Where Expectations Meet Reality: Your New School


I finally decided to go for it! I’d been lurking on ISR forums and reading reviews of international schools for almost 3 years. So, just to see what would happen, I joined SEARCH and low and behold! I found what I believed would be the right school for me.

Based on 18 ISR reviews of my new school, I am here to tell you that what I thought the school would be like, as compared to what it’s actually like, are pretty darn close.

No school is perfect. Even the public school I worked for in the States, with Union protection, had its issues, believe me! Reading reviews of schools on ISR and knowing pretty much what I was committing to has made this entire experience far, far better than if what goes on here came as a surprise.

I can accept lots of situations, particularly if I know ahead of time what’s coming down the tube. Screaming directors who belittle teachers, powerful parents who have administrators under their thumb, unanticipated deductions from my paycheck, and grade fixing are some of them. ISR’s reviews made me privy to that sort of information so I could successfully avoid such schools. Seriously, this is the best $29 I’ve ever spent. And yes, I know I sound a bit like a cheerleader…

Initially I found some Reviews really hard to believe. The stuff said to be going down at some international schools is so outrageous it’s completely outside anything I could’ve imagined, seeing that I come from a public school background. It’s striking the number of reviews in which teachers say they didn’t believe previous reviews could be true, took the job and were now hating life at a crappy international school.

I’d like to know what other teachers have experienced in regards to the relationship between school reviews on ISR and the actual reality they encountered upon arrival. I’m writing to ask you use my letter as a discussion topic.

Thanks for all you do.
Best Regards, Ms. C

Please scroll down to participate in this ISR Discussion

Nothing Has Been Removed

Regrettably, following Monday morning’s crash of the ISR server, some data didn’t quite make it over to our shiny new server. If you noticed any Reviews missing from ISR earlier in the week, rest assured they have ALL been restored.

Thank YOU for your continued understanding & support!

This begs the Question: Will ISR be raising the price of membership? For more than 15 years a yearly membership to ISR has cost $29. We have NO intention of raising the price in the near or far future.

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

Gone Fishin’

No matter how much you love your profession, taking time away is essential for a healthy work-life balance. During the next 3 weeks the staff at ISR staff will be doing just that.

As an ISR member, the only difference you’ll notice is the addition of new weekly Discussion Topics has been put on hold. New School Reviews will post daily & we’ll be fielding emails, albeit a little slower than usual.

In the meantime, there’s plenty of great Discussion Topics just waiting for your participation!

ISR Summer Reading List

ISR Discussion Boards are a must-read for any International Teacher’s summer reading list. Jam packed with Articles & in-depth community discussions on retirement, ageism, admin problems, LGBTQ issues, scams, the single life, non-teaching spouses, medical concerns, breaking Contracts, and a whole lot more, ISR Discussion Boards keep YOU in the know.

Neatly organized and indexed in an easy-to-use format, 100s of Articles on topics of interest to International Educators are yours for a mouse click. Looking for something super specific? The extensive Search feature should bring it up.

Last, but not least, every Article is accompanied by tons of additional information from International Educators contributing personal experiences and knowledge to the topic.

What are you waiting for? Visit the ISR Discussion Boards!

Discrediting Teachers & Lashing Out

If you receive our Newsletter &/or frequent ISR, you know International Schools Review is all about providing a safe space for International Educators to anonymously keep each other in the loop about schools around the world.

ISR’s mantra, International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed, sometimes involves sharing information that’s not of a positive nature. This can often motivate various school Admin or their appointed “attorney” to contact & even threaten ISR.

The tone of such communications is usually aggressive, making it perfectly clear why teachers are dissatisfied, choose to stay anonymous & are motivated to Share their grievances, thus warning colleagues before accepting a Contract at such a school.

Refusing to recognize any degree of credibility in the Comments of the professionals they interviewed & hired, some admin go so far as to conduct witch hunts in an attempt to ferret out the author of negative Comments. More than just a few ISR School Reviews document teachers being called in & interrogated by a school attorney. Some admin claim they know who wrote the objectionable Review & offer leniency in exchange for a confession.

ISR recently received a letter typical of letters we receive from admin who take the stance an author of a negative School Review is merely a dissenter who failed to fall in line. Lashing out at ISR & attempting to discredit the author/s of Comments considered objectionable solves nothing, & may help substantiate the Comments in question. For example:

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“To the Team at ISR,

I have been recently acquainted with a review of the school that I work at (The xxxx School). In the review that I read, the school and two of the administrators (who were named) were subject to a very nasty rendering of things conducted at the school. Judging by the way it was written and the subject matter, I know exactly who wrote the review. I was the anonymous writer’s head of department.

Though I was not mentioned, the review is offensive beyond measure. The review is ridiculous and literally outright lies from top to bottom. So I’m wondering, is this what your website is about, giving a platform to sub-standard educators who have emotional voids they are misguidedly trying to fill or simply for individuals to slander institutions?


The reason I ask is because this is all I can see on your website. Additionally, if one, or an institution wanted to reply, they would need to pay $30 [sic] for the privilege to do so. So your value to the world of international school teaching is what exactly?” (ISR Note: It does not cost to post Reviews to ISR. And, the non-member section has numerous links to do so.)

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When dialogue isn’t immediately possible, negative School Reviews stand as a warning to other educators. If issues get resolved, succeeding Reviews may say so & it is quite common to see progress made using ISR as a basis of communication. But not always. Schools with a stack of poor Reviews still exist.

There’s a wide variety of schools out there. It’s always wise to research & learn from educators who have first-hand experience at a school you are considering. ISR, with its thousands of Members is here to help YOU find the right school.

Comments? Please scroll down to participate in this ISR Discussion

New Year’s Resolutions, 2022

ISR banner

This New Year, and for the past 19 New Year’s, our Resolution at ISR has been and continues to be a commitment to providing Educators with a dynamic venue for sharing the ‘inside word’ on Schools around the globe. 

Wherever YOUR career goals may take you in 2022, ISR thanks YOU for making us YOUR go-to source for the information needed to assist in important career decisions.

Here’s wishing YOU the very best in 2022!

Get the MAX From Your ISR Membership

If you’re not already taking advantage of the ISR Member Forum, you’re missing out on an important feature of your ISR Membership! Here’s why:

The ISR Member Forum is Unhampered & Unrestricted

  • ASK questions about anything & everything related to International Schools &/or Administrators. Receive replies that come from colleagues with firsthand, up-to-date answers. Best of all, you can stay anonymous!
  • SEARCH through thousands of recent posts on topics that other websites prohibit. Schools are named, so are admins. The Member Forum adds another dimension to the comprehensive School Reviews section of ISR.
  • JOIN a thread already underway or initiate one of your own. Here you’ll find more information you need to make important career decisions.

Don’t miss out on Info you may later wish you knew about!

Trending Now on the ISR Member Forum:

(partial list)

Best International Schools in Germany
Shanghai or Singapore for savings
International School Manila
Where in the Middle East?
Future of International Schools in China?
More jobs now than this time last year
BCIS Phuket Thailand (Berda Claude)
What are ISS and Schrole doing differently to one another?
Best Recruiting Agencies & Covid related recruiting: Any Ideas?
Recent info on JIS
QSI Ashgabat
International School of Bucharest or British School of Bucharest?
Mumbai Schools
GEMs World Academy, Singapore
HCMC Schools
Schools in Mexico
SISB Singapore International School of Bangkok
Brussels Schools
MEF Izmir

Get the MAX From Your ISR Membership!

Visit the ISR Member FORUM

Director-Made, Overly Positive School Review Site?

ISR recently received the newsletter of a school review website that openly claims on their login page to have “a better idea,” further insinuating ISR is merely a collection of disgruntled teachers doing not much more than “venting.” ISR can’t help wonder if this is the school-director organized website we were told was in the making some time ago.

Back to the newsletter… Upon opening the forwarded newsletter, we were struck by its glaring colors adorned with party popper confetti. It appears the message they are sending is: Teaching overseas is a party and don’t you worry about the rest of it!

In any case, the design, better suited for napkins at a kid’s birthday, served to introduce an uninspired article about “11 schools with hard working teachers and students.” Among the group included were schools in the UAE, Philippines, Uruguay, Zanzibar and Thailand, each accompanied by a quote from a teacher saying how “absolutely great the students are,” plus a link to more “great” comments.

We won’t dispute these teachers have a wonderful classroom of kids. However, and this is a big however, when you’re contemplating relocating to a foreign country, with little to no laws in place to protect you from your employer, there’s more to consider than simply how the kids behave in a few classrooms across the globe.

Beyond the atmosphere YOU create in your classroom, there’s a whole world of scenarios related to living and teaching internationally that will impact your personal security and career future. ISR’s School Reviews remove the rose-colored lenses and party poppers and unmask schools that withhold salaries, switch Contract terms, substitute poor housing for that promised, fail to reimburse travel and/or shipping allowances, renege on health insurance, cancel Contracts with little to no notice, fail to stop bullying, discriminate against minorities and otherwise engage in dishonest and unethical practices. Any website that considers telling the truth a form of “venting” is a website YOU might want to avoid.

There’s a lot of positives at every school and ISR’s School Reviews delve into them. The question is: Do the positives outweigh the negatives and can you live with the negatives? Overlooking the negatives could be detrimental to your career and personal safety. It’s always wise to consult various sources when considering an International School for a career move. It’s irresponsible when websites fail to reveal the reality of life at these schools. Then again, a site created by directors and/or supporting schools by advertising job openings, could have a “narrow” viewpoint with an potentially dangerous agenda. Is this really “a better idea”?

A Wireless Happy Holiday

Even though we can’t be home with family & friends this Holiday Season, you CAN spend quality time with loved ones through the magic of streaming. That’s our plan at ISR.
From ISR to You & Yours, we wish you a happy, healthy, wonderful Holiday & a heart-warming wireless trip Home!

Taking a Breather


With our heads wheeling from a barrage of constant global crises, we’re taking a breather from our  usual Weekly Discussion Topic. Of course, this does not mean we’ve stopped religiously wearing masks or practicing safe, sanitary measures to protect ourselves and others. We are, rest assured…

In the meantime, you, too, may be inclined to take a breather. Or, conversely, you may wish to participate in one of the many spirited ISR discussions of personal and/or professional interest in progress. Scroll down the right-hand column to find and join a wide variety of conversations on timely topics. There’s many more Articles and Forum topics of interest to International Educators throughout the ISR website. Remember: Teachers keeping each other informed is what ISR is ALL about!
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ISR home page

Good News – ISR is Now Better than Ever!

We’ve moved to our NEW bigger, badder, faster SERVER & have incorporated some long-awaited upgrades to the ISR Member experience. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

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The ISR comprehensive SEARCH Feature is up & running: 

From finding schools near world-class skiing to locating those with outstanding Salaries & Benefits, getting the info YOU need to make informed decisions is easier than ever!

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The Main INDEX to School REVIEWS has a new format:

We went from this….

To this Easy-to-Navigate Cell Phone Compatible format….

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The Main INDEX to Admin REPORTS has a new look:

We went from this….

To Quick, Easy, Compact & Cell Phone friendly….

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The FORUMs & all REVIEWs have been updated, too:

 The ISR Member Forum, Open Forum & all Reviews are now cell phone compatible

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Other Significant Site Additions:

Landing Pages now have enhanced navigation to help you get where you want to be, faster.

Reviews that contains information about a school’s response to Covid-19 are identified with a bright, red * in the Most Recent Reviews list & the Main Directories to School &/or Admin Reviews.

Schools covered in the ISR Discussion Board, Name Your School & Comment on their Response to Covid-19, now carry a cross-reference link on their Member-Area Review Page. We’ve done the footwork for you.

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International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed
just got quicker & easier. Many Thanks to our Members who ALL make ISR possible!

Exciting New Changes to ISR


It’s official! ISR has migrated to a brand new, state-of-the-art server with the potential to easily handle a comprehensive Search feature and several other site upgrades we’ve had on the drawing board for a while.

Coming soon, we’ll be implementing a much anticipated Search feature, as well as upgrading the Directory of School Reviews to a quick, easy-to-use drop-down Menu format. No more scrolling and searching for specific schools. Look for these new additions, soon. Very soon.

Site visitors who frequent ISR Forums will welcome the already implemented upgrade to a phone-friendly format. In case you haven’t already noticed, we also gave a responsive look and feel to the School Reviews and Admin Reports. Now, the entire site is mobile compatible!

We understand how important it is for you to have 24/7 access to information you need to make informed decisions concerning your career. As such, we made every effort to make the move to a new server as seamless as possible. If you found yourself inconvenienced during the site migration, however, please accept our apologies.

Note:  The new server and upgrades in no way means ISR has plans to raise the price of membership from its current $29 per year. Fact is, we have not raised the membership price in over 14 years and have no future plans to do so.

ISR thanks YOU and looks forward to serving the needs of our International Teaching Community in the many years to come.

The staff at ISR / Visit ISR

Thanking YOU This Thanksgiving Day

We have a lot to be thankful for at International Schools Review. Most of all, we’re thankful for 16 Years of serving the International Teaching Community, all made possible by YOU!

From your colleagues here at ISR, we extend our heartfelt thanks and we wish you the very best this holiday season.

The Best is Yet to Come

It’s hard to believe in just a few days 2019 will be upon us! With the best yet to come, ISR waves goodbye to 2018 and greets 2019 with words of worldly wisdom from philosopher and theologian, St. Augustine:

“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.”
From all of us at ISR, we Wish YOU Chapter after Chapter of Peace and Fulfillment in 2019 Visit ISR

On Retreat w/ ISR

ISR is on retreat this week in Mexico, land of sun, sand & sea, art, music, dance, history, cheap tequila &, of major significance in this climate, legendary cerveza.

Team-building is part of any retreat. ISR’s planned activities have consisted of imbibing spirits, savoring local fare, more imbibing, more savoring, & of course, shopping for souvenirs.

Once we reach full relaxed mode, we’ll endeavour a few brainstorming sessions, our goal being to make ISR the best it can be to help YOU navigate the often treacherous waters of International Teacher recruiting.

Hmm…’navigate, treacherous waters…?’ The sun, sand & sea are influencing me already! Relaxed & rejuvenated….. it’s about time to start brainstorming a plan for the upcoming recruiting season!

Enjoy YOUR summer vacation wherever your travels may take you!

Hasta Luego,

Ben @ ISR