International Schools

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15 thoughts on “International Schools”

    1. And so Alisa what may you (or Sean for that matter) be waiting for here? Thank me later. Just go now. Most of these schools resemble country clubs. Small classes – my numbers here in New Delhi are 9. 10, 15 and 19. Great people because they only hire the best like you. No American taxes and most schools pay your host country taxes for you. Two year contracts. They pay for your travel, shipping of stuff from the states. You see the world. You may – since it is a circuit – there are so many such schools but we just never think that they are here. Everybody on the circuit knows each other and once you are in the system jobs in the next place are almost arranged by phone as a matter of ease. Our PLC member Melissa Foltz is in Doha and could give you information. She has been on the circuit a lot longer than me You may have to make stops in pollution ridden areas like India and China but then you would rotate out to Singapore or Bangkok or Doha or Dubai or Germany or El Nido in Santiago. It’s like living in a paradise in many ways. I can’t tell you how torn I am about giving this up here but it is necessary for personal reasons. Think about it.

      1. Of course, there is one aspect of international teaching that grates on me and that is the message of servitude I see in just about every person working in a support capacity to the school from people to whom I am equal. Here it is a vestige of British Colonial India, but it does’t make it any less pleasant to be called “sir” all the time. The people here could be said to be exploited in that way – that is not who they are but how they act to Westerners, but that is a topic that could launch a book – the exploitation of the darker southern races by other races more to the north and west. It’s scary as hell. I just don’t like it – it makes me uncomfortable because I am here in what is for me, has been all my life, THE most important country on earth and the place where the most magic happens, hidden among all the debris of centuries of lives lived by incredible people/races (can anyone say Moghuls?) who are now gone but whose imprint remains like visual music from another age. This is especially true of New Delhi, an ancient woman of incredible beauty that is so great that you can’t even get up the courage to ask her for a date. But other than that, working in international schools is a great gig, far better than working in war zones where we have so little chance of making our craft work at the level we want it to. Smaller classes around 20 vs. 35 are really necessary to make CI work and so many of us are laboring with classes of 30 or more and that is just flat out unfair to us.

        1. ” New Delhi, an ancient woman of incredible beauty that is so great that you can’t even get up the courage to ask her for a date”

          Sounds like you’re in love. 🙂

          1. Claire –

            It’s a love-hate thing. How can people suffer this much? And yet they have the most ready smile I have ever seen. It’s truly a land of contrasts. My friend who drives me around in his taxi Raj lost his wife and child in a massacre by Hindus on Sikhs at their big temple in Amritsar in 1984. When he speaks in the car, his voice carries a palbable sadness. Not that we aren’t suffering at home but the suffering here is kind of on display all the time. William Dalrymple describes Delhi in his book City of Djinns. It’s a good read. My son Landen who is here with me is in rural Rajasthan this week on a school trip. He has had the education of a lifetime here this year. In a word – spectacular.

          2. I left out that Raj himself won’t wear the Sikh turban because of the attack. He himself spent years in a coma after the attack at the temple. When I sit behind him in the taxi I see only scars on his head. And yet he remains cheerful except in his voice. We are not the only country with problems. Religious intolerance runs deep here, as the world knows.

            Some day I will tell you what it’s like to ride in a car on a Delhi street. Another fun thing to do. Sometimes I just stop and stare. Like yesterday I was in a market and found myself walking next to four cows, three white and one black. We five walked next to each other for a few minutes through the market. I felt a kinship to them and walked slowly in an effort to learn their secret, but they weren’t talking.

            These photos are not my new friends but to give you the idea:


  1. More information please.

    I was also thinking about the utopian, world language charter school where TPRS merges with content teaching. Does it even need to be in the US — where taxes fund things I do not want?

  2. Funny you should bring this up again, Ben. A colleague of my wife at her school on the West Side of Chicago just got a job in Dubai or Qatar… not sure exactly. She’s a single African American mom with 2 elementary school kids. So, it’s not just for teaching couples.

    Yesterday I was on a field trip to a college campus (Purdue-Calumet) and our tour guide was from Dubai. He said that these countries like Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates… are very interested in diversifying their populations and being even more modern than they already are. They think the American education system is the best. (That should make us feel better despite attempts of many to dismantle our public schools!)

    Candice, my wife, and I still play with the idea. It would be hard to give up some of the community building we’ve been trying to do around here. But, given our life circumstances, maybe now is the time!

    1. I feel it is time Sean and you and Candice and – what is the name of your (then) toddler who must be about six years old now? – It’s a strong vibe I’m getting for you three. Unless you would miss those nice Chicago winters.

      By the way, our system is regarded as the best because the British model used so much as a result of British Colonialism is really repressive. Many of my kids came here from the British School across the street and they tell stories! Oppressive. We may be a crazy country but we don’t humiliate kids. Like that Sophie post from last week. That happened in the British School. I brought it up in an unrelated discussion in class yesterday, what Sophie had been told about her ability to learn a language, and Sophie’s face dropped and she slowly wrapped her arms around herself so as to maybe comfort herself from those memories. if I’ve done nothing else in India this year, I’ve reparented a brilliantly creative child about what she is capable of as a French learner.

  3. Be aware that there is a big demand for English language teachers all over the world. The British figured it out long ago and are everywhere, along with their Cambridge/Oxford University Press textbooks, their exams, their training course for teachers (Delta and Celta). They’ve got a big headstart, but there are plenty of Americans around too. There are jobs in Asia, Europe, south America, everywhere.

    1. It seems like every other teacher here at the American Embassy School is an ELA teacher. They have their own budget and parents pay $2000 more for the ELA instruction so that our tuition is $32,000 and there is still a huge waiting list. it’s not because fo the quality of the education. It’s because Japanese and Korean and so many other parents want their kids to have the biggest advantage they can have in life – fluency in English with an American accent. That is what they want. And it’s uncanny. We have kids come in here in 1st grade and by the time they hit middle school I find myself asking them, “So where are you from in the states? Your accent sounds a bit like your are from Texas. No? Michigan?” “No, Mr. Slavic I’m from Singapore”. Another nice thing Alisa is that with the two to three year rotations of the faculty and a high rotation from diplomatic and corporate families in and out of Delhi you don’t have that toxic thing happening in schools in the U.S. where you have to work for years and years alongside some nut job. So if you can teach ESL or TPRS you have a big leg up on being hired in an international school like Judy says. And speaking of Judy, go register for Agen!

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