Stuck Overseas

If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve been reluctant to board the plane for China. Of course, I probably would have gone, but in a much more prepared state of mind. In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined a global pandemic suddenly keeping me and hundreds, maybe even thousands of International Educators from seeing family and friends.…for years.

In March of 2020, in reaction to COVID, China blocked entry to everyone but its own citizens. The academic year at my school ended 4 months later. My school warned teachers about the consequences of leaving the country. Some left anyway and got locked out. I’ve been in-country for just over 2 years to date.

Like so many of us in my situation, I miss family and friends. However, the cold reality is this: I have student loans, a mortgage, and other financial responsibilities. I can’t risk being unemployed, so here I am still in China, a prisoner to my finances. Virtual platforms have helped take the edge off the distance but a digital screen just can’t replace a shared experience like taking a walk or dining together.

At times I’m tempted to pack up and leave. My parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents aren’t getting any younger and heaven forbid one of them becomes gravely ill, or worse, passes. What then?

This is a predicament many International Educators are confronting, not just in China, and it may be comforting to many of us to learn how teachers in the same situation are adapting and coping in other locales. It would be much appreciated if ISR would include my comments in an upcoming ISR newsletter.

Thank you ISR for all that you do.

Please scroll down to participate in this ISR Discussion

Pandemic Plan “B”

Earlier this year, with COVID on the downturn, educators, schools & recruiters, alike, predicted borders were on the verge of reopening with Visa processing soon to follow. Everything was looking positive! That is, until the unforeseen appearance of the Delta Variant, 10 times more contagious than COVID-19. Time for plan “B?”

Schools, despite what you may have been led to believe, really have little, if any, special insight into how the Delta Variant situation will unfold. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess what the future holds. This may explain why teachers are complaining that schools are not forthcoming with the much needed information required to make important career decisions.

At the time of this writing, 74 countries have closed their borders to all but citizens, residents & people in special circumstances. Taipei, China, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia & Malaysia are included on this list. Teachers who left closed-border countries for the summer are finding themselves locked out. Those who chose to stay in-country, instead of risking a border closure, report not seeing family or friends back home for up to 2 years.

The good news: 144 countries do have open borders. There are, however, entry restrictions such as proof of a negative COVID test, &/or proof of being fully vaccinated, &/or quarantine upon arrival.

Eight countries post no restrictions at this time. Mexico & Colombia head this list.

A Plan B Success Story

My wife and I have been waiting for months for TECO (Taipei Economic & Cultural Office) to open back up & process our Visas. We set the July 26 Level Change as our final deadline to make a decision on a plan of action.

Earlier in the year we quit jobs in Colorado & sold our home to return to the international life after a frustrating COVID year. In the meantime, while waiting on our Visas, we’ve been at my parents house & I started exploring other options.

Long story short, I was able to get hired last week at a top public school this late in the season. My wife begins interviewing next week. Talk about lucky! Not a bad Plan B.

I really, really wanted this Taiwan job to work out for so many reasons but I was tired of the uncertainty & these key factors:

1. No plan of actions were ever presented to me except: “You will be teaching remotely until the border opens up.” That meant I’d be teaching on a 12-hour time difference & not be able to get paid until I have a Taiwanese bank account open when I arrive in the country.

2. The fear of living in the US with no health insurance is real.

3. After the Visa processing begins again & we finally make it to Taiwan, we would still be subject to a two-week hotel quarantine & an extra one-week quarantine before entering a school. I understand why we would quarantine but I don’t understand why I would have to be separated from my wife & child for two weeks in separate rooms with no contact. Hard thing to explain to a two-year old! We live together & would fly together, I really don’t get it…

4. I have two cousins in Taiwan that have lived on the island for seven years. They estimate that quarantine restrictions will be in store until at least January. A mandatory quarantine at $100 a night for two weeks upon returning to Taiwan essentially traps you there for all intent & purposes. My fear is that this remains in place even longer with the Delta Variant & my family & I get trapped once we enter Taiwan.

ISR asks:

Are YOU one of the hundreds of International Educators awaiting a Visa or border opening? Do you have a plan “B?” If you have not done so already, at what point will you put your plan “B” into action? Are you willing to teach remotely from home for an unspecified period of time when what you really want is to go overseas?

Please scroll down to participate in this ISR Discussion

China Visa Gamble

Good news: One hundred fifty teachers and more than 60 schools with multiple available positions have so far registered for the upcoming Shanghai Virtual Recruiting Fair. The odds of landing a teaching position in China are looking strong! Bad news: The odds for Obtaining a Visa for China at the current stage of the pandemic are not looking good.

Issued by the Chinese Foreign Affairs Office, the first step in the China Visa process is to obtain a PU letter, essentially an invitation to apply for a Visa. Companies apply for the letter in the name of their foreign employees. Individuals and agents cannot. With a PU letter in hand, Visa candidates visit the nearest Chinese Consulate/Embassy in their home country to complete the process. Herein lies the problem.

With the pandemic muddling up the works, many Chinese Consulates/Embassies are closed until further notice, or simply refusing to process Visas at this time. An ISR member reports that an open Chinese consulate refused to process her Visa, even though she had a PU letter. Teachers waiting for a PU letter have not been guaranteed a date of issuance. The word is it could be June before Visa processing resumes, with the most likely applicant to receive a Visa being a single teacher or teaching couple. A trailing spouse and/or dependent children could be denied.

The odds of landing a teaching position in China look like a slam-dunk. The odds of entering the country to assume that position, even with an invitation letter, look like a gamble. It’s a waiting game and one that strongly suggests teaching candidates have a viable plan “B” ready to roll should August come around with China still on lockdown.

Comments? Questions? Please scroll to participate in this ISR Discussion

Important Updates: Name Your School & Comment on Their Response to Covid-19

Caught by surprise with little to no disaster preparedness procedures in place, scores of International Schools succumbed to the onset of the Covid crisis with little more than a knee-jerk reaction. Conversely, many schools proved well prepared for just such an emergency, with an already established and well rehearsed virtual teaching platform in place, along with well thought out emergency procedures and policies. Some of us were very lucky to find ourselves at such a school!

The question is: How are individual schools currently dealing with the pandemic (as compared to when the crisis first struck)? This is the information we all need in order to make informed recruiting decisions during this unprecedented season.

For example: A school initially reported by teachers to have started out on shaky ground in the face of the crisis may have later developed a viable plan beneficial to both students and teachers. Or, a school that initially attempted to keep all staff on board may have eventually buckled under financial pressures due to decreased enrollment, forcing the dismissal of staff and possibly a failure to honor Contracts. Additionally, a school in locations with Covid-related Visa restrictions may no longer be able to guarantee entry to their host country.

There is no end to current, Covid-related scenarios that could affect the lives and careers of International Educators. If YOU have up-to-date info to Share on the Covid-related status of your school, we encourage participation in our endeavor to provide ISR Members and site visitors with the information needed to make informed career decisions during this recruiting season unlike any other.

To participate: Please click below to visit our original Article. Scroll (or use control F on your keyboard) to find already posted information about your school. Then click the REPLY link following the comments and enter your updated information. Comments are date-stamped so readers will know which are the latest comments. Your post will be made anonymously, as always.

Survey: 2020 Holiday Travel

How will YOU celebrate the 2020 Winter Holidays? Do you have travel plans or will you Shelter in place? Hands down, the most sensible, and possibly least appealing choice is to just stay put and maybe even self-quarantine.

Consider the following: Flying home to the United States and parts of Europe for the holiday, where the virus continues to rage, may be like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Traversing crowded airports in these countries could later prove fatal not only to the traveler, but also family and friends and later to colleagues and students upon a return to the host country.

As International Educators and emissaries from our home countries, we have the responsibility to not only teach responsible behaviors, but to embody what we teach. Still, there are educators among us with the… “It won’t happen here attitude,” who will ignore the warnings and put themselves and others in harm’s way. Our guess is they are few and far between.

What’s YOUR plan for the Winter Holiday?

Comments? Please Scroll Down to Participate in this Discussion Topic

What You Need to Know about Recruiting in the Age of Covid

If you’re contemplating or planning on recruiting during these unprecedented times, you’re probably searching for answers to some pressing questions:

    • Is it worth recruiting this season?
    • Should I stay put in my current position for job security?
    • Do virtual Recruiting Fairs hold a candle to the real thing?
    • Is the job market glutted with teachers who lost their jobs to Covid? 
    • Are schools hiring or being super picky because jobs are at a premium?

As a Community of International Educators, we collectively have answers to these questions, and MORE. ISR invites YOU to take a minute and share YOUR experiences and insights regarding today’s recruiting climate. Together we can piece together the information each of us needs to make informed career decisions in the age of Covid-19.

International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed
is what International Schools Review is All About!

Please scroll down to Share your experiences & insights

Masks OFF

I am a French citizen teaching at an International Bilingual School in the U.S.A. (I’ll keep my identity and location confidential to not put my job in jeopardy.) I’m writing today because the overreaction  among a group of parents regarding students being required to wear face masks is something I never would have imagined from Americans. I’m disillusioned. Here’s a little background:

Last week we had what you call a “town hall.”  About 20% of the parents came without masks. They argued it’s their constitutional right to potentially infect the rest of us with the Covid virus. They didn’t say it quite like that, but that’s the takeaway. One parent said something about God protecting their child. The mask-wearing group tried to stress civic responsibility, children’s’ safety and respect. A few angry parents shouted them down. It was like they literally and figuratively removed their masks. It was ugly.

This degree of a sense of entitlement, lack of empathy and responsibility is something I haven’t seen before in America. I don’t understand why putting a piece of cloth over the mouth to help stop the spread of a deadly disease is too much to ask. You would think parents were being asked to sacrifice their first-born, which in the end they may be doing by denying them masks. The U.S. Constitution grants its citizens rights, but using those rights in a way that could cause the death of other citizens is inconsistent with what I know of America.

I would like to ask how teachers feel about mask requirements and what the situation is at schools that have opened during the pandemic? Are students and parents wearing masks, social distancing and doing their part to help keep everyone safe, in and out of school?  Or is the personal freedom group endangering the school community and the community at large?

Thanks ISR,

Please scroll to participate in this Discussion

Taking a Year Off

A year gap on your resume can be an unwanted stain that’s sure to prompt an interviewing school Director to ask for an explanation:  Were you just hanging out? Traveling? Did an emotional overload dictate a break? Is there an ailing parent in the picture? How did you keep up your teaching skills? Are you sure you’re still interested in International education? Or, maybe you’re in some type of legal or financial trouble?

If you have been forced to spend a year away from International Teaching because Covid wiped out your position, or you autonomously decided to stay/go home and play it safe, there should be little worry about this explainable gap in your resume. However, ISR definitely does recommend you document your explanation with a letter from your previous school explaining the consequences of the Covid Virus on your previous school and position.

Do, and we encourage you, be prepared for this next question:  How did you spend your year off? Killing time vegging in front of YouTube isn’t going to win you stature as a candidate. On the other hand, cultural experiences, personal development or an addition to your credentials will paint a much better image of you and say something positive about what you’ll contribute to the school atmosphere. Again, documentation is important and helps a school Director choose the best candidate.

If YOU decided to take a year off due to the Covid crisis, or your school decided for you, ISR invites you to ask Questions about and Share thoughts on how YOU will incorporate this gap into your resume.  Of equal interest is your impressions on how a year away during the Covid crisis may affect future job seeking efforts and how YOU show you utilized the time to make yourself a better and more desirable International Education candidate.

Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion

Kuwait International School Defies ALL Logic

An email to ISR from an Educator in Kuwait:

    “It’s been a strange few months and the Coronavirus has certainly brought to the forefront the position to which International Educators are relegated in Kuwait’s International Schools. Some of us have lost our jobs, some have had our salaries cut, and some have had annual leaves magically shifted by a month. More recently, some staff at my school were told their future Contracts for the next academic year were ‘null and void.’

The Ministry of Education (MOE) have been quite clear about when and how government-run schools will operate in the face of the Coronavirus. By contrast, the procedures for those of us at private International Schools have been sabotaged by miscommunication followed by misinterpretation. From the very beginning, my school refused to follow MOE Covid-19 guidelines:  “No! We are in the private sector! These regulations don’t apply to us!” Fortunately, the Minister appeared on TV to inform private institutions that they, too, are subject to MOE rules.

Kuwait is in Phase 3 of the lock-down. Salons and restaurants remain closed, yet private schools are considered ‘safe.’ Always ready to take advantage of a situation, my school has ordered teachers back on campus to commence online teaching! The logic defies all reason! We must E-teach from campus buildings, which under normal circumstances have some questionable hygiene practices, or ‘risk not being paid.’

Why on EARTH would administrators want teachers in school buildings in the middle of a full-blown pandemic to do EXACTLY what we can do from the safety of our homes and, in fact, have been doing for many months? Government teachers have been at home this whole time. They did no teaching at all and received pay. Something is not right with this picture.

What about teachers who are out of country? What about those who will return midway through the month and be required to remain in captivity … sorry, quarantine? It’s understood their ability to E-teach from home will not be hindered by their inability to cross the threshold of the hallowed school buildings. None of this make sense to me.
One colleague surmised that at a time when school owners may be considering trimming the fat, administrators might be feeling vulnerable and looking for ways to appear essential to the operation of their schools. It’s far easier to appear essential when buildings are full of teachers.    

Whatever happens, in the short-term, teachers will remember who had their backs, who was honest, who was humble and who was understanding. And who was not! Thanks for your earlier newsletter Name Your School & Comment on their Response to Covid-19. A number of my colleagues, including myself, have named and shamed our school.


Disillusioned Educator 


Comments? Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

The news that Covid-19 had significantly declined in the area where my new International teaching position is located was a real cause to celebrate. Yes, I would have a job in September. But, wait, not so fast! The following week, American passport holders were banned from entering what was to be my new destination!

Someone once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans.” Truthfully, it feels like life just sneaked up and bit me on the behind. As an American currently in Texas, it’s unfathomable we handled the Covid-19 situation so incredibly poorly that developing nations have now closed their borders to Americans.

I had read on the ISR Forum that schools can pull strings to get teachers in, but haven’t heard anything about this from MY school. To date, the answer to any and all questions has been, “We’ll have to wait and see.” Well, we just can’t wait much longer with the academic year about to begin! I think my school should be able to offer some information, one way or the other.

At times I dwell on possible outcomes to this uncertainty and even have some severe emotional reactions to these imagined outcomes — not good for my attitude or health. So, I formulated 3 potential positive paths for my future and focus on them rather than on events I cannot control. Of course, everything could change in a heartbeat — just look at the hurricane that struck Texas last week! Yikes!

Well ISR, I do have my fingers crossed for a positive outcome. I’m sure my feelings are not unique. If you would post my letter and open up a community discussion on this topic of uncertainty, we as international educators could use our energy to support each other in these trying times.


Ms B.

Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion


ISR home page

Survey Results = 90% Wonderful News

Our goal at ISR was to create a comprehensive Survey, the results of which would provide International Educators with a much-needed insight into the feasibility of a career in International education during the ‘New Normal.’ Here’s what YOU need to know:

The Good News

Based on 1,300 responses, 90% of International Educators currently under Contract said they are confident their Contracts will be honored for the remainder of the school year and beyond. A full 90% of all educators starting at new schools also said they feel secure knowing their positions will be there for them in the new school year. Wonderful!

The Not-So-Good News

The remaining 10% of Survey participants report that their current, or upcoming, international teaching position has already been terminated, leaving them unemployed. Most educators in this predicament report that their schools have not responded to emails and/or phone calls. That says everything you need to know about such schools. For information on how particular schools have treated teachers during the pandemic, see Name Your School & Comment on their Response to Covid-19. Many Recent ISR School Reviews also contain related information.

The Unforeseen Complications

Impacting about 45% of International Educators who took our Survey is the very real inability to obtain a Visa due to government shutdowns. If you are in this category, ISR recommends contacting your school for guidance. They may have a temporary work- around should the problem persist.

The Future Looks Promising

Although nothing is written in stone and government responses to COVID-19 are changing and evolving from one day to the next, based on our Survey results ISR concludes the future for a career in International Education looks favorable at this time. See Decision Making in the New Normal for the most up-to-date Survey results.

Comments? Something to add? Please scroll down to participate!

Survey: Decision Making in the “New Normal”

As a direct result of COVID-19, International Educators are finding themselves jobless. For those still employed, or anticipating a move to a new school, the future remains uncertain. It’s little wonder many of us are feeling isolated, uninformed, and unsure what the future holds for our careers.

With the goal to provide a clear picture of the sweeping consequences COVID-19 is having on International Educators, ISR invites YOU to take a comprehensive Survey, the results of which should provide valuable information expected to assist International Educators in making career-impacting decisions.

Your participation, and that of colleagues scattered around the globe, will be mutually beneficial. Survey results display in real time so check back often for up-to-date information. ISR is All About International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed.

Part 1:
For Teachers at International Schools when COVID-19 Struck

Part 2:
For all Teachers Moving to a New School

Part 3: Visa Issues

Comments? Have something to add?
Please scroll to participate in this Discussion

Feel free to include the name of your school with your comments

Could This Be Normal?

A month into the COVID pandemic, with still no concrete ‘start date’ for the upcoming academic year, I telephoned the principal at what was soon to be my new school in Italy. I was simply looking for a little reassurance before officially resigning my teaching job in the States.

The principal was sympathetic. She understood my predicament. At least that’s what I thought….until she told me in no uncertain terms:

“If you fail to show up for school when we decide to open, you will be responsible for all expenses associated with hiring you, plus penalties. On the other hand, if we decide we don’t need you due to reduced enrollment, your Contract can be nullified with no financial compensation. Of course, in this situation you owe us nothing….”

It was painfully obvious I wasn’t going to get the reassurance I was looking for. I did, however, get the information needed to make a firm, much-needed decision. Jeopardizing my health and financial security for an organization that obviously could not give a damn about me was not about to happen! My final words to the principal? ‘Find yourself another teacher….I’m out!’

I realize I’m one of the fortunate ones. At least I still have a job. What if I had resigned my position here in the States? Worse yet, what if I was already working at the school prior to the pandemic, only to find myself put in the position of becoming a disposable commodity?

My Questions: Is it normal for International Schools to take such a hard-line stance, especially right now? Who in their right mind would expect educators to put their future in limbo with no assurance they won’t be left high and dry? Can this school really collect their recruiting fees from me?

Comments? Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion

Back to School …. Already?

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of International Schools plans to reopen as early as this week, some by choice, others by government order. ISR Asks: What will this early return to the classroom look like for students & teachers?
  • Will teachers & students all wear masks?
  • Will social distancing be achieved through reduced class size & staggered lunches?
  • Will a percentage of students stay on virtual learning to reduce class size?
  • Will everyone entering school grounds be temperature-tested daily?
  • Would you comply with a return order if your school called you back today?
ISR Member and Site Visitors Comment:
I’m not comfortable with it (an early return). I think I will be wearing a mask. I really miss the kids and they miss me, but I am more interested in first seeing the numbers in a week or two when those who traveled have symptoms appear. If a parent asked my opinion, I would tell them to keep their kids home if it’s possible or if they were worried. I would also encourage them to use a mask if possible. But that is not the school’s position.
There are a ton of guidelines to follow, many of which are near-impossible to enforce, but we’ll give it a shot. The government has mandated an opening so we have no choice. The only kids who won’t return are those with family members who are sick. If kids show symptoms at school, even mild ones, we are to send them home for 48 hours. Teachers are to also follow this rule.
My school in China is reopening for grades 9 and 12. I am not in-country but they sent out a video to all high school students on the requirements and it looks like a prison! I would not want my kid going back and do not understand the value of going back compared to online. Also, since 1/2 our staff is out of country many classes are still distance-learning and the teachers that did go back are getting an increased workload without compensation. For example, I was directed to find a teacher on campus to remove all items besides desks and computers from my classroom and make sure all desks are 1.5 meters apart.
Schools in Shanghai are opening in grade-stages. April 27, 2 high school grades return. Other grades will return staggered by grades, upper grades first. We have been told to be prepared to return after May 6 but nothing is confirmed yet. This is direct information from the Shanghai Education Bureau. Kindergartens open last.
When I see how the school has prepared, I’ll determine then how comfortable I am going back. Lots of people here are roaming around without masks and it makes me very uncomfortable!

Have something to add? Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion
(Note:  Previous comments are from ISR Open Forum)

Slipping Through My Fingers

Dear ISR, I have relied on this website for many, many years. It has led me to incredible International Schools and detoured me from others that would not be a good fit. I’m ready to return abroad once again and had, earlier in this recruiting season, accepted a fine position in the EU for the 2020-2022 school years. However, with COVID-19, I now see this opportunity slipping through my fingers and would like to share and discuss this experience with other educators in the same boat.

As the situation is escalating in the US and around the world, I can’t imagine my work visa will get processed, or that the international travel ban will be lifted in time for me to begin in August. If “back to school” means e-teaching, the school can’t even place me on their payroll without the proper government documents. Without a work visa there is no job…

What does the future hold? At what point will the EU school be forced to rescind their offer? So many questions and concerns, yet very few answers! Life as we know it is in a holding pattern. Are teachers who were planning to make a move in a few months all seeing those plans slipping from their grasp? Any thoughts on this topic?


(name withheld by request)

Please scroll down to participate in this ISR Discussion

Name Your School & Comment on their Response to Covid-19. Let’s Keep Each Other Informed

Firsthand accounts that describe how individual International Schools treat teachers during the Covid-19 pandemic will help us ALL to make informed career choices in the future. Schools which put teachers’ safety and well-being ahead of profits are schools where we all want to work.

Let’s help each other identify schools that we can depend on to support teachers in times like these. ISR invites you to Name Your School and tell colleagues about the support, or lack of support, your School is currently providing teachers in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. Keeping Each Other Informed is what International Schools Review is All About.

It’s easy to remain anonymous: Simply enter your comments below and fill in the name field with an incognito-type Username that will appear with your entry. Leave the Email and any other fields blank. If any fields have self-populated because you are logged into a WordPress affiliate site, remove the text and enter your newly-created Username.

Please Scroll down to tell Colleagues
about your School’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Feel free to include the name of your school with your comments

Your Job in the Shadow of Covid-19

If you’re wondering about the future of your International Teaching job, here are some factors to consider that will impact every school’s ability to keep teachers employed through the Covid-19 crisis.

This is by no means a complete list. If you have something to add that will help colleagues to evaluate job stability, please scroll down to participate.

Consider the following when determining job stability:

  • The number of expat parents who lose their jobs and the number of local business that permanently close will impact enrollment and job security.
  • Depending on the duration of the crisis, parents may begin to question tuition costs and seek less expensive, strictly online alternative schools and/or seek a brick-and-mortar school with lower tuition. 
  • Schools that launched and perfected a comprehensive virtual teaching platform may sustain a strong sense of community and maintain student population, as well as your teaching position (!), until the end of the academic year at least.
  • Schools with a high percentage of embassy families may have a better chance of survival because they’re not dependent on local funding.
  • Schools with multiple sections of one subject may let less experienced teachers go first.
  • Head and/or lead teachers could have a better chance of keeping their job.

Don’t Leave Your Career to Chance! Do your due diligence, ask questions, consider the points mentioned in this Article, and most importantly, Have a Plan. As seen previously in ISR School Reviews, there are schools that basically abandoned their teachers during times of political unrest. Believing such a school’s reaction to the Coronavirus pandemic would be any different is clearly not sound thinking.

If it becomes necessary, schools could enact Force Majeure. This would allow them to break the terms of your Contract due to extenuating circumstance. As such, a financially solvent school would award teachers a lump-sum payout and additional assistance as needed. However, financially fragile schools could simply shut down, leaving you stranded and unemployed in a foreign country and with no future employment on the horizon. ISR recommends you get the facts and plan ahead. 

Have something to add? Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion

Spread the word! To what extent is your school supporting its teachers during the Covid-19 crisis? Submit a short Review and spread the word. Helping each other make informed career decisions is what ISR is all about!

Suing Our School Over Coronavirus Policy

In a knee jerk reaction to the Coronavirus, our school director unilaterally decided to change the dates of our spring break. Threatening us with loss of job, he ordered all teachers to stay in-country during the rescheduled vacation. The faculty is pissed!!

As a faculty we feel he should have at least had a plan in mind to help teachers obtain reimbursement for money already spent on travel plans – airfare / hotels, etc. He did not! I asked him why leaving the country would result in loss of job and was told it’s because we may face quarantine upon reentry, leaving the school short on teachers. As usual there was no concern for our needs, such as flying home to visit an aging parent.

Had Mr. School Director thought to organize a whole-school faculty meeting and present a valid reason for the date change he may have united us as a team working for a common cause.  Instead, he sent out an email to parents and teachers alike and then made himself unavailable.

There is no question we all need to act responsibly and do our part to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. However, our director’s interest in changing the dates of our Spring break had nothing to do with public safety or stopping the spread of the virus. His sole focus was on the school’s profit margin. And… I have proof because I tracked him down and have the recording of our meeting to prove it. His attitude is quite revealing!

Our contracts clearly spell out vacation dates. That portion of our contracts has now been breached and the director refuses to address the issue or help us in any way.  As a faculty we have decided to seek legal representation in an effort to receive reimbursement for all lost monies. After all, his decision to suddenly change the dates of our spring break was based on a concern for profits with no regard to the teachers’ wellbeing of public safety.

I’d like to know how other schools have been treating their teachers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Surely the treatment we are receiving is not representative of international Schools as a group.

Thanks for all you do for International Teachers,
(name withheld on request)

Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion Board

Survey: Will COVID-19 Keep You From Overseas?

Would you teach in a country on the brink of civil war? How about one experiencing long-term drought or a recent military coup? Incidents and events some of us consider dangerous and to be avoided are seen by others as exciting, challenging adventures.

COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, poses a unique danger and could well deter some otherwise adventurous Educators from venturing overseas. Fatalities from COVID-19 stand just over the 5,000 figure, yet seasonal influenza claims 100 times that  many lives on a yearly basis. The KICKER:  There’s NO vaccine or standardized cure for Coronavirus and it’s spreading unbridled. 

To learn how COVID-19 is affecting the careers of International Educators, we invite you to take a short ISR survey. Results are available in real time and should provide the information YOU need to make informed career decisions.

Select the statement that describes your situation in regards to

Comments or Questions? Please scroll down

Impact of Coronavirus

Living in far-off, exotic lands, International Educators often feel somehow exempt, even insulated from a lot of what’s going on in the world. Time and distance have a habit of providing a false sense of security that does not apply to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

To date, China alone reports 92,290 confirmed cases, resulting in 3,130 deaths. Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, France, United States, Philippines, Australia, Thailand and Taiwan have reported deaths due to the Virus. Yet this is not the complete list of impacted countries as the Coronavirus has reportedly spread to 66 countries and every continent.

ISR Asks:  What effect is the Coronavirus having on International Educators? Will Recruiting Fairs continue to attract large numbers of educators when the future of an offered position is uncertain? What about Contracts already signed for China and other areas where the Virus is prominent and spreading? Will there be financial compensation for educators who may find themselves jobless? How are those International Educators currently in areas with stringent quarantines and school shutdowns coping with the situation?

In an effort to keep each other informed, ISR encourages Members and readers to use this space to ask questions, recount experiences and offer sound advice based on their first-hand experiences.

Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion