There’s more to reading ISR’s School Reviews than just what’s on the page. Oftentimes, what’s between the lines speaks louder than words. Here are some things to consider this recruiting season while reading School Reviews:
- Look for a ‘common thread’ running through the Reviews for a specific school. Is there a near- or complete consensus on certain topics? When different educators mention aspects, both positive and negative, a picture should begin to immerge.
- A stand-alone, superbly glowing Review, refuting all previous negative Reviews, may certainly arouse suspicion. Who wrote this Review? It could, of course, simply be a teacher having an uniquely positive experience, one that’s 180 degrees opposite that of all other reviewers, or….
- Schools displaying strictly out-of-date Reviews could be a red flag. ISR has it on good authority that some schools have instituted a contractual clause preventing teachers from writing Reviews. The ISR Member Forum is the place to get the up-to-date information you’re searching for.
- Multiple Reviews, alternating between positive and negative comments could be a difference of opinion or an Admin doing ‘damage control.’ Deciding which point-of-view to believe can be difficult. Tone of voice and the perspective from which each author is writing, should lend a clue. And again: The ISR Member Forum is the place to get the factual information you’re searching for.
- A series of Reviews with a negative slant, followed by more recent, glowingly positive Reviews, may be the reflection of a new school Director. Check the top, right-hand corner of the Review page to see the succession of Admin for each school. The Admin Index is where to research the history of Directors at both their current and previous schools.
- Reviews too-good-to-be-true are probably just that, a fabrication, especially when all 9s and 10s appear on the Rubric Evaluation. Common sense and a bit of research are in order.
- A majority of favorable Reviews with a smattering of negative Reviews could signal a great school with one or two teachers not enjoying the experience. It could also signal a campaign being staged by teachers in the Admin’s inner circle. Read between the lines. Ask questions on the ISR Member Forum !
Each of us experience situations in our own way. Specific conditions and/or an overall school climate prompting a positive-leaning Review by one teacher could trigger a negative Review from a colleague. Be your own detective. Read between the lines, and as always, ISR recommends research, research, research!
ISR Asks: How do YOU read ISR School Reviews?
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5 thoughts on “How Do YOU Read ISR?”
I don’t think the comment is just about defensive admin. There are two sides to every story. For example, I have worked in school were teachers artive full of themselves and in an international environment make it some sort of competition to prove they are the best. They don’t accept other ways of doing things and try to implement the curriculum they brought with them and not adapt to the new school. I saw a NZ teacher trying to turn our curriculum upside down and using maori words to describe features we already had in place. When it was successful they tried to make trouble among other staff and then did a runner of course the day after pay day and wrote emails to staff saying they had to do what they did even though their actions only hurt students, teachers and the school. They then started to write negative admin reviews. I am not admin just shocked by the arrogance. It shouldnt be an us against them and it would be more balanced to see all points if view.
I think this is all good advice, but I did not see any notes considering comments from teachers who might hold a grudge or are have unrealistic expectations. This blog post shouldn’t just be about a school doing damage control, but also about teachers who should not be in the international game trying to ruin the reputation of a quality school. You too need to write from a balanced point of view.
I’m going assume you’re a director or principal unhappy with reviews of yourself and your school. Do you really believe teachers join the circuit with the express motive to ruin the reputation of quality schools. You conveniently fail to realize that maybe the problem is with you and the reviews you disagree with are the result of how your teachers are treated. It appears you chose to accuse anyone unhappy with your management style of conspiring to ruin your reputation. ISR is the best tool we have to avoid guys like you.
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Your comment sounds suspiciously like a school administrator complaining about reviewers having an “unbalanced” opinion of a school if they are critical of that school. I don’t personally know ANY professional who will diss a school in order to ruin its reputation. However I do know of administrators who diss teachers and staff in order to blackball them.
And as a leader, you need to accept you do not always get it right. “Not a good fit”. Why not work harder to guide and settle new staff into a new country. You have taken time and effort to hire them. They are your responsibility, too. Listen to them. Assimilation can be bumpy for some find out why and make it better and work it out together. You could even get those balanced reviews you want so much.