v2012.06 – 2 June, 2012:
Summer vacation is the time of year all teachers are waiting for (and I suppose all students as well!). The 1.5 to 2 months of summer break is especially important though for teachers who work at international schools because it is typically when they take their annual trip back home. When you live in a foreign country, half way across the world, it does indeed feel good to go home. Even though you do create a new ‘family’ when you live abroad with the other international school teachers that you are working with, your home is most likely where your birth family lives. Going home too can simply mean just going back to your home country, not necessarily going back to where you grew up.
There are some positives to going back to your home country during the summer:
• You get to see your old friends from when you went to University maybe or people that you went to high school with. It is important to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances; Facebook still can’t compete with real face to face meetings with these people from your life. Also, you can tell them all about the adventures you have been on while they have been staying-put most likely in the same city that they went to high school in!
• If you go to your home country during the summer, you get to stock-up on all the favorite products from your old life. Many international school teachers love to go to their favorite grocery stores to stock-up on all the products not available in their host country supermarkets. Be careful though, food products weigh a lot and can easily make your suitcase go over the allowed weight on your flight back!
• You get to see your nieces and nephews in person, noticing how they are getting so much older now and all grown-up. You can do things with them like taking them to the movies or going out for a few games of bowling.
A few alternatives for your summer if you don’t fancy going home:
• Some international school teachers just want to stay put in their host country during the summer. Some feel that you don’t have the time to really explore the city, the nearby cities, or the other cities in the country during the school year. And if you are currently living in the northern hemisphere, summer is the best time typically to explore these cities. Some teachers also just simply stay put to save money.
• A month-long trip to Africa or a month-long trip to the Chicago area where your family lives? A question you might be asking yourself in April. Some are faced with this international school educator’s dilemma each summer. For many international school teachers, the price of the flight to go home is actually the same price it would take to go to more exotic places like Kenya or Costa Rica or even Bali. Who would want to go home (a place you have seen many times already) in place of going on an exciting adventure? Many choose the adventure option each summer!
So, are you planning on going home this summer? Are you the international school teacher that makes their annual trip home each summer, the one that stays in the host country, or the one that is traveling to another country on some adventure? Share your stories and reasons for your summer plans here!
From the staff at International School Community.
· 31 May North Jakarta International School (13 new comments)
“Teachers live in school-provided, furnished housing in the vicinity of the school…”
· 30 May Yongsan International School of Seoul (8 new comments)
Seoul, South Korea
“Many of the teachers are from United States with just a few more single teachers than teaching couples…”
· 28 May Bina Bangsa School (13 new comments)
“There is a baggage allowance of US$500…”
· The Wonderful World of International School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #8 – “Courtesy is cool, good will is good stuff.”
“As an international school teacher you definitely don’t want to intentionally close any doors that might lead to other opportunities in the future…”
· Common Myths and Misconceptions about Bilingual Children #3: Young children soak up languages like sponges.
“I think the key with students learning the target language faster than adults is that they are going to school (their job) every day for 7-8 hours…”
· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #7: Latin America
“I find that growth in international schools often follows a construction boom, and Brazil in particular…”
· Survey results are in: How much does your school pay for your housing benefits?
“Some of my international school teacher friends don’t get any housing allowance, namely those that are living in Western Europe…”
· New Teacher Orientation Must-Haves at International Schools #1: A Trip Around the City
“Should your new international school be organizing a trip around the city for all their new teachers…”
· Which international chools do IS Community members represent?
“Currently, International School Community members work at or have worked at the following 179 international schools…”
Why for-profit schools can be good.“GEMS schools director: ‘We don’t care about profit.’ GEMS currently runs 10 schools in the UK, but it acquired these schools from other operators, rather than creating them from scratch. It now plans to open six new schools over the next two years, and promises that they will charge more competitive fees than many existing private schools.”
“In 2009, the firm’s then chief executive Anders Hultin warned that the Conservative’s proposed free school programme would fail, if private firms weren’t allowed to run schools for a profit…”
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
This international school teacher’s blog is about teaching at British International School Shanghaiand living in Shanghai, China.One of their blog entries (New Year, new role…building the team) is describing how international schools are sometimes in a pickle trying to organize good, useful, purposeful, effective, etc. professional development on the few days back after a break:
“Following our wonderful Christmas break in India, it was great to get back and see our colleagues at BISS; and especially the Humanities team, who I am excited to now be leading. Although, I cannot believe how cold Shanghai has become! Our first day back was a training day and was well structured and enjoyable; following a warm welcome back from Sir Terry, the secondary and primary staff split to follow separate training schedules. Our day (secondary) was focused on Formative Assessment and was extremely interactive and practical…”
Another one of their entries (Cutting Ties…) is about how each international school is different and has their own rules about how they would like their school to be run:
“I was recently contacted by my previous employer, an International School in Vietnam, who politely asked me to close down the Edmodo groups I had set up whilst at the school. In particular they wanted me to close a group I had set up named ‘Social Connections’ that was created to allow students (and staff) to remain in touch after moving on…as so often happens on the international circuit. They stated that new school policy dictated that any contact with students must cease when you leave…”