What are your 3 dream schools?
By - sichuan_peppercorns
I don’t have dream schools, just dream locations.
This is true for me as well. For me it's all about where you want to live, then trying to find the best school in that location. Living in a place like Jakarta or Hanoi is not appealing to me at all, even if they had the best school in the world.
However, some places like Busan, Singapore, Danang, or most places in Japan would get me in a heartbeat.
Yeah, it's a shame there are a lot of unattractive cities with great schools. Both Jakarta and Hanoi have two very good schools, but the air pollution keeps me from considering either of 'em.
Then there are great cities without good schools, like Lisbon or Mexico City. If either of those would have a good school with a serious savings potential, I would love to go there some day, if I ever get bored where I am right now.
They should go hand in hand, but something ive learned over my career as an international teacher is that school quality > location. There’s only so much solace a beach, a mountain or cool city can give me when 8+ hours a day is shit because my school sucks.
I've lived and worked in Kobe for a big international school in Kobe for the past 10 years and I have never heard of Kobe academy.
You need to be careful when researching schools to see how legit they are, a lot are language schools just posing as international.
Longest lines at search fairs?
Discovery Bay... Ugh... Completely sterile, largely foreign enclave.
ESF schools abound in HK. Discovery Bay is no prize.
Why that school and not like HKIS? And why NIST and not ISBangkok?
Well I'm not the OP, but despite the great facilities at HKIS I couldn't accept the religious doctrine there. The ones in BKK, I have no idea.
How serious are they about Christianity? Is it a big part of being a teacher there? And does it affect curriculum?
Apparently they're very serious about it. That's all I know.
Why these schools?
Well, I imagine because they're all good schools where you can also save a decent sum (although I don't know enough about Kobe Academy).
Hey, you're asking us to limit ourselves to 3, but you list 8 schools yourself.
My top 3 would be:
* IS Dakar
* NIST, Bangkok
* Frankfurt IS
* ASIJ, Tokyo
* IS Geneva
* WAB, Beijing
I've been considering this since I started my first job this year and I'm trying to discover what would be a good school for me, as well as which curriculum I want to excel in. I've discovered now that a good school truly makes a huge difference for me. I prioritized location and ended up at a school that wasn't excellent. And COVID of course has made the location somewhat of a moot point for now. I hope that gets better though. Even so, I wouldn't stay at this school forever just to stay in Thailand.
I'm in Thailand so I'd love to work at ISB if I stay here... a pipe dream for now. Other schools I am very interested in for the (probably far away) future:
Branksome Hall, SK
International School of Moscow, Russia
American School in Madrid, Spain
Probably many more, but this year I'm really going to try to nail down where I want to focus. I did American curriculum (Common Core) during my internship and I liked it, and now I'm doing IGCSE and IB. I used to think I would love IB, but it's confusing to me and I kind of prefer the straight-cut framework of IGCSE.
Do you mean Anglo-American School Moscow?
I've never heard anyone speak highly of IS Moscow, but many have said good to great things about AAS Moscow.
Seisen is also a preference that surprises me. In the Tokyo area, ASIJ and YIS are usually the most popular options for teachers.
You wouldn't find APIS or AS Madrid at the top of many teachers' lists either, but Madrid is a wonderful city, and if you don't need to save money I can see why you'd go for a job there.
All in all it's a surprising list, but of course everyone has different priorities when selecting schools. Good luck!
Thanks! I think subconsciously I selected schools I might have a better chance at... I feel like the usual "dream schools" will take me years. I know people at both ISB and ASIJ, and my cousins work at WAB in Beijing... but they're all 10+ year veterans!
I tutored some girls who went to YIS when I lived in Japan, and it does seem like a great school! I like the idea of girls-only ed since I grew up in that type of school myself and thrived. It's not a dealbreaker obviously but I support it, so Seisen or Sacred Heart in Tokyo appeal to me. I'm not opposed to mixed-gender schools though, both have their benefits and minuses.
Is there something I should know about APIS? I read on IS reviews that the pay isn't great but I'm willing to overlook that for a good school in a good location :) Thanks for your input though! Good luck to you as well!
I taught at APIS for the last two years. Message me if you have questions about anything.
Anglo Moscow lost their embassy affiliation. Things are not going well there at the moment.
Can you elaborate of what is not going well there?
I quite like Moscow, so it would be a shame this school is indeed no longer a great place to teach.
All second hand info from someone on their way out but Anglo lost their diplomatic status and had to register as a not for profit, which means it's going to get difficult for them to get work visas. Certain countries like Canada are completely excluded. And their enrollment is down which turns into a smaller operational budget, meaning less money for teachers.
Look at Schrole. A lot of jobs available there particularly in admin, never a good sign. Why are the people with the best/ easiest jobs and fattest salaries all leaving?
But if you like Moscow and are already there why not apply?
The Covid situation has also been so mangled by the Russians I think that would scare away a lot of teachers from abroad as it is. Their vaccine isn't recognized anywhere else in Europe.
So where vaccinated people with EU approved vaccine cards can move freely from one country to another (like Slovakia to Poland) people working in Russia still have to do official quarantines, when they get back from outside the country.
If you have a reason to be in Russia I'd say apply for sure, especially if you are already there. Coming into Russia from the outside world, however, I'd be very cautious.
May I ask why Branksome Hall? It's an interesting choice and though the location looks unique what I have heard of the actual work environment hasn't been positive.
I am interested in all-girls schools because I went to one growing up and thrived, and I think single-gender education is interesting. There are definitely pros and cons and I love working in mixed-gender schools too, I'd just like to try it. Branksome also has a sister school in Toronto, Canada. As a Canadian who might eventually want to return home to teach, it might look attractive to them if I worked at their sister school. What have you heard about it? I am curious; I don't know anyone there. :)
Have you read the reviews on ISR? They aren't positive.
But I am also interested in this school because I like teaching in single-gender environments and Jeju looks cool, although I think it may be difficult as a single person.
TBH I haven't because I just got my job this year so I won't be looking until next, I don't recall what they said. But that's interesting, I'll have to see if I can find any. Is it more related to the work environment, the students, the parents, pay, etc?
DM me and I can send you screenshots.
Top 3 is hard. But these are probably my current dream schools:
Korea International School Seoul,
Canadian Academy, Kobe,
American School of The Hague,
International School Prague,
The American School in Oman,
Where do you work rn and are you looking to move next academic year?
Currently in Ireland working remotely in China
I interviewed at UNIS Hanoi last year...didn't get it... =(
APAC and IASIS schools would be the best bet.
What is your criteria for selection? Salary, reputation, location?
It's always changing. IS Manila, JIS and IS Bangkok would have been on that list 5 years ago but have severely declined in quality of life and I wouldn't.go near them.
NIST, Saigon South wouldn't have been on that list 5 years ago for me but I'd put them head and shoulders above the aforementioned.
So much is about 'fit' and who is there when you are there.
And where do you want to live. I love Eastern Europe and would take a middling or upstart school in certain countries there over a tier-one school in other regions.
What are you after? If I wanted to purely work in the 'best' high schools in the world I would be looking at the best privates in North America.
I would love to teach in Chile.