schools are little more than networking events, tax shelters and training centers for future tax evaders who invest in offshore properties and engage in hostile corporate takeovers during hard times. International schools are gateways for rich people in poor and/or autocratic countries to learn how to exploit and move cash into naive and stable western democracies and social programs. People who don’t see this are about fifty years behind in their thinking.

    Like

  24. Anonymous says:

    I agree Eliza. This discussion board had to happen on way or the other. Sad but true.
    On a positive note:
    Change has arrived at our door steps. There are people of like minds and multi cultural backgrounds working towards the end of racism and discrimination. As human beings the world is our home. If they not part of the solution then they are part of the problem. The first step is to educate our parents about diversity and global citizenship. One love.

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  25. Eliza says:

    Wow. If these comments reveal anything, there are lots of racist teaching the children. Critically analyzing a system and challenging it to be better than the colonial structures that first set it up is not “victim mentality”. Our schools are white washed and colonial. This is a fact, not an opinion. The statistics and racial, socioeconomic makeup of international schools prove this to be true. Also, we can appreciate international schools for what they are and do offer to families AND still want better and more than the colonial legacy. It is not a binary. And those of you in the comments relegating it to that are simply protecting the colonial, white supremacist culture that you benefit from. Do better. Think critically. It worries me you are with children educating the next generation and are unwilling to do so.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps we should think critically and bring in quota systems for staff bodies similar to many of the insitutions back home, then watch the parents pull their kids out and your pay go with them.

      The teachers may not be racist but undoubtedly the fee paying parents are sending their children to these schools in an effort to get them into Western higher education (and therefore the promise of a more prosperous future so who can blame them?) which is still associated with the white middle classes and consequently that’s who they want teaching their kids. Would you honestly deny that? While it might seem an outdated and perhaps disgusting view to some, that is how the rest of the world thinks and it isn’t going to change anytime soon.

      Maybe that makes the parents racists in your eyes. The reality is the majority of the countries that we are teaching in have societies and economies far less tolerant than those found in the West and the people react accordingly, they spare no time for equality and other such frivolous ideals. Maybe in some people’s eyes this is ‘colonial racism’ but if so it is a product of both the schools and the countries they’re operating in and I’m loathe to criticise it while the majority of people on this forum benefit from it.

      At the end of the day these schools are about making as much money as possible, teachers can complain all they like about admin, treatment or racism but at the schools will do what’s necessary to bring in the cash which pays our wages – if you don’t like it go home, but then of course you’ll have a whole different set of problems there.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      You speak with such privilege. Change is already ready here and there are people of multi cultural backgrounds working towards the end of racism and discrimination. As human beings the world is our home. If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. The first step is to educate our parents about diversity and global citizenship.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes of course that’s what the parents are paying you for, to educate them, I may sound priviledged (which I am) but you just sound arrogant.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps you teach to get paid.
      Our children need passionate educators who are diverse in their thinking and can teach responsively. Based on your comments, I can tell this change is difficult for you. One step at a time. It will be alright. Stay positive.
      Do you know this song? I believe the children are our future? Teach them well and let them lead the way. Do you know the artist that sang this song? Good night.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      You teach for free then?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      I am passionate about my subject which (fortunately) is not one that is easily influenced by politics and try my best to pass on an enthusiasm for it to whoever my students may be, I show them that through perseverance and ambition they can use this to improve both themselves and the world without resorting to rioting or political mud-slinging – I presume that this what I’m being paid for and what the parents are seeking.

      I am not so arrogant as to presume that the students and parents deserve to be enlightened by my political opinions which are probably largely irrelevant to their lives and their society anyway, in fact I would argue that to do so would be the stance of an arrogant supremacist.

      Anyway it also took me while to gain a sense of perspective and to realise that I am a fallible teacher not a prophet of the right and only way of thinking with which the UK system is fond of brainwashing its students and teachers.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Based in your comments I can tell you are in least qualified category. The last time I checked, I followed my passion. Never worked for free. Freedom is and will always be my BIRTH Right. There is power in
      words and trust me, you are powerless. There is no more space and time for your negativity. Basically, your time is up. We only have room for educators who truly appreciate and care for their students. If you are in it to capitalize and spread supremacy then your time is up. PERIOD. Stay positive.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We are all waiting for free and powerful people like yourself to stop capitalising on children and their parents, to donate their salaries to charities championing equality and for the socialist revolution to begin. Of course you nothing about me apart from the fact that I present an alternative world view so alas I must be less qualified and politically inferior to you, in fact I’m guessing that all those who disagree with you are simply unqualified and therefore not to be taken seriously, right?

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      You should also educate your students about diversity on things such as IQ scores, crime statistics, and cultural norms.

      Why don’t you fix racial equity in your own country before you go wagging fingers at us?

      I want the person teaching my kids maths to have a German-Swiss accent, the person teaching him history to have a British accent and the person teaching them computer science to have an American accent. The music teacher should be Austrian and the dance teacher preferably from Cuba or Cali, Colombia. Art history should be Italian and ballet should be Russian. My son’s track coach from Kenya and my daughter’s karate teacher straight from Okinawa and the customer is ALWAYS right.

      Equality of opportunity is not equality of outcome, in individuals or nations. We are all humans. The only real distinguishing thing is some of us seem to be more equipped at dealing with that than others.

      Look around the world blessed with so much natural resources, yet certain places (some of the most resource rich in the global south) have been unable to create a functioning civilization, that most people from the west would want to live in. And when the colonists leave things have deteriorated in much of the world that has shunned that colonial legacy and replaced it with dictatorship and communism. Places that had high technology in the 60’s don’t have electricity today. ‘What have the Romans done for us?”

      If you want to change these things get a time machine, go back really far and teach some people to make the wheel and be industrious. But that too would be colonialism.

      Grow up. The people who scale the heights of private enterprise and public life aren’t interested in any of this outside of generating more customers through virtue signaling and generating more votes.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Logan Naidoo says:

    Mrs. B, you wrote: “Not in every international school, of course, but generally speaking the hierarchy tends to be: A few (usually) white men in leadership roles, a bunch of white teachers, and a large group of grossly underpaid, host-national staff and teachers in subservient positions. This microcosm of the ‘colonial model’ of society is pervasive. I’ve witnessed it extend to off-campus life as well.”

    Having taught in SE Asia for close on 4 years, I can state first-hand that nothing has changed. If you search the profiles of any so-called international school in China, Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea, you’ll find that what you articulated is pretty much the status quo. And, lest this surprise you: many teachers are simply graduates without any formal teaching qualification, and not all of them are worth their salt. I recall all too clearly the racist jibes when the students gave me the highest score, year-in year-out. How could an Indian South African outperform them? It defied logic; defied what they perceived to be the natural order of things. But, for someone who had lived through Apartheid, I had fortunately developed a pretty thick skin by the time I had gotten to Asia.

    I understand your need to want to shield your kids from this pervasive racism. Another way to look at it is to expose your kids to this, and to try and get them to draw lessons from these experiences.

    Best of luck.

    Like

  27. Anonymous says:

    Asian Americans are discriminated against in college admissions and must produce much higher results to get into good universities. Then the universities require more than ‘just high ACT or SAT scores’ so Asian Americans do sports, music, jobs, boy/girl scouts. In the end, let’s hope that those Asian Americans can get the benefits and success from hard work.

    Like

  28. Anonymous says:

    Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    Like

  29. Vindicated says:

    Not for nothing, I am elated that this comment section has further exposed just how racist the international school realm is and always has been. Faux inclusion and claims of diversity are nothing more than lip service from this lot.

    I hope the author and her people find some semblance of peace and comfort in an evil world that downright refuses to offer it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Playing the victim. Get to work, apply effort and be good toward your neighbors and success will follow. People who work in service of others do more than those blaming people of other color for their own laziness and failure

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s far easier to take this view than to actually think about why things might be this way and what you could do to actually change them. Quit being self-righteous It might make you feel better in the short term but does nothing in the long run.

      Like

  30. Anonymous says:

    I thought about attempting to write a thoughtful response to all of this hand wringing by white guilters—but I think I’ll content myself with expressing the contempt I feel for people who are quick to advocate the dismantling of existing institutions—but are loathe to offer their own resources and labor to build an alternative. If parents see an advantage in educating their kids in American English, who are we to deny them this choice? Maybe these parents are better acquainted with reality than social justice warriors who think they can use shame as a panacea to cure the world of its inherent unfairness. Maybe parents have noticed that the 21st century economy has been built through the innovation of people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos—all of whom communicate in American English. Talk is cheap. If you don’t like what you see in the world of today, DO something constructive! Build a school with no white men and no English curriculum. But for goodness sake, stop acting like the Spanish Inquisition and charging everyone with racism who disagrees with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. B says:

    The truth nothing has changed,

    Liked by 1 person

  32. The Spaniard says:

    No. He’s saying they become like that from having to face lower standards of expectation. Affirmative action, black privilege in disguise.

    Like

  33. Anonymous says:

    Asian students need to score 200 or 300 points higher on SATs than black students for college admissions. The end result is many Asian students work much longer hours and on weekends, not to mention summers. These certain students who choose to work harder get longer term success and greater wealth and success. Those students who get admitted at lower qualifications and effort tend to struggle more in college and have substandard performance at work, and then feel child thoughts of being a victim, and they never become full adults.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      So what you’re saying is that black people never become full adults, are intellectual inferior and don’t work as hard. Dear lord please keep this man away from children. Amen!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Anonymous says:

      Intellectually*

      Like

    • The Spaniard says:

      No. He’s saying they become like that from having to face lower standards of expectation. Affirmative action, black privilege in disguise.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Black privilege? Let the hilarity ensue. I guess you call colonization and government sanctioned murder a privilege! And I thought I’d seen, read and heard it all!

      Liked by 1 person

    • G Money says:

      Changing the subject doesn’t refute an argument. If you disagree with the contention that there is black privilege because Asian students need to score 200 or 300 points higher on SATs than black students for college admissions, then present reasons that this is not black privilege. No one in this particular thread is saying that colonization and government sanctioned murder is black privilege. Argue on the points presented. Don’t try to deflect attention away from them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • kd says:

      Black privilege? Many of their ancestors built the institutions that you feel entitled to attend, and their labour was for free.

      It’s amazing how you all continually scapegoat Black people at highly selective institutions for simply being there, even though they consistently make up the smallest demographic on any of the respective campuses. But I suppose one Black student is probably too many for you bigots, unless they are playing sports of course.

      Asian students weren’t even allowed to attend these universities until Black people fought for the right for inclusion, and now some of the same people are telling them that they don’t belong there. The irony of your own entitlement is incredible and downright pathetic.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Anonymous says:

      Black privilege is real

      Like

    • Dee says:

      Black Americans built the USA. They are owned more than affirmative action. They need reparations. LOTS OF IT.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Anonymous says:

      And is injustice a way of reparation?

      Like

    • kd says:

      Lol, they’re not “choosing” to do anything. Their parents were forcing them into these extended day schools long before they were shipping them off to American institutions. Asian students who will attend universities IN ASIA do the exact same thing. Please leave us out of your bigotry.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Asian Americans are very hard working. Haven’t seen many, or any, images of Asian Americans looting or killing in places like Chicago. Asian Americans contribute a great deal to the community and USA.

      Like

    • D says:

      Black Americans built that country. The USA wouldn’t be what it is today without slave labour. They are also the ones that fought for civil rights, which all other minorities benefit from to this day. THEY ARE OWED LOTS!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Are the English also owed privileges because they colonised and and civilised America?

      Like

    • For Real? says:

      We are not talking about privilege, we are talking about equality. I don’t see the English beaten down and killed in the streets for the color of there skin. You sound like a racist to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Afro-American Black people are the lowest common denominator, everyone knows it and it’s because of the way they behave. It’s an inconvenient truth but that doesn’t make it less true. They are government wards for the most part. Many of us have taught in those communities and it’s the very reason we left to go abroad. The biggest problem facing the community is the community itself and the greatest threat are the ‘super predators’ with high capacity firearms and no respect for human life that prowl their streets like packs of baboons-not the police. 13% of the population commits 50% of the crime. 24 people murdered in two days in Chicago just this month. People are racist because it is in their own self-interest to be. Change the fate of black people by changing black people. It’s all so tiresome. Even democrats know it but they just won’t say it, because in the political theater these people are part of their coalition.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Shannon says:

    Like it or not, escaping the history of colonialism and white supremacy is not possible in international schools, and you sure as heck won’t escape it by staying in the USA. Part of the reason the majority of international school teachers are white is that they come from countries on top of the international food chain (where aspirational parents want their kids to be), and within those countries they have had the benefit of the best upbringing and the best education. This is changing, but slowly.

    Most of my experience is in China, and from my knowledge of the local parents, most of them want a white face with a ‘respectable’ accent to teach their kids English (or another subject in the medium of English). If the school is entirely beholden to the parents’ wishes, that is who they will hire. However I worked at some very good schools that ignore those wishes and simply hire the best teachers, trying their best to educate the parents as well as their kids. Here’s hoping that more schools take that attitude, and the parents evolve with them.

    The least diverse demographic of all is that of international school administrators. Once that starts to change we will know that real progress has been made!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Very racist

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Very true

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with this, the only problem being that I don’t see it as our role to ‘educate the parents’, that is just as racist as doing nothing in my opinion as it confirms that we feel our way is better and that we are therefore superior to the host culture. I am amazed at how many international teachers haven’t yet realised that they can’t apply Left thinking liberal values of ‘tolerance’ and ‘equality’ to countries like China and Saudi Arabia, they don’t want them and they don’t work there (they don’t really work anywhere). My advice is to keep your head down, earn your money and keep your views to yourself before you upset a member of administration or (even worse) a parent.

      I’d tell any school who tried to moderate my world view or to make me more tolerant to jog on and quickly move my kids to somewhere which doesn’t try to emulate the lefty brainwashing found in the UK state sector (something I think we can all agree is best left at home!).

      Of course, I am by all modern standards and extremist!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Shannon says:

      I think though that the parents in many cases send their kids to international schools BECAUSE they want them to be expsed to western values and educational styles that they see missing in their own systems. Those are a point of difference compared to attending a local school. So if international schools hire a diverse set of teachers, hopefully the family will come to see the value in hearing from a range of voices. Every international school I’ve been a part of has made a point of emphasising its cultural diversity and surely that’s something that we want our families to embrace, even if some parents take some convincing.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Again though why do you see it as our role to convince the parents who at the end of the day are customers. I just find this a very arrogant position, agreed that there is nothing wrong with cultivating a culturally diverse staff but to go out of your way to show the parents that this is the right way, the western tolerant way which by giving us your money you need educating in smacks of moral superiority and doesn’t sit well with me, in fact as a parent I would feel totally patronised (but maybe some would say they are not as educated, tolerant or open-minded as us international teachers, they are not at our level…?). If we can encourage the students to be a bit more worldly and to look further than someone’s appearance before making a judgement about them then of course that would seem right but again unless you are an ‘equality studies’ teacher it is our brief to instruct in our subject not in political opinions which is what this is. It always makes me laugh when I see what the students have been studying in some subjects and how the prevailing teacher’s political views are being shoehorned into the lessons sometimes to the extent of rewriting history, I smelt a rat when I was a student of some of these teachers myself and my position has only been confirmed since I began working with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Anonymous says:

    The International school industry is realizing that there is a need to hire more teachers of different ethnic backgrounds, especially African decent. 90 percent of teachers being hired or posted on recruitment brochures are of European decent. How do we teach our children the true meaning of diversity if we continue to show this image. Are they implying the european teacher is the perfect standard of education? There plenty of teachers of colour that are beyond qualified and are not given a chance or equal opportunity because of their ethnicity. Change is needed today.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      This should also work for those credentials established by countries in Africa. UK and commonwealth have A Levels. Europe with IB, USA with College Board. Nigeria or Congo or Egypt with their established credentials- the name of the credentials dont come to mind right now. Those credentials, help with the name…

      Like

  36. Anonymous says:

    *locally worked to the bone and mobbed for a fraction of an expat’s salary, and later as an expat…

    Like

  37. Anonymous says:

    It is definitely still true. I’ve been on local and expat side of things first, and treated in such a way it made me want to give up on the profession. Later as an expat, it was nationality (everyone not-local was treated more or less miserably) and sexism that were the issue.

    Like

  38. Anonymous says:

    The author can look to many of the students for examples. Hard work and positive attitude will lead to success. Many students from china go to the UK, Australia, Canada, and USA and they put their head down, work hard and thrive. Talk to your former students for guidance.

    Like

  39. Not at ALL surprising that there are comments gaslighting the author. I weep for the students of colour that some of these people may have.

    Like

  40. tenACEous says:

    Dear Mrs. B:

    Nothing has changed. It probably never will. And sadly, I believe they prefer it that way.

    Sincerely,
    Disgruntled and Repatriating

    Like

  41. Trent says:

    If you change the color it’s just as idiotic……

    Like

  42. Anonymous says:

    Best solution is to work hard and have service toward others. This focus on victimhood and racism is not a good example for students or comforting for parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      This has become the reality for teachers like Mrs. B. It has nothing to do with victimisation. The world needs gain more understanding of what privilege truly is.

      Like

    • Privilege! Yes, because Mrs. B’s ability to just leave the US and “reenter the circuit” of the privileged international schools is not a privilege since she pauses a moment to virtue signal.

      International schools are a wealth network. They exist to keep wealth in the hands a certain population (not the white teachers). International school teachers, despite any illusions, occupy a lowly place in that network. That’s why many of them live in compounds with locals making far far more than them.

      White guilt won’t extend to Korea and China, etc. They’re not about to tear down their statues, but they’ll hire you for a fraction of their annual salary so you can keep their kids “in the circuit.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • David says:

      Yup. Well said.

      Like

  43. Molly says:

    This is precisely why I’m not working with any of the large recruitment firms anymore, especially Search, their roster of associates is lily white, and quite frankly I never want to work for a grossly underqualified white male again but such is the world of international education. This conundrum has become a full on existential crisis for me in fact. I cannot return to America, and most international schools are wishing upon wish that their entire staff is white and preferably male. It is creepy, and well unchecked in South East Asia but that’s a problem for another time. I appreciate this article so much for bringing this glaringy problem to the forefront and equally interesting to watch all the unchecked white privilege in the comments.

    Like

    • Patricia S. Lee says:

      I totally agreed with what you are saying in terms of racial equity and justice in the educational field. I do not trust even Search Associates either. most of the Senior Associates are predominately white and males. What I heard from people was that they rather helped more white candidates rather than colors.
      They hardly responded via email. Of course, I understood that each senior associates have more than thousands of candidates in files but last time one of the associates emailed me a month after! And they closed my file because I found that there was lots of fraud information regarding international school data with job descriptions, talked to them but my file was still active. All I wanted to say was I want them to publish the correct information for job candidates but they didn’t. Plus, the fee is outrageous so I am not sure if it is worthwhile then.
      This is another racial structured system that has been built over a generation.

      Like

    • H says:

      I have always been a member of Search but never once , was hired via Search. Had a couple of offers in November of the year , but was working and who wants to step into that. Yes, it’s an old mans club. Many teachers don’t want to go to their fairs anymore. Costs, anxiety, dealing with curt interviewers, needing to have a pr company create your profile to outdo the other keeners. Have a good cv, use search to identify jobs and schools and mail the schools directly. Search is well organized, but like most recruiters, they are like the doormen of an upscale club-

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      That is a racist statement

      Like

    • Anon says:

      Go to the Search Associates Jan London Fair. It’s shocking that such blatant racism can exist in the modern world. Not one black or brown face. I left the UK partly to get away from its racist culture. But everywhere I go there is racism. The bottom line is that whites are at the top of the food chain because they have the biggest guns. Someone below said ‘if you don’t like it, you can you should leave’. Leave and go where? The Arctic…..?

      Like

    • Maybe you could try assimilating into your host society, learn the language, some of the norms of culture. International schools aren’t neutral. Their education doesn’t come free of ideology. That’s why they’re heavily regulated in countries that have a Ministry of Culture. That’s also why they often have those uninspiring droogish heads of school, regardless of their skin color or role in (hypothetical) sexual reproduction. Would you rather a head of school from the host country? I doubt it.

      Like

  44. H says:

    Usually I am able to see both sides of the discussion, but in your case, I suggest that you might stay at home if you have those thoughts. After 30 years of teaching, 15 overseas in having worked in 6 different Countries/Areas ( Caribbean, Canada, USA, Middle East and 2 stints in SE Asia), I cannot concur fully with your analysis. The reason Western teachers are overseas in abundance is 1- parents want native first language teachers to teach their children. 2- parents find that western trained teachers and the system of an International School is a more condusive environment for their child. 3- good English skills opens the door to Universities.Local schools often do not offer differentiation, the same classroom management styles, special education considerations etc. I will agree that administration is a myriad of self styled, self absorbed people who enjoy their role and benefits. Males? Wow, you must have had be singular, short overseas experience. Today many women are in administration. That doesn’t save them from complacency and their love of the salary/better housing/flying in business and their own driver in many cases. However, the majority are professional and if you do not run afoul of anyone, you can survive.

    I have worked with teachers from USA/Canada/NZ/Australia/Russia /Argentina /Eqypt / China/South Africa/Netherlands/Britain-UK/Ukraine + numerous other Countries-including all the host Countries.. Depending on the school, the makeup of the Board and how well the school promotes ” Internationalism”, can differ from school to school. Administration needs to support teachers-but often rich local families rule the roost.That is unfortunate but I cannot generalize and say it is connected to colonialism/race/gender. It is connected to save one’s behind ethics.

    As International Educators, we also have to respect the ” Host Country”. I have seen many “white” teachers cause issues and be let go because they did not.

    Colonialism? Tell that to a Nepali teacher who works in the Middle East. An Indian teacher who works in Singapore. They can be very capable, but if their English skills are not perfect and do not have a Western education- parents may be difficult. Solid administration who will back their hires needs to be supportive.

    I have seen Western teachers be hired as local hires if they applied from within the Country. I have seen local hires from the Country make 6-8 times the salary they made at the local University.

    I have also seen “white Western” teachers be not received well by the locals because they didn’t have the right skills to teach – anywhere.

    A big “key” is to find a good school. Non profit schools tend to be the best. Not for profit can be good. Profit schools may be good or may be terrible- depending on board/administration.Any school is dependent upon itself and often does not have the support of central office as in a district board. That means no union and you can get your work visa pulled overnight.

    As soon as you go ” colonialism”, especially at this point in time, I wonder about how you could deal with another stint overseas. If the US could get along as well as an International School that incorporates 45-50 different nationalities in harmony-that would be great. That is one thing I take away from working overseas- being part of a cohesive group that can solve problems and is receptive to others wile respecting the host Country. Seems to be that many in the US do not respect their own host Country and like to complain and point fingers without looking inward.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Anonymous says:

      I am in agreeance with Mrs. B.
      You might have missed the point H.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks like. Each example sited is from the single minority teacher on campus from what it sounds like. One dark skinned teacher from South Asia does not make for diversity or inclusion.

      Like

    • H says:

      Who said one? Each example “cited” is from experience. What suggestions do you have? You should be able to offer something.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you hear that? It’s the sound of the crumbling white male patriarchy. But I’m glad you’re paying attention to the larger problems which are spelling errors and telling minorities to go back where they came from! Classy.

      Like

    • H says:

      Just what I knew you would offer. Rhetoric and hatred. It would be nice if you could debate or see past your own agenda. How long have you been overseas?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you led an INSET on the white Male patriarchy and how it needs eradicating yet? I’m sure all the white males would love to hear how you plan to bring balance to the force.

      Like

    • H says:

      Then it is simple. Don’t go overseas. Don’t go anywhere for that matter. However working overseas provides a wealth of experience. I feel it is sad to label overseas teaching in such a way. Anytime something is criticized, it becomes suspect.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not that simple. No one has the right to say “then don’t go over seas”. Change your mindset and you will change the world. The world is home to anyone who wants to make it their home. There us no need for anyones approval. This is a new day. Equal opportunity and justice for all.

      Like

    • H says:

      My point is if you are going to be complaining about something either not go or go with an open mind and stop complaining.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Typical, when anyone says the unadulterated truth to the power structure they are hateful. I’m glad that you introduced the topic of rhetoric to the discussion yet I feel no need to appeal to such blind and willful ignorance.

      Like

    • John Thomas says:

      H explains why it’s not racist that white people are over represented in International teaching roles by saying:

      “1- parents want native first language teachers to teach their children. 2- parents find that western trained teachers and the system of an International School is a more condusive environment for their child. 3- good English skills opens the door to Universities.”

      So, H, if you have a brown face you’re 1) Not a native speaker 2) Western trained and 3) Able to teach children good English.

      Tell me, how often do you start a sentence with “I’m not a racist, but…”

      Like

    • H says:

      Many parents will indicate they prefer native English speakers trained in western systems. Often the students indicate they enjoy learning in classes that are student centered as opposed to teacher centered. I am not aware that people who have brown faces cannot be first language English speakers or are not allowed to be trained in a western university.You put that into the discussion and then accuse me of being racist. Not every student who graduates attends a western university either, but there are many who go that route. Have you not noticed that universities have been sending recruiters to international schools looking for students and are offering partial and sometimes full scholarships?There are many well trained, native English speaking black educators in the US. This year I work at a large high school where the student population is about 66% minority and 67% free and reduced lunch. About 25-30% of the staff are black. I work with students special needs. I enjoy this work as much and at times, more than most of my overseas positions. At some point you just have to come home. Maybe things will change so that you are happy in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Well put.

      Like

  45. Mark R. says:

    Dear Ms B.,
    International Schools in Name Only: The Case of Neo-Colonialism.

    As an African American International School Leader I would answer yes to your query.

    I have found the great majority of international schools throughout Asia, Africa and South America are international schools in name only. Many countries on those continents had once been colonized by European countries and today’s international school practices are built upon and rely on many of those colonial ideals. These ideals are imbedded into the educational systems and thinking of the local indigenous population through the use of western pedagogy, western teachers and western curriculum.

    Most International schools have mission stating that they will create, “Successful Global Citizens” but the notion that international schools will create, Successful Global Citizens” is a misnomer because it is not supported by their practices of not honoring the knowledge of the world community.

    This hegemony of western civilization is strengthened and upheld by the implementation of multiple western systems and practices. Employers of International schools have unwritten but openly stated Human Resources policies that require school administrators to interview and only hire teachers from North American, the United Kingdom and or Australia. The employment of western teachers and the implementation of western curriculum adds to the stranglehold of western hegemony and the denial of indigenous ways of teaching, learning and knowing.

    These Neo-Colonial practices embed racist practices in international schools in three powerful ways:

    • They perpetuate a racist and classist society of schooling by honoring and elevating western ideals and western teachers (usually white) ahead of the local ideals and local teachers. This western focus alienates the local culture.

    • Local indigenous teachers are made to be subservient and only teacher assistants to western teachers.

    • The honoring and elevating western education Common Core State Standards (CCSS), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge above local knowledge and ways of knowledge continues the perpetuation of racist practices and strengthens systems of oppression.

    There are ways to become a great international school, mainly do the reverse of the above bulleted items. But for expat teachers I would suggest that they go humbly into an international school community with the ethic that they are there to partner and collaborate with the local community. Expat teachers should assume that the local indigenous community has knowledge equal to or greater greater than theirs. Lastly, expat teachers who see or hear colleagues make racist comments or demonstrate racist behavior should confront the individual(s) and report them.

    Go in peace, love kids and lead them.

    Sincerely, Mark R.

    Like

    • H says:

      I understand what you say and know some of what you say happens. Then tell me why I went to places where I had to give up my passport for 10-14 days, not be able to leave the Country, not be sure if I could use the ATM if needed only to persevere and work with amazing teachers and students and watch the students growth over the year. I wasn’t there to change their thinking, I was there to expand upon it. All the while, I was expanding mine. It’s a growth experience, they learn from us, we learn from them. I prefer to think of it as mostly positive. How can we lead kids if we are not there to lead them? Do you suggest there be no International Schools and each Country stays Nationalistic? I complain when I have to, but I find it’s better to have an open mind and look towards the future, not the past and create the best learning environment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      What might be considered ‘Racist behaviour’ is a very broad spectrum these days, I get your point but history would suggest that a culture of reporting people for perhaps simply disagreeing with your political opinion or ‘offending’ you is a very dangerous road to go down, this requires a lot of thought. It should also be pointed out that it is almost uniquely western civilisation which is bringing these racial and social inequalities to light and as such we should be careful before criticising international schools most of whom are probably run far more equitably than the local equivalents even if some would argue that they are not going far enough. I also agree that we should treat the host cultures and society with the utmost respect but at the same time we also have to realise that not deep beneath the surface many of these societies are far less tolerant or equal than our own.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Anonymous says:

    Taught in Philippines for 12 years in which the admin was mostly white and expat teachers were on a much better wicket than local Filipinos. However the local teachers were paid about 15 times more than their compatriots in local govt schools. One has to look at both sides of this as most of local teachers were quite happy with this as the foreign teachers were what brought the rich parents in to the school with their children.

    Like

  47. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you Mrs B. It is shocking to come to other cultures to think our ways are better than theirs and their curriculum and way of learning is of less value.
    While this is shocking it is driven by the demand of the wealthy in the host countries wanting their children to be Oxford or Cambride graduates and ultimately earn big money. Media, Tv etc all breathes the mighty dollar unfortunately. So ultimately with two sides to the story. Wouldnt it be nice to put your daughter into a system where all staff are treated the same for a start….

    Like

  48. Anonymous says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your comment. I suspect that all these people in the comments are disagreeing with you because agreeing with you would undermine their position as the teachers of equality and the IB learner profile etc etc. Sadly, I I have found as a black man in International Education that a majority of this insidious racism comes from the non white parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • H says:

      That I can see. That shouldn’t lie with you, you need to be supported by the administration that hired you and your company-workers. Unfortunately some local students who are lazy will blame whatever to escape work and poor marks. Should one give up ? If you don’t work there, then how can things ever change?

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting. A teacher using the word “lazy”.
      Interesting.

      Like

    • H says:

      Have a better one for someone who does not do the work when the teacher has made every effort, tried every strategy and accommodation and works with the Learning Support Department to determine their needs? Maybe it has something to do with their exhaustion from driving their Ferrari to class.

      Liked by 1 person

  49. Anonymous says:

    Teachers from Africa tend to do better than ‘African Americans ‘. They work harder. Attitude also plays a big part and they dont have the affirmative action programs that support African Americans in the USA.

    Like

    • Mark says:

      Where is your documented proof of your comment? It is clear you have no understanding of the USA historical record. Do not fall for the old system of pitting African American people against the African people because there is no proof to support your contention. In the USA White women have benefitted more from Affirmative Action than another group of individuals, for two reasons: 1. In the hiring practices in the USA White women are considered minorities, 2. Structural racist practices allows them to obtain jobs at a faster rate then non-white Americans.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a generalized statement. African American teachers have become highly respected in the International sector.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Playing the victim is mocked and laughed at in International schools. No use to be racist. Apply yourself and be a professional and you won’t suffer from any perceived harm

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid thing to say. It would be accurate to say that black people the world over work much harder than their white counterparts, for less money and a heavier work load.

      Like

  50. Enat says:

    Evidence? Can you show data to support any of your extremely tenuous and incoherent conclusions? There are literally thousands (8,000 to be precise) of international schools. How exactly can you determine the intent of each of these schools and their faculty and leadership? Do you know their history? Assuming that you know anything about someone because of their “white face” is just as stupid, anti-thought and poisonous as any other form of racism. Bosniaks were white as well. Do you think you could magically decipher their life’s history if you ran into one of them at an international school? Would they be a part of the privileged class because they are white? The absurdity of your conclusions is stunning. Post-modernist, non-critical drivel is no substitute for thinking. It belongs nowhere near education.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Fred says:

    Racism goes both ways. If you see racism everywhere, you will have racism in your life

    Liked by 1 person

    • L says:

      This simplistic mindset is part of the issue, and is refuted by facts, statistics. and REALITY. Systemic racism is real, whether or not you choose to see it.

      Like

  52. Anonymous says:

    I was replaced twice in two international schools in Thailand because parents wanted to replace me. We are now back in the United States I am an African American teacher that lived abroad with my daughter in Asia for over 5 years. The past year had been so traumatizing fighting with parents that we decided to come back to the U.S. I do want to comment my experience in Shenzhen was very positive. However my experience in Thailand was the opposite. I worked at two international schools in both schools parents requested to have me removed from the classroom. I was asked to teach middle school instead of grade 2. The second school I was asked to moved up in moved out of my class after only 3 months. After being subjected to ridicule I decided Thailand was not for me. Note I have a Masters in Elementary Education perfect references in oger 7years abroad it was not good enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      I know there are issues in China. It is certainly not free of racism. But I know there are lots of Black teachers in China and they seem to be well respected at my school.

      Good luck. Good to know about Thailand. We are looking for a change after next year and my daughter is Black.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      So true. African American teachers are highly regarded and needed.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry you had to experience this. Thus us why change is needed.

      Like

  53. neanderpal says:

    To be fair, it’s local school owners, whether rich individuals or corporates, who tend to want white teachers and administrators, because that is what is expected by local parents. Parents pay high fees because they think (often rightly but sometimes mistakenly) that they are getting people who have legitimate degrees and teaching qualifications (not always guaranteed with local staff in some countries), and experience. I don’t think they’re wrong. But I have encountered know-all teachers from England/Scotland who think they are superior just because they are from there, even if it is their first post overseas, and are always ready to criticize local staff, including ancillary people on low salaries. That is a colonial attitude. They may group together with Aussies and ZAs as a white clique who are there for bar, beach and barbecue. But there are others (like me of course!) who are respectful of local culture and have a quality of humanity that benefits the students.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I have considered applying to jobs in Europe such as Germany Spain Portugal etc in a couple of years. However Thailand I will not be able to teach again so my feedback is yes try Europe Mrs. B. I’ve taught in Asia and since we lived there for so long I think Europe is better at exposing my daughter to a more Westernized country. We came back to the U.S before co vid so will be here for a couple of years then see how racial tensions ease up. However being that I lived in both Europe and Asia I would say try to visit first see how you feel. Me personally I’m over Thailand…

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I think a distinction should be made between schools that are in an “international location” and true international schools. Schools that just happen to be in foreign countries but cater to a more local clientele and are for profit tend to be places where many of the issues brought up in this thread occur. The international schools that are actually accredited and are not for profit tend to have a much more inclusive community with hiring practices that aim to hire the most qualified teachers and a community of parents who are also diverse and understand the value of diversity. I see a lot of racist comments here that are a reflection of the people who write them…and also seem to suggest that these teachers can only work in places that aren’t actually among the good international schools. To the OP, I’d say make sure you end up in a true international school.

      Like

    • very concerned about this trend says:

      I have worked in both for-profit and not for profit well recognised international schools. and in both cases, the state is the same. Those of us who are highlighting this issue here are the ones who have faced this. This racism has to do with mindsets rather than profit status.
      Look at the comments written about the UWCs – these are supposed to be leaders in education. But sadly the racist practices are the worst here. the UWC s in Singapore do not even consider your application if you are not from certain countries.
      Another well known non-profit employs teaching interns. The local interns are told they are getting experience so they will not be paid. the white interns are paid as they are a “value” addition!!!!

      Like

  54. Anonymous says:

    With over 200 countries and thousands of international schools, I do not think you will find any particular answer or generality will suffice to answer your question.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      The sadness is that international schools whether they are for profit or not are created to serve the market. Generally speaking whether it be Asia – or Africa for that matter, it is the local population attending international schools instead of their local African schools that enables the international schools to flourish and survive. The perception by the local folk is that int schools provide the quality education. They are often more racist than the westerners and will not accept their children being taught by non whites. They would prefer to withdraw their children than have a non white teach their children

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you have to be careful when applying the racist tag to local communities in Africa. If you’ve lived and taught in Africa, you’ll know that the level of financial investment that African governments are able to make in education, and particularly teacher training, is way below that of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Consequently the quality of teacher training and resources available to national schools is way below that of international schools. The premium that many in Africa place in education means that they’re going to opt for private, well resourced schools that bring in highly qualified western teachers if they can afford the fees. While there may be an element racism in the mix their choices are also motivated to get the best possible education that they can for their children.

      Like

    • No says:

      There are PLENTY of well educated black people to teach those children. Both locally and abroad their is no shortage of educated black people. Check yourself.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      African American teachers are highly regarded and needed.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      The sadness is that international schools whether they are for profit or not are created to serve the market. Generally speaking whether it be Asia – or Africa for that matter, it is the local population attending international schools instead of their local African schools that enables the international schools to flourish and survive. The perception by the local folk is that int schools provide the quality education. They are often more racist than the westerners and will not accept their children being taught by non whites. They would prefer to withdraw their children than have a non white teach their children

      Like

    • Patricia S. Lee says:

      Yeah, I agreed as well.

      Like

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