The number of international schools is growing every year. The demand for more international schools in Asia and the Middle East is surely increasing the fastest. With all of this demand and urgency from companies and parents, international schools will definitely need even more qualified teachers than they do at the moment.
But how do they find these qualified teachers and how do they communicate with them? How will the teachers new to the field of international education hear and learn about these schools in need?
There is a proven necessity for international school educators to stay in touch with each other and work together, although their schools lay thousands of miles apart. Seasoned international school teachers (with experience working at multiple international schools) can bridge schools together by transferring their knowledge from school to school, but are there enough tools for the people new to the “international school community” to get “on board” as smoothly as possible?
Year after year, the ISC (International School Community) website gets thousands of new members joining ranging from experienced international school teachers to those who have never worked at an international school before, from heads of schools to classroom teachers, and from admissions coordinators to even parents and students. There is indeed a necessity for all stakeholders to share what they know and help each other gain precious information about every international school worldwide.
For international schools to find the qualified teachers they need, the prospective teachers need to possess certain information about the international school, information you do not necessarily get from looking at a school’s own website. This important information changes from time to time and can get quickly outdated. But even with the old information, it is also good to know about that history and how the international school got to where it is today.
Getting the correct and most recent information about international schools is truly a difficult and challenging task. In turn, School Mayors role is created on the ISC website. There are currently hundreds of ISC Mayors, and the number is growing every week. Their job is simple, keeping their school consistently updated with the latest information. With help of the Mayors, ISC members are able to stay more accurately informed than ever.
It does sound silly to move yourself halfway across the world to a country and city that maybe you haven’t even been to before. The more informed you are about a specific international school and about life in the city and country it is in, the better decision you will be able to make when considering a job there.
The influence of international school teachers (and other stakeholders) is important and increasingly necessary. The need to have transparency across the international school community is also vital.
A number of other ISC members are doing just that; they are sharing their experiences about what they know related to working at international schools by submitting articles for the ISC blog as guest authors. They have submitted articles in a number of our varied blog categories. The Journey to School category highlights the experience one might have getting to and from their international school. The 12 Tips for Selecting an International School category talks about what things to consider when choosing an international school at which to work. And the For the Newbies category discusses the ins and outs of getting your foot into the wonderful world of working at international schools.
Anyone can start working in the international school community. Educators working at international schools are indeed varied and come from a variety of backgrounds. Their diversity is celebrated in the Member Spotlight section of the ISC blog. In that category, the blog highlights current and former international school teachers, administrators, parents and even former international school students. It is useful for the community to share our background and experiences in the international school sector. We can get a clearer picture of how they did it and get tips for our own selves as we venture to new opportunities around the world. These highlighted ISC members are hoping to reach out to other educators to discuss related education topics in which they are interested. Many times international school teachers depend on each other in terms of program models and curricular issues.
The people working in the international school community should not be afraid to share what they know. We have known directors and principals actually encouraging their staff to join the ISC community (and to even be a Mayor of their school). These administrators can see the importance of their teachers joining a community that supports them and keeps them informed. The school benefits too because their staff can help future teachers to their school find the better fit for their career and future in their lives. It is all about finding the right fit! Certainly, the more prospective teachers know, the better off the school will be when and if they accept a job offer to work there.
Schools are also interested in getting their school's name out there more to attract more teachers to work at their school. Some international schools are tweeting messages about their school making sure to include our website’s Twitter username (@IS_Community), thus getting the attention of ISC’s website community as well.
Creating a sense of community and belonging is truly vital for the international school community. By having all the parts communicating with each other and sharing what they know, the better off everyone will be. Being a member of this wonderful community of international educators can indeed be both a fulfilling and exciting experience. Let’s increase our engagement in the international school community by sharing what we know with each other. Surely, everyone will appreciate it and also greatly benefit from it as well.
Ron Rosenow is the owner and founder of the International School Community website. International School Community's goal is to be the largest online community for international school educators. The site provides a useful, informative, and celebratory environment for networking with employees of international schools worldwide and learning about work in different international schools around the world.
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