International schools often advertise that they offer a “competitive salary” or pay “on par with other international schools.” We’ve all seen the ads. Actual figures are rarely posted, and this is often because the salary scale (if there even is one) is so low it’s laughable and no experienced teacher would ever take it.
Recruiting fairs also tend to keep pay scales secret, often right up until the night before interviews begin. I remember anxiously awaiting my hot-off-the-press salary and benefits information for schools attending a fair slated to begin early the next morning. Why it took until 11pm the night before interviews made no sense…or maybe it did for schools paying so poorly that they’d prefer to keep it a secret!
To help resolve the problem of concealed pay scales, ISR has added a Salary Range field to our 16-point evaluation rubric that accompanies each school review. Beginning today, all new reviews will display this Salary Range entry:
Yearly salary range for teachers in US dollars
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How can we help difficult students become cooperative class members?
We recently invited the ISR community to share their impressions of classroom discipline in international schools. Here’s a synopsis of what teachers had to say:
• Powerful parents and school board members have influence far beyond what many of us have experienced prior to teaching overseas.
• Job-ending results for disciplining the “wrong” child may be the outcome for an International Educator’s earnest efforts. See article
Several techniques to help difficult students become cooperative class member have been suggested: Handing a yellow card to a student, much as they do in professional soccer matches, works for some educators. Emphasizing a child’s positive attributes in order to begin a conversation with parents about their child’s poor behavior, is another.
Specifically, what techniques work for you that the rest of us can benefit from knowing about? Do you have a difficult situation and need advice? This is the place to ask for it.
Right from the start, it’s ideal to establish classroom policies and expectations with students and their families. As educators, we all expect that if we catch a student cheating or plagiarizing, there will be consequences. A drunk or drugged student at a school-sponsored function? A child bullying or hitting another? There is no question consequences should follow, and with strong support from admin.
For International Educators, however, enforcing rules, expectations, and consequences may result in a very different experience than back home. School boards, administrative school owners, influential parents and wealthy students may wield far more power and control over discipline than most Western educators have experienced in their careers.
Simply assigning a “time out” to an unruly primary child may cost you your job. Dare to fail a student’s work because he/she plagiarized straight from the Internet and you could find yourself facing the Board of Directors to explain why you think little so-and-so could ever do such a thing, followed by “if you were a better teacher he wouldn’t need to copy…..”
Sometimes our tried-and-true discipline procedures are completely out of sync with our new culture and community, especially when students and parents may look at us as just another nanny or driver in a long line of servants.
We invite the ISR community to share their impressions of classroom discipline in international schools. With the new academic year about to get under way, now is the time to support each other in this, often delicate, area.
Also See: More on the Sticky Situation of Classroom Discipline — How can we help difficult students become cooperative class members?
August can usher in a period of dynamic lifestyle changes and major transitions for International Educators. A new country, new culture, new colleagues, new students, an unfamiliar campus and admin, new schedules, new challenges and new expectations top the list of what lies ahead—whew! It may all seem completely overwhelming and agonizing.
Add to all this “newness” the feelings associated with leaving behind friends, family, established jobs and lifestyles and you could experience some unexpected emotional turmoil, even a few serious chinks in your self-confidence and potentially some lonely times outside the school environment.
So, tell us, ISR readers: What advice and tips can you share with International Educators relocating overseas, perhaps for the first time? How do you advise acclimating to a new school environment and local community? How do you keep yourself strong, positive and emotionally healthy as you head to work as a stranger in a strange land?
For some, going from Agony to Ecstasy may require no more than experienced International Educators sharing experiences and wise words of advice. Thank you, ISR readers, for offering the helping hand a fellow colleague may be looking for!