The Last Slice of Information

July 6, 2017

..Still have a nagging concern about a specific International School? ISR highly recommends you take full advantage of the ISR Member Forum. It is, of course, included with your membership, yet often overlooked as a valuable resource.

Located inside the ISR Member Area that’s packed with 11,000+ in-depth School Reviews, the ISR Member Forum stands alone as an adjunct venue for ISR Members who may still have unique questions in regards to a specific International School.

Don’t leave your career to chance. Click HERE to visit the ISR Member Forum for that last slice of vital information you need to make an informed decision.


Should Have, Would Have, Wish I Had

May 25, 2017

Hindsight may be 20/20, but why learn the hard way when you can KNOW before you go?

With recruiting season basically over, those of us who haven’t yet landed a position for the upcoming school year are feeling a bit desperate and maybe a little more than willing to take a chance on a school with not-so-good Reviews.

“I wish I knew about International Schools Review before I took this job” is a recurring theme running through many ISR Reviews. There’s also ISR teacher-members who had read poor Reviews of a school, went anyway, and later commented that they should have heeded the Reviews but didn’t because they refused to accept that any school could be so bad.

Here’s some excerpts from recent Reviews posted by teachers who didn’t know about ISR before they accepted a position, and from those who chose to ignore the warnings of teachers already at the school:

A school in Cyprus
I honestly wish I had read the reviews prior to accepting a teaching job here. Believe me, these reviews are spot on concerning accuracy!

A school in the UAE
This is a miserable place to work. I wished I had looked at the reviews before I set foot in this school…

A school in Oman
Now that I know the reality of working here, I wish I had taken the reviews written on ISR more seriously…

A school in Vietnam
After joining this website, I feel compelled to warn people that I have been at four international schools that touted ‘high ideals and rigor with a strong commitment to students and faculty.’ Oh, how I wish I had found this website years ago! So much stress and heartache could have been avoided…

A school in Malaysia
The school has a notorious reputation of teachers and principals leaving in a short period of working. I wish I had known this fact before signing…

A school in China
I am writing this because these are things I wish I had known before going to work for this school. I hope that it helps people assess whether or not this is the right place for them…

Should Have, Would Have, Wish I Had sentiments are a thing of the past with ISR.

International Teachers Keeping Each Other Informed
is what International Schools is All About!

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Human Rights Vs. The Rights of International Teachers

May 11, 2017


An Open Letter to ISR

Dear ISR, I’m writing in regards to the International Educators’ Bill of Rights mentioned in your article, Don’t Bring Me Down. I fail to see how the Bill of Rights can be applied to all schools, worldwide, especially when some schools are located in countries with very different ideas about “rights” than we in the West.

Human rights, including employment rights, are determined by the laws of the country in which you reside and teach, and they are not all the same. For example, there is an Arab charter on human rights, which has its own interpretations on racism, and an Asian version on human rights, where, for example, ‘individuals must put the state’s rights before their own’. How would it be possible for an International Educators’ Bill of Rights to supersede such documents?

For me as a westerner living in the middle east, I find Arabic values incomprehensible and totally incompatible with my education and upbringing; there is a gulf between myself and management which cannot be bridged. As a fourteen-year-old studying history I learned how ‘nepotism’ was a terrible evil. I still think that way. Yet, in my present adopted country, this is the only way to get promoted; experience appears to count for very little.

I feel what might be more useful than the International Educators’ Bill of Rights is if recruiting agencies would require schools to provide realistic information on the culture surrounding each school. This could include such info as the country’s basic laws and regulations, and the area’s overall approach to human rights. How is their treatment of children, of foreigners, the disabled, females, the extremely poor and the uber rich? The info should also include the make-up of each schools’ ownership and management, thereby getting a much clearer picture of the mindset of who you’ll be working for on a day-to-day basis.

For example:  A school organized and managed by the American Embassy school would be noted as such and considered to be run by an American administration. A school owned by a host-national and administered by a host-national director/principal would be designated as such. In this way teachers could understand in advance what sort of experience they were signing on for, not to stereotype schools or countries, but as a good start to knowing if a school is the right choice for you.

I find the International Educators’ Bill of Rights a wonderful document. I am, however, not convinced it’s applicable to all schools in all locations around the world.

ISR Response. We agree that individual countries have their own specific code for Human Rights, including employment rights. We do feel, however, that no educator goes overseas with the intent to be taken advantage of under provisions set forth by law, or through loopholes in a country’s laws.

ISR considers an International School that hires staff from Western countries to be an island unto itself,
and as such, will treat their educators as would a school in the West. ISR feels strongly that a school which cannot, or will not, stick to the basic principles of the International Educators’ Bill of Rights is a school to be avoided.

ISR asks: What is YOUR opinion on this topic?

*************************************

ISR Note:
This blog was high jacked by a person with a personal agenda. We have removed all comments from this blog.  We apologize to those contributors whose comments were in earnest and on topic.  Posting is open and we invite you to contribute to the topic.


Suspiciously Silent

March 9, 2017

..Here’s the scenario: At a Recruiting Fair you discovered an “invitation to interview” in your candidate mail box. You took the bait. The interview went well and the job is yours. Problem is, you can’t find a recent Review of the school, if any, at all!

..It strikes us as suspicious when there are no Reviews for a specific school, or multiple Reviews that span a few years and then suddenly stop coming in from years back. Why are there no recent Reviews? Why did they stop coming in? We can’t say for certain, but based on teachers’ letters and excerpts from Contracts, there are schools that have taken to contractually preventing their teachers from writing School Reviews. In legal terms, this is called a ‘gag order.’ It is legal and leads one to wonder … what are these schools hiding?

..It’s been said that “happy” teachers don’t write School Reviews. So maybe, just maybe, Reviews stop coming because teachers, in their utter contentment, suddenly stopped writing Reviews. Of course there are other reasons why Reviews of a school don’t exist or stop posting; however, we’re not aware of what those reasons are or we would, most certainly, share them with you.

..When you don’t find current Reviews, or any Reviews for a school, it could be a flapping red flag. But before jumping to a final conclusion, ISR encourages you to consult the ISR Member Forum. Located inside the Members’ area of the ISR web site, this Forum is an adjunct to the School Review section. It’s the designated place to post questions that solicit review- and analysis-type information about schools.

..ISR Members have been quite successful using the ISR Member Forum to request and receive up-to-present-day information about various schools. You’ll find thousands of current posts on various schools already available. Go to the ISR Member Forum.

International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed
is what International Schools Review is all about!

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Celebrate The New Year with Our Top-10

December 29, 2016

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..Here’s our Top-10 most popular Blogs. Of course, there’s hundreds more to choose from & each delves into important Topics directly affecting International Educators like you! International Schools Review is honored to provide the platform preferred by thousands of International Educators & encourages you to utilize this vast resource of material, all of which has been contributed by International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed.

..In the new year, ISR will continue to keep abreast of issues affecting International Educators & present these timely topics for discussion. It’s the continued support of the International Teaching Community that makes ISR possible & helps us to continually evolve into an ever more useful tool. Your input is important. We encourage you to submit your ideas. Your voice counts!

Top-10 ISR Blog Topics

Best & Worst School Benefits Packages (214,543 visits)

Schools w/ High Savings Potential (31,289 visits)

Overseas & Over-50   (28,710 visits)

Canceling a Contract After Signing – Where do you stand? (19,108 visits)

Working in International Schools – a Good Career Move? (15,993 visits)

Does Teaching Overseas Help or Hurt Your Career? (13,679 visits)

What makes an International School a Tier-1 School? (13,581 visits)

Can I Really Live on that Salary? (12,850 visits)

I’m Ready to Run! (12,291 visits)

Be Prepared for Tough Interview Questions (11,719 visits)

Happy New Year from International Schools Review

 


Tis the Season for Random Acts of Kindness

December 22, 2016


The Truth Hurts!

December 8, 2016


..
Every year around this time, a few International Schools contact ISR. Why? Because poor School Reviews are hurting their recruiting efforts, and instead of using the Review information to constructively affect improvements, they just want, sometimes demand, that the Reviews go away. Now!

Schools that withhold salaries, switch contract terms, substitute poor housing for promised housing, fail to reimburse travel and/or shipping allowances, renege on health insurance, or engage in other dishonest practices are not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination. If schools complain that Reviews of their modus operandi are affecting recruiting efforts, ISR affirms: This is as it should be. Teachers Keeping Each Other Informed is what International Schools Review is all about.

One organization that manages 3 schools recently sent this email to ISR concerning 86 ISR-hosted Reviews:

“Dear Sirs, I would like to request you to remove all the reviews related to our schools and remove our schools from your database for any candidate to write any reviews. These reviews are creating negative impact while recruitment and we are losing good prospective candidates. I hope you can do the needful ASAP. Thanks.” (Name withheld)

  Without naming names, ISR would like to share with you excerpts from recent Reviews of the schools in question. Each excerpt is from a different School Review, and each of the 5 reviewers, among other things, is concerned with an insufficient housing allowance — a problem, in ISR’s opinion, that could be easily remedied:

• “I like the school. Some great people work here, but that’s not why I am leaving. I am leaving because the housing allowance is really low compared to what actual rents are…”

• “Teachers do not leave because it is a bad school, they are leaving because the salaries are not good compared to other schools. Bigger problem: Many are now saying that our allowances for housing are poor. The allowance will not get you good housing…”

• “I don’t know how I will manage next year because my rent allowance is not high enough. Well, it is…IF I want to live in a shoe box…”

• “This is a rant regarding the shameful situation about housing and housing allowances…”

• “If they won’t give you a good allowance, I advise you to not come here. For a family with 2-3 children you must have at least 11,000 Riyal/month for decent housing…”

..As mentioned, there are other, sometimes huge, issues outlined in these 86 Reviews, but the inadequate housing allowance is stressed in each and is something that could/should be quickly/easily addressed and corrected. But instead of responding to teachers’ needs, a request was made for ISR to remove all traces of the schools from the website. Had we done so, prospective teaching candidates could be lured in. Some web sites may comply with take-down requests, especially when legal threats follow. But most definitely, ISR is not one of them!

Staking your career on the word of a School representative during a thirty-minute interview can be risky, as many, many ISR School Reviews have demonstrated. We recommend that, without fail, you must thoroughly research any school before committing to a Contract. This recruiting season, as always, you can rely on ISR to provide a safe, secure venue dedicated to Teachers Keeping Each Other Informed!

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