June 15, 2017

With the academic year over or soon to be ending at International Schools around the globe, you no doubt have a clear idea of what the near future has in store for you. Take our quick Survey and check the real-time results to learn what’s up for your colleagues in the summer months and onward into the next school year. It’s always nice to know how YOU fit into the picture! Here’s your opportunity.


Go to follow-up survey results article


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Departing Thoughts

June 1, 2017

Whether you’re departing your International School for the very last time, or just heading home for the summer break, countless experiences have influenced how you’re feeling about saying goodbye. Some of us have had the experience of a lifetime and depart with reservations. Others of us will say we had a so-so experience but are ready to move on. Still others will say…This sucked–I’m glad to be out of this hell-hole of a school!

With summer vacation and/or completion of Contracts on the horizon, ISR asks: What are YOU thinking/feeling as you prepare to depart your school?

We’ve supplied a writing prompt to get you started. Just copy a statement (in green, below) that applies to you, paste it into the Reply Box and let ‘er rip. Keep it short or go into detail–it’s up to you.

Prompts & Examples

Prompt 1: As I make plans to leave my school for the very last time…
(sample reply – your experience may be different) I’m experiencing mixed emotions. I’ve formed some wonderful friendships with colleagues and host nationals. The kids have been a joy to teach and the parents have been supportive. I probably could have stayed longer but I just want to see what else is out there. I’m not getting any younger. I hope my next school is as special as this one. (Optional – Enter School name)

Prompt 2: As I make plans to head home for summer vacation…
(sample reply – your experience may be different) I feel relieved and ecstatic to be leaving this poor excuse of a school and putting this nightmare to rest for at least a few months. I’m seriously thinking of not returning at the end of the summer. I don’t think I can face another year of this. (Optional – Enter School name)

Now it’s YOUR turn. How do YOU rate your upcoming exit on the Depart-O-Meter?

Too Frazzled to Go Back

July 28, 2016

..Hello ISR, I’ve noticed you post teachers’ letters from time to time and open them up for discussion. The situation I’m in is literally making me physically ill from stressing over what to do. I’m just frazzled at this point and could use some advice and support from other teachers. Maybe someone out there has been in the same situation? Here goes, I hope you post this:

..This past school year, I (a single woman in my early 30s) was teaching in the Middle East and can honestly say the place I’m in is disgusting beyond words. I do take care to cover up very well, yet I literally can’t walk 10 steps on the street without some jackass ogling me or making disgusting sounds. Men have even lewdly touched me in crowded situations. From the city to the the school, just the thought of the place sickens me.

..The final straw was when I turned to walk away from a little kiosk and glimpsed the driver of a parked taxi eyeing me with his hand down his pants — you can fill in the rest. The entire scene is repulsive and oppressive and I feel like I’m trapped inside a nightmare. The school is no gem either. I won’t go into it but it’s definitely a candidate for a seething ISR School Review.

..The point is, I hate my life at this school so much that I am seriously considering not returning after the summer. Actually, I don’t know if I can face another moment of it. When I left for the summer I took everything of any value with me. Any ideas, anyone? I really need some advice. Sincerely, Stressed to the Max

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“Grounded” Back Home

July 21, 2016

Dear ISR, The 2015-16 academic year is over and I’m happy for that. The problem is I resigned my teaching position back in December, attended an ISS Fair but did not find a job for the upcoming school year.

   Now what? I’ve been overseas for 11 years straight and have absolutely no plans to make living in the States a permanent situation again. Right now I’m essentially without much of a home, car or job, my health insurance is soon to expire, and have no social life since old friends and respected colleagues have moved on a long time ago from our hometown history. Worse, making new acquaintances seems like a pointless effort.

I’m feeling “grounded” so to speak — bored, frustrated, a little bit depressed — like I’m going seriously backwards in my life and career. I have savings but hate to deplete it, so substituting will hopefully defray daily expenses. I am registering for both ISS and Search recruiting fairs, taking no chances of not getting another international teaching job. But for now life isn’t much fun at all…

I’d really like to hear from other international educators who are, or have been, in the same boat. Hearing how others survived this sense of idling while my career and life languish, or from those who are currently dealing with it, would go a long way. Maybe those of us in this situation can help each other using your much appreciated website as a place to meet and share ideas and experiences. Thanks very much, ISR, for considering my request to share my letter with your readers.


(Name withheld)

Survey: What Are International Educators Doing This Summer?

July 30, 2015

summer-sun85091069..The world’s in your backyard when you’re an International Educator! Isn’t that grand? Add to that the relatively inexpensive/unlimited travel possibilities & international travel is, for us fortunate International teachers, absolutely limitless!

So, what are YOU doing this summer? Have you rented a cottage on a tropical island & learned to scuba dive? Maybe you’re traveling in your host country or on some distant continent you’ve always wanted to explore? Perhaps you’re studying a foreign language, living in a tree-house in the Amazon, or building houses for Habitat For Humanity? It could be you’ve opted to return to your home country for some family/friends-back-home time?

ISR Members want to know! Give a shout-out to your colleagues around the world:


Take our brief Survey – Leave a comment


School’s Out for Summer

June 18, 2015

school-is-out-64404601For the remainder of June & all of July, ISR Newsletters will feature our Most Popular Blog Topics, Forum Posts & Articles of Interest. We recommend you also visit the ISR Newsletter Archive to view Newsletters you may have missed during the busy academic year.

During the upcoming six weeks the Staff at ISR will focus on much needed programming up-dates to the ISR web site. In other words, we’ll be busy this summer getting the ISR Web Site in tip-top shape for the upcoming (& much anticipated) recruiting season. Of course, we’ll continue posting new Reviews every day & featuring them in each weekly Newsletter. Here’s a suggested reading list of timely topics for this week:

Recommend Reading – 6/18

Summer Vacation Dilemmas for International Educators

Teaching Abroad – Moving On Is a Difficult Road to Walk
by Dr. Barbara Spilchuk

Surviving – Looking Forward to the End of the School Year (ISR Forum)

I Don’t Wanna Go Back!

July 31, 2014

homesick_2226423This timely letter from an ISR Member first appeared during winter break, December 2011. We’re reintroducing it today for the benefit of ISR Members who find themselves in this same troubling predicament following the long summer break:

Click Here for complete letter/ blog