Wednesday, 19 January 2011

International School For Boarding School

Not All International Schools Are Created Equal - A Quick and Dirty Guide For Overseas Teachers
Using my teaching credentials to secure a job teaching abroad was the best career decision I have ever made.
Privately Owned International Schools
Private international schools are essentially businesses with directors who are aiming to make a profit. Many wealthy parents are demanding English language education for their children, and that has lead to the propagation of international schools. The good, the bad and the ugly of private international schools...
There are a large number of private international schools to choose from.
English Speaking 'International' Schools

Some schools do not do a very good job of being an international school, rather they should be called English Speaking Schools. The student body of an international school should hail from outside the school's host country. Many international schools put a limit on the proportion of students that can come from the host country. These international schools often have a waiting list for local students.
The good, the bad and the ugly of English Speaking 'International' Schools...
You are not going into international teaching to work harder than you do at home!
Military Schools
A US Department of Defense (DoD) school is a school that is attached to a military base abroad. There are over 100 US Department of Defense schools in Europe, and currently there are 210 schools located around the world in 12 countries. You might encounter the children of military personnel in American schools abroad when there is no DOD school available.
The British Equivalent is Service Children's Education (SCE) Schools who operate 27 schools world wide with the majority of them situated in Cyprus and Germany. SCE schools are designed to give the students the same kind of education they would receive if living in the UK and attending school there.
The good, the bad and the ugly of Military Schools...

The same goes for a DoD school. One of the benefits that comes with teaching at an international school is that you can pay less tax or work in a tax free environment. When you work for a overseas military school you will be employed 'in' the country whose military the school serves. 
The Ugly - You'll be teaching American or British students the relevant curriculum. You will miss out on experiencing a true multi-cultural classroom and all the benefits of teaching international children.

Private Board-Run International Schools
Let's face it, most international schools are going to be private. What reason would any country's government have to run a special school for foreign children? Private board-run international schools are generally the best of the lot. These schools are run on a not-for-profit basis where any and all profits are usually ploughed back into the school in order to fund future improvements.
The good, the bad and the ugly of Private Board-Run International Schools...
Chalk and talk schools are a thing of the past. New age schools, known as international schools are taking over. These schools comprise students and staff who come from different cultures and teach syllabi which represent a global perspective. In India, you will find that most international schools offer a combination of IB, ICSE and IGCSE.
Is an international school worthwhile? When compared to the monotonous syllabus and teaching aids used in traditional schools, international schools appear to be a breath of fresh air for the new age learner. International schools in India offer a good mix of cutting edge teaching and internationalism built on the necessary foundations of an Indian culture. Not just that, even after students have completed their education in international schools, they are recognized and even offered scholarships in universities world wide.
Most international schools follow the International Baccalaureate which is accepted as an entrance for universities across the world. International schools offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities that broaden the child's horizon by offering sufficient academic exposure as well as providing new interests and hobbies.

Finding the right international school for your child could turn out to be tedious procedure. 
1. Does the school follow the Indian or American year? 
2. What is the background of teachers in the school? 
3. Will transport be taken care by the school itself? Before you consider the international school directly, log on to its webpage and check all the details available online. Talking to colleagues who have returned after working abroad and have enrolled their kids in schools will help you find the best international school. I've done both and I think that teaching at an international school is the best option. When I taught at private language schools, it was a luxury to buy paperbacks, and to have my legs waxed. Reason #2 - regular paid vacations

Generally your contract will include a few weeks holiday, but you will be expected to work a larger proportion of your contract's length than if you were teaching at an international school.
At an international school, your teaching contract will be signed for a period of 12 months. I spent 4 years working in the TEFL sector of the teaching profession, and I worked each summer teaching residential summer school courses. Since I've been teaching at international schools, I have been able to take each summer off and travel. Reason #3 - normal teaching contact hours
Private language schools that specialise in TEFL are 'cram schools'. The students mostly attend their English lessons around their other school or job commitments. At another school I taught at, each week I had days when I worked a split shift. International schools operate regular school hours. If you are teaching at a school that starts early in the morning, then you will be done with your working day in the early afternoon.
Reason #4 - planning time is 'included'
TEFL teachers are employed for contact hours. When you first start out teaching EFL you may spend as much time preparing for a lesson as you actually do teaching it. Teachers working overseas in international schools are employed as full-time teachers who teach a required number of contact hours. I've taught in regular high schools in addition to international schools, and I have considerably more non-contact time in which to prepare my lessons when I teach abroad at international schools than when I've taught locally at state schools.
Reason #5 - professional development opportunities
I have a number of qualifications in EFL teaching. I have two Cambridge certificates and a Diploma in Second Language Teaching as well. I sought professional development opportunities to make me a better teacher, and the schools I've worked for have directly benefited from my efforts. But not one of the private language schools I've taught for in the past have ever helped me pay for my professional development.
Most international schools have a pool of money set aside for the professional development of their teaching staff. At my current school, there is a budget set per teacher annually. I went to a summit in Singapore this year, funded by the school. I've taught overseas at both international schools and private language schools since I began my international teaching career, and I am happier and feel more valued now that I am teaching in an international school.
I now teach at a school where I'm treated like a teaching professional, the students' education is the top priority of teachers and management alike, and I get regular vacations to satisfy my hunger for travel and new experiences.

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