How Long is Too Long at One School?

October 15, 2015

 Dear ISR, I’ve been at the same school for five years. I love it here! The country, the language, the school, the kids and parents…just about everything agrees with me…except the tap water. Last week the Director, who I respect and admire, asked us to drop a note in his box saying if we were planning to sign on for another year. It’s not a binding commitment, just a heads-up. I said I would be staying.

A few days later the Director called me in for a “chat.” I soon learned teachers who opt for a sixth-year, and beyond, are not eligible for expat status. This means, that if I stay, I will lose my housing allowance, medical insurance, yearly flight home and a number of other small perks to total about $10,000 in benefits–Thank you for your years of service. I didn’t see this coming and only have myself to blame for not doing the research. Although he doesn’t make the rules, the Director offered to take my case to the Board. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I’ve been looking into the topic of International Schools removing expat status after a set amount of time. Apparently it’s not uncommon. I’m getting the idea that International Schools aren’t looking for continuity or longevity in staffing, but prefer a revolving door of educators. Growing up in Florida, my school was a place of stability for me. It was a given. A rock. The Teachers were well known and were respected, or feared if they were especially strict. I looked forward to having the same teachers as my older siblings. I feel our international students, many of whom are raised by nannies and drivers, are missing out on this experience and would benefit from long-term relationships with educators who know them well.

I searched the ISR Blog and Forum for comments on this topic and unless I missed something, it has not been discussed. If you would be so kind as to post this letter to your Blog and open it up for teachers’ comments, I would really appreciate it.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for the work you do at ISR,