5 Attributes of an Outstanding School

What makes a school really great? At Teacherhorizons we have been discussing some of the key factors that make schools outstanding.  One thing that rings true for us all is that stand-out schools are those that blow you away with the difference they are making to future generations. Luckily these schools are looking for new teachers each year, too!

Here is our pick of the top attributes and the schools we feel exemplify this attribute.  Our Top 5 factors that make a school great in 2019 are as follows:

  1. A forward thinking Education Model
  2. Breaking the traditional western economic model
  3. The location
  4. Global and inclusive
  5. Innovative and sustainably driven

A Forward thinking Educational Model. United World Colleges.

tim-mossholder-WE_Kv_ZB1l0-unsplashOur Advisor, Joana, has voted for United World Colleges as being a prime example of an outstanding education model. Not bound by a particular location, United World Colleges, are located all around the world. A fabulous and forward-thinking educational model that values equality, diversity, compassion, environment etc. Read more here:  https://www.uwc.org/educationalmodel. Get this school on your CV and you’ll grow enormously as an educator and will have no problem securing opportunities in the future. UWC educators are highly sought-after!

Breaking the traditional western economic model. The Green School, Bali.

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As well as UWC, any school that is breaking the traditional western economic model of what education should look and feel like is key to us. The world recognises that the current model needs to change. Few schools are brave enough to do something about it! We are so lucky to be graced with working with some of these.  As Joana states, “The Green School, Bali, is an example of a school trying to be innovative, creative; they are quite literally taking the walls of education down!”  Emily, who has visited the school a couple of times says: “Not only is the school set in a stunning location, it also offers a forward-thinking, holistic approach to education that enables students to grow and develop into environmentally responsible and community minded individuals.”

Location. St Julian’s School Lisbonliam-mckay-VHWyqXsWHg0-unsplash

Especially for teachers looking for an outstanding place to work, location is a key attribute of a great
school. Our CEO, Alex recommends St Julian’s in Lisbon – “it’s a well established school with strong leadership and Lisbon’s the best city to live in the world and sunniest capital in Europe. It’s also by Carcavelos beach so some students can learn to surf in PE.” What’s not to like about that?

Global & Inclusive.  UWCSEA

neonbrand-zFSo6bnZJTw-unsplashThis might seem like no-brainer for an attribute of a great international school. Isn’t it by  default? However, having students from allover and enabling this to be so through great scholarships is a key attribute in our eyes. Our CEO Alex says that “a great school is UWCSEA because it has students from all over the world and offers an incredible scholarship program.”

Innovative and sustainably driven. Fairgreen School in Dubai

Our advisor, Laura, especially likes Fairgreen School in Dubai for the following reasons:

1) It is a very small school at present only 380 kids but the campus has a capacity for 1000 so there are growth opportunities.

2) Brand new campus which will focus on innovation and sustainability. The building is also a pioneering architectural design concept. Located in Dubai Sustainable City – a very unique location. It also is a Plastic free campus

3) Facilities are top quality – wood throughout, no plastic – all the usual state of the art classrooms etc but also research and food production labs, a library and learning hub, and arts and music labs, sports facilities

4) Students have access to an Innovation Centre, Junior Innovation Centre, Equestrian Centre, and biking and jogging tracks. One of The Sustainable City’s spacious bio-domes is dedicated to the school and will serve as its Health, Wellness, and Learning Centre.

5) Head is lovely, he was at IS Hague for 7 years and IS Bangkok, very personable and takes a strong interest in personal and professional development of staff.

 We just had so many factors and schools come to mind that here are a couple of bonus ones!

In terms of sustainability UN schools are also leading. The UNIS school in Hanoi – a UN school is really impressive.
Warwick Academy – Warwick Academy is the oldest school in Bermuda, established in 1662. As the leading school in Bermuda they offer a dynamic programme covering academic study, sport, music, drama, extensive co-curriculars and community infusion. They are a selective, co-educational, independent school with a strong pastoral and curricular emphasis and their 830 students range from those in Reception through to Year 13.
The Koc School – the school’s results last year were the best they’ve ever been. See here. They had a full 45 points scored in the IB with several others between 40-45 and the university placements include many ‘Ivy League’ successes. It remains one of the best schools to teach in for the calibre of students!

Inspired by this list? We always partner with reputable schools and you can See a list of all Teacherhorizons schools.  Why not sign up to Teacherhorizons, while you are at it.  Let’s keep this community of supporting great schools alive!

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Ask the Expert: Meet Laurence

Continuing our new series of Ask the Expert posts, we chat with the Teacherhorizons team who share their valuable insight into the world of international teaching. Teacherhorizons staff are often teachers themselves, so they’ve been in your shoes.  This week I chatted with Laurence Dobson, Teacherhorizons Operations Assistant about travel, international schools and his love of coaching football to Cambodian youth.  

Meet Laurence!

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Laurence has been living in Siem Reap, Cambodia over the last two years and has previously taught at an international school. His partner is a qualified international school teacher, which along with his own experiences, has given him a broad understanding of the challenges and rewards of living and working internationally.

Thinking of being an International School Teacher? Here are  8 reasons to do so! 

Aside from work, he would describe himself as a sporty person. Laurence has a passion for football and on his 14th birthday he had a trial for Chelsea FC, and as it would be for anyone, this was a very big achievement! He has been coaching football for Cambodian children over the past year, organising matches and tournaments with other teams. He is also very keen on a variety of different genres of music and has regularly made the trip back to England to attend Glastonbury music festival.

What does your role at TH involve?

My role involves assisting candidates with general enquiries about the recruitment process and international teaching, editing teacher and school profile pages, reviewing CVs, updating or requesting references and a lot more! I also manage TH social media which includes scheduling all content, posting vacancies daily, building our Instagram and keeping track of post reach and engagement levels. 

How did you end up living where you are now? What’s your journey? 

Before I fell in love with Cambodia, I was living in Tignes, France doing winter seasons in the Alps. I was at home for summer in 2016 when I met my partner at the Glastonbury festival who had already been  teaching in Cambodia for 1 year.  I made a big decision and moved to Cambodia with her after only knowing her for a short few months. After I had a couple of weeks to settle, I secured a teaching position at an international school in Siem Reap. We stayed in Cambodia for 2 years but my partner and I started to get itchy feet and decided to move to Hanoi, Vietnam. For the first week in Hanoi, we thoroughly enjoyed it but after a couple of months we started to realise that big city life was not the best option for us and we both agreed to move back to Cambodia. After we made our decision to move to Cambodia, I saw a Teacherhorizons position posted on the Siem Reap Expats page and because I already knew a lot about international teaching I thought I would fit the role, and well, the rest is history!

What inspires you?

15056251_10154693758516407_3349942571986420665_nSeeing successful people that have truly worked hard to be in the position that they are in. The children that I used to teach, also inspire me a great deal. The fact that I was able to see how much they progressed from the start of the year to the end and knowing that I have been the one to help them make that progress is wonderful to witness. My partner also inspires me massively! She is always positive, even in difficult situations.

What advice would share with Teacherhorizons candidates looking to start or continue a life abroad?

I think it is important to look at each school on an individual basis. Make sure to complete some thorough research into the position and location you are interested in before applying. Consider what your interests are and look for places and people that reflect those interests. Does it feel like  a natural place to make new friends?  In Cambodia, for example, I’ve made new friends by watching football at bars and playing it at the local pitches.

In addition, think being open-minded about going to new places is very important to enjoy your new home. You may discover a place that you enjoy alot more than you thought!

Could you share a story with us that has been transformative for you?

15085488_10154693757991407_5932268768585641068_nAfter living in Cambodia for a few years, I started to feel like I was getting bored of it and wanted a fresh start so I moved to Vietnam which seemed like the right idea at the time. As it turned out, Vietnam was not as well suited to me as I originally thought so I ended up seeing out my 3-month visa but towards the end, I was thinking more and more about life in Cambodia and how much I missed it. I decided to move back to Cambodia, I haven’t looked back. I see this as a lesson because if I had never moved to away from Cambodia, I would never have known how much I appreciate it. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone!

Are you adventurous about teaching in Asia? Browse our Schools in Asia. 

What else do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work, my biggest passion is football, I play twice a week and watch the premier league every weekend. In 2018 I was coaching football for Cambodian children and organising matches and tournaments with other teams. I also enjoy travelling with my partner. In the past 3 years, we have been to Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. We also travelled to the United States for a month which was incredible. New York and Las Vegas were the highlights!

Thank you Laurence, for sharing your insights with us and inspiring us to get traveling more, and do more sport!

Has this post inspired you to teach internationally? Sign up to Teacherhorizons to see school profiles and salary packages– it’s free! You can also reach out to us with any comments at editor@teacherhorizons.com

 

 

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

3 ways technology & VR can enhance your life abroad

Teachers living and working abroad can benefit from the use of technology. Moving to a different country to teach is a challenging process. Whether you speak the language or not, adapting to a new culture, surroundings and students can be difficult. Utilising technology in this situation, however, can make the adaptation process smoother.

Technology is gradually taking a more prominent role in education. Whether it’s the use of ebooks, online resources or even virtual reality (VR), introducing technology into students’ education can improve engagement and accessibility in a number of ways.

This week, Calum from Loxit Limited will talk you through a few ways technology and VR can improve the experience for teachers working abroad. Read on to find out three ways that technology can support you when living abroad. 

Help with the language

andrew-neel-ute2XAFQU2I-unsplashIf a teacher is teaching foreign students their own language, or if a teacher isn’t fully lingual with the students’ local language, then technology can help with this in a number of ways.

First of all, an effective way of learning a new language is through language immersion. This is where the students or teacher would listen and speak the language they are trying to learn all day, every day, usually in the country of origin.

This is easier for the teacher to do as they are in a new environment and are forced to use the new language in order to communicate. For the students, however, this can be more difficult, as they are still in their local environment. Even speaking with each other in their first language can hinder their learning of the new language. 

Virtual reality can allow teachers to immerse students into the language they are trying to teach. If an English speaking teacher is teaching Chinese students, VR headsets can be used to take a virtual trip to London, which would otherwise be expensive and difficult to do. These simulations can trick the brain into thinking the experiences are real, improving how the students process information and learn the new language.

There are also numerous translation and language apps which can assist someone who is teaching abroad, such as Google Translate and iTranslate. These can be used quickly and easily if the teacher is struggling to communicate with students.

Collaboration and communication


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The use of Virtual Reality in classrooms can improve the collaboration between students and teacher, and even between classes from different sides of the world from one another.

Part of the great things about a teacher moving to a new country to teach students is experiencing a new culture and experience. Quite often, the teacher learns just as much from the students. Technology and VR can enable teachers to return the favour.

javier-quesada-qYfwGVNJqSA-unsplashUsing Virtual Reality, teachers can design and use collaborative activities to introduce students from different countries to one another. Students can then experience a new language and culture first-hand, just as the teachers working abroad did. This can create a closer bond and understanding between the international teacher and students, as the students can relate to, and respect, the changes the teacher has been willing to make to teach them.

Technology and VR can also help with collaboration inside the classroom, between teacher and student. If there is a language barrier between the two, then technology can use visualisation and images as an alternative to verbal communication.

Read about innovative ways to use technology in the classroom, here. 

Reduce homesickness

joshua-sukoff-CVqLWJyEs3s-unsplashMoving abroad to teach is an exciting and eyeopening experience. Teachers get to encounter interesting new people and cultures. However, it can also be a very daunting experience. No matter where they go or how much they’ll enjoy their experience of teaching abroad, it is inevitable that sometimes they will get homesick.

Years ago, before technology was so efficient and accessible, it would have been difficult keeping in touch with friends and family back home, or even just keeping up to date with the news.

Eventually, if a teacher working abroad is homesick and feels excluded from their home, this can have an adverse effect on personal wellbeing and ultimately, their work. We’re big believers that a happy teacher is a better one. A big part of teaching is the human element rather than educating, and if the teacher is able to form a positive bond and relationship with their students, this can improve the effectiveness of their work.

Nowadays teachers working abroad have better access to wifi, there’s also facetime, skype and numerous ways they can get in touch with home, quickly, easily and cheaply. These things may seem minor nowadays however without them teaching abroad would be much more difficult. A quick catch up with a friend or relative can go a long way in relaxing and reassuring a teacher who is working abroad. This can encourage them to enjoy the experience as well as their work. The students will no doubt benefit from this too.
Callum 2

Callum works for Loxit and has a strong interest in the use of technology in education, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. He believes bringing technology into the classroom can enhance the learning experience for both teachers and students. Technology is a major factor in students’ lives, so utilising this can improve engagement and accessibility.

 

 Did this article resonate with you? Please let us know your comments at editor@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Alexandra Plummer

What is it like to live and teach in Beijing, China?

 

China is a large and diverse place so asking the question “what is it like to live & teach in Beijing, China?” isn’t so simple to answer! That’s why we called on our teacher, Oscar to share his experiences first hand. Oscar, from Portugal, happily agreed to share his experience of Beijing with us. Read on to find out all about the process of moving to Beijing, including both the frustrations and the joys of what it is like to teach and live in Beijing, China.

Meet Oscar 

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Oscar

My name is Oscar. I’m from Portugal and I hold a Masters in Science Education. I have lived and worked in Croatia (Zagreb), the United Kingdom (London) and Czech Republic (Brno). China (Beijing) is now my new home and would like to share with you my experience before the move and during the past three months.

Before the move…

Man in China

Man in China

Start preparing your move with time and get ready to face all kind of problems in order to obtain a Visa. This is a demotivating period. Even with the incredible support offered by the HR in my school it was a nightmare to obtain the Working permit. Aside all the paperwork required for the VISA, I also had to go over the process of obtaining an International police check and an External background check. I started dealing all of this in January and only in July I obtained the necessary stamp on my passport. I strongly do not recommend anyone coming to China on a Tourist Visa.

 

Know little information about Beijing? Check out our fact page to learn more 

Once in China…

In China there are endless places to visit to experience authentic Chinese culture, it is also an opportunity to travel to different locations in Asia and try the amazing food on offer. Beijing’s Peking duck is a must and the most famous, but you’ll be able to experience amazing plates from all regions of China and Asia in general. Western food is also available, but you’ll have to pay extra for it…

Currently, China is developing at an incredible rate, not only in terms of infrastructures but also technologically. The moment you get access to Wechat or Alipay your life changes completely. You do not need to carry your wallet, seriously, you just need your phone and a Powerbank. From your phone you get instant deliveries (goods, groceries, foods, etc) in a very short time. Didis (similar to Uber), bicycles, electrical scooters can all be accessed from your phone. Even transfers to friends can be done with a simple click. It is incredibly handy and makes your life incredibly easy. The only downside is, you need to be able to control your spends otherwise it might get dangerous…

What's it like to live in China

Exploring Asia

Travelling in China is also incredible. You can get from Beijing to Shanghai in less than 5 hours on the bullet train without paying much for it.  The moment you get your first salary, book all your holidays. If you wait it can be very expensive to travel, especially during national holidays (Golden week in October and Chinese New Year in February). I strongly do not recommend travelling within China during this holiday, at risk of facing Millions of tourists. Also, some touristic points are closed during this time (e.g. Forbidden City). For more information and guidance about travelling in China I found this blog extremely useful. In here you’ also find valuable tips on weather, people, VPN’s, etc…

Read one of our previous blog posts on China!

The School…

In Beijing, China

In Beijing, China

YCIS Beijing is a fantastic school. Thanks to Teacherhorizons, I found this opportunity to teach International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, in my opinion the most complete and challenging pre-university course. I am working in a real international environment, surrounded by teachers and students from all over the world, with different backgrounds and ideas, purpose-built, innovative learning spaces (e.g.  Learning Community, fully equipped labs, etc…). It’s also in a convenient downtown location. We had a great teacher orientation week. I’ve never seen such amazing organization. 3 months later, it feels like I’ve been living in Beijing and working at YCIS for years. I recieve great support from all staff and extend a special thanks to the HR department, who were great.

Interested in gaining IB experience?  You can read more about that, here.

 

Thank you, Oscar, for your honest and detailed insights into what it’s like to live and teach in Beijing, China. Do you have comments about teaching in China? Do you want to know more? Please get in touch on editor@teacherhorizons.com to tell your story.

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

What is it like to teach in Hong Kong right now?

Are you asking yourself what it is like to teach in Hong Kong right now? The recent political protests in the headlines may have raised some concerns for those interested in teaching in Hong Kong. Louise Cosgrove is here to reasure us through an account of her experience working with English Schools Foundation (ESF) and the process that took her to her new life in Hong Kong.

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Yellow boat in Hong Kong

TH: What was your interview process like?

Louise: So I applied for the job with ESF and had to, first of all, submit an application form. Once I was long-listed I had to make a 2-minute video about myself (the questions came up on the screen and you had to sit and record yourself- was a bit weird at first!) and then interview when shortlisted.
I applied for the job as ESF have a really good reputation on the international school scene- they have 22 schools and are very well established so I assumed would be very thorough settling into the programme. ESF also organised and paid for the visa.

TH: How has it been for you settling in?

Louise: Most of the settling in stuff was with ESF to start with. I had a few days at the ESF centre where we met all of the new ESF teaching staff. This included some presentations from various people including their CEO. They ran sessions about tax, where to live, help with medical insurance etc. With most contracts, they offer free medical (and dental) care, a housing allowance and a bonus on completion of your contract. They don’t provide accommodation for you (which I think is possibly a good thing and a bad thing depending on how you look at it) as finding an apartment in HK can be quite stressful! On the housing front, it’s very different to anywhere else and it’s very much a landlords market so be prepared to pay a lot in rent. However, your salary with ESF does compensate for this! ESF helped a lot and I had a buddy from my school (arranged by the school) who also sent me recommendations for an estate agent.
We met people from school and had a specific school-led induction on a few days- getting new laptops etc and a tour of the school. It was all very thorough and I felt as ready as I could to start! The settling in programme both at my school (KGV) and through ESF is honestly great- there is support at every step and a real feeling that everyone was once the new person so people are so willing to help- honestly couldn’t have been better!
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TH: How comfortable do you feel given the political climate?

Louise:  It is a bit of a turbulent time in Hong Kong at the moment but I don’t ever feel particularly unsafe and find it is quite easy to avoid the protests if you need to. I don’t know if I might feel differently if I had children, but I have found it to be fine- there is a curfew on the MTR (the metro) which now closes at 10 pm so sometimes just a little more difficult to get around.

Read a previous post about teaching and living in Hong Kong, here. 

TH: Did you experience any challenges?

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Island Life in Hong Kong

Louise: Just the same as moving to any place and starting a new job. Hong Kong is such a bustling place and everyone is always super busy so it’s just about finding time to ensure I actually have some time to myself! Hong Kong as a place though is incredible to live. It has everything from a very busy city vibe (loads of great bars and restaurants) to a very outdoorsy, countryside feel with loads of open green space, incredible hikes and some amazing beaches only a stone’s throw away from the city. This is the second time I have lived here and really wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else abroad, I like it that much! Hong Kong is super convenient as well for travelling in Southeast Asia. A bonus is that ESF schools offer October half term, which local schools do not. It is a super place to live a very high quality of life, travel and save money.

 I’m actually not even being overly positive- could not recommend ESF more highly for a first international teaching job and this seems to be a similar feeling from the people starting at the same time as me.

Do you have any comments about life in Hong Kong? Do you want to know more? Please get in touch editor@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Writing a CV for an International Teaching Job

Writing a CV for an international teaching job isn’t the easiest task. It’s essential to adapt your CV depending on where you want to travel to and tailor it to the school and subject you are applying for. We are lucky to have guest writer Kristin Savage share her top tips with us.

Your CV or resume is the document that concisely outlines all your unique personal information – including education and work history. It provides the very first impression for all employers and will have a strong influence on their overall decision. Below are the best tips for writing a CV for international teaching jobs:

Check out our latest Teacherhorizons jobs, here. 

 

glenn-carstens-peters-npxXWgQ33ZQ-unsplashInclude all the necessary parts  

This might seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised by how many CVs don’t have the required information.

Make sure that you list your full name (as it appears on all official documents). This should be big and bold at the top of your CV. You should also include all your contact details. This means your address, country, personal email address, and telephone number. Of course, if you have anything else like a personal website or social media platforms – you can consider putting these on your CV, too.

 

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Include a profile paragraph

Although it’s true that this isn’t required, it is an essential part of a teaching CV.

Your profile paragraph is a nicely written, concise, 3-4 sentences. This just draws attention to your strong points and gives the first impression of you and your CV. We know it’s hard trying to sum up yourself in 3-4 paragraphs. Below are the best ways to write a great profile paragraph:

  • Keep it very professional and keep it focused/ don’t try to use humor
  • Use the first person – this is your personal CV after all
  • Focus on the main facts about yourself. This could be which qualifications you have and what subjects you specialize in
  • Summarize your experience; where have you previously worked, and for how long? You could also include what you’re looking for and why

joanna-kosinska-1_CMoFsPfso-unsplashThere are many services and tools on the internet like Pick The Writer, Grammarly, Studicus, Hemingway, and others that can help you calibrate your style and choose the best tone for your profile paragraph and resume in general.

Educational history

After your profile paragraph, you should list your educational history. The rule of thumb with this is that you should list your most relevant.

Don’t list what primary school you attended – the top should be your teacher training and university education. There’s also no need to detail every grade or qualification you have ever got. Schools want to know what degree you got and where it is from. They’re not interested in what grade you got in your first-year module. You can always list anything a little less relevant at the bottom of your CV, under a subheading called “Other training and education.”

Work history

zera-li-tPpw7WcjNro-unsplashAfter education, it’s time to list your work history. Of course, relevancy is also incredibly important here, too. Make sure that you list the month and year that you started each job. Don’t contain too many, and don’t list promotions as single entries. Make sure you include all the information – dates, school name, position, responsibilities. How you list your work history is essential. The first on your list should be the most relevant and recent. As a teacher, you should list all the main subjects that you taught, the age ranges, and the levels taught. Don’t list more than 3 topics for each job as it gets too complicated.

What results did you achieve? Class pass rates and other accomplishments that make you stand out like IB experience is also really crucial to include.  Read more about gaining IB experience, here. 

General tips

Here are some suggestions for writing a great CV that you should consider throughout the process. If emma-matthews-content-production-O_CLjxjzN3M-unsplashyou’re newly qualified, list your teaching practices and any work experience you’ve had in classrooms.

Explain any gaps in your resume after you qualified as a teacher. Did you go traveling, or have a child? Gaps are fine, as long as they are explained. International schools are especially interested in the impact and results you had on your classes.  Following these tips will ensure that your CV helps you secure your international teaching job.

 

About the Author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with
pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the kristin_savagepublishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at TrustMyPaperand GrabMyEssay. Kristin runs her own FlyWriting blog.

What is your experience with CV writing? Any challenges or tips you would like to share with us? We would love to hear from you!

Written by Alexandra Plummer

5 Self Care Tips for International School Teachers

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You may have noticed the trend of mindfulness and self-care finding its way into classrooms, or at least into your social media feed! This trending article was circling for a while, and back in the summer, we gave our own tips on adding mindfulness activities into the classroom, which you can read again, here.  What about your own self-care? As an international school teacher, looking after yourself first is vital to being able to provide for your students. As the saying goes- “You can’t pour from an empty cup!”

Often times we undermine our own needs, tricking ourselves to believe that we shouldn’t need that extra bit of time to ourselves.  As International School teachers this may be even more prominent. Maybe we swapped out our grey commutes and arduous afterschool marking for experiential classrooms and Island life and we tell ourselves thoughts like ” I live on a tropical island–I shouldn’t feel stressed!”

Moving beyond the vague and elusive world of self-care, we have compiled some of our favourite and simple ways to unwind and recharge. It is crucial to unwind and get out of ‘school mode’ but often hard to find out how to do that.

form-uJd5YBMMR-k-unsplashGentle Exercise.

One way can be trying some yoga or meditation classes. There are plenty of free classes available online, or it is more than likely that your neighbourhood has some classes on offer. Alternatively, a simple walk out in nature will also contribute to your positive wellbeing. Just get moving.

 

 

Giving Back. 

At first glance, this might feel counter-intuitive. I work in an altruistic profession, why would I now want to do work for someone else, for free, in my spare time? How does that constitute self-care? It is widely suggested that giving to others makes us feel better. Switching off from work can happen just by changing the environment, so how about giving yourself a volunteer day or looking into some WorkAway options?  Planting some trees out in nature or walking dogs at your nearby kennel could be exactly what the doctor ordered.

carolyn-v-dPkn4562j3E-unsplashEstablishing a Routine.

Establish a routine that has nothing at all to do with school! It is easy to convince ourselves that we don’t have the time but this can be a simple as 20minutes in the morning. Sit, journal, move, drink some warm lemon water or practice gratitude-whatever you want to do for you, carve out the time and make it consistent. Think of it as your own sanctuary and notice how much even a few minutes of time to yourself transform how you relate to others.  Soon it will turn into a non-negotiable part of your day!

Switch off your phone & computer. 

Resist the temptation to check your phone or browse social media all the time. You’ll be more in touch with the world around you if you’re not checking Twitter and Instagram at every idle moment and you will notice how much free time this actually makes space for. There are options now to have timers on Instagram and Facebook where you can get alerts on how much time you are spending on the application. This is useful to bring awareness to your browsing habits. Try slowly reducing them, and notice the difference in not just your time but your attitude!
reza-shayestehpour--5R5-FJqX7s-unsplashTake a trip.
Get out of your familiar and immediate surroundings. Switching up our environments can really help us relax. Planning a trip doesn’t need to take a lot of time or be stressful.  You can even opt for a package where it is all organized for you, or take it even further and take a retreat. This can be a weekend to a week-long trip where the focus is on relaxation, often with some gentle movement classes and healthy food. There are even options where you’re not allowed to speak for a week giving you the time to really fill up your own cup! But note that these options are not as relaxing as you might first think. However, returning to reality you will certainly have a fresh perspective.

How do you switch off from school? Do you have a favourite hobby or routine that really recharges you?  We would love to hear from you! Reach out to us at editor@teacherhorizons.com

 

Written by Alexandra Plummer

4 Countries with International School Teaching Vacancies

74 new schools updated their profile pages on Teacherhorizons recently – that means lots of new opportunities all over the world this year!  Where to pick though? Read on for a little inspiration on some of the fabulous countries with international schools that are hiring.

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Kuwait

Kuwait – There is no income tax in Kuwait, and “no other taxes of any consequence, such as sales or value-added taxes, property taxes, etc” making it an attractive place to live & work.  It is an expat haven, with over 80 percent of the workforce consisting of foreigners. The coastline offers opportunities for jet skiing and boat trips during your free time. Kuwait is a safe country with low crime rates however, it’s wise to respect the Muslim culture.

Fun Facts: Did you know? The Kuwaiti Dinar, the official currency of Kuwait, is the highest-valued currency in the world.Kuwait has the 15th-tallest sculpted tower in the world – The Al Hamra Tower. Located in Kuwait City, it is also the country’s tallest tower and the 23rd tallest in the world. It took almost six years to complete. It is 414 meters tall with 80 floors

What teachers say: “The school was a delight and the children were just gorgeous. I think that was the best year of my life!” Elaine Crawford about Kuwait.

 

 

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Japan

Japan has a wonderment about it that attracts the curious. Its culture is so unique and that’s appealing to international school teachers. The value on education is high, the food is world-renowned delicious and with four distinct seasons, you can marvel in the stunning landscapes. Whether you are in a big city like Tokyo or more rural there is an air of harmony that is inescapable.

Fun facts: Onsen, Japanese outside baths, are really cheap and a great way to relax and unwind. However not for the shy or timid you have to strip down and get naked first!

What teachers say: “It’s different, but that’s what I wanted. All my experiences so far have been positive” Tamara.

 Thailand

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In Thailand, you have a vast choice of lifestyle, ranging from city life to jungle-clad to stunning beachside locations. While this is tempting in itself there are also top quality international schools offering a high standard of education whether you are in Bangkok or headed for the hills in Chiang Mai.

Fun facts: Be careful about how you handle your money. Don’t deface the king! Defacing the king’s image on Thai currency is not just offensive but can also lead to imprisonment!

What teachers say: “I find so much joy in the small, precious moments we experience here and I am so grateful that international teaching has benefitted my little family, not just my career.” Julia Knight-Williams speaking about Bangkok.

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Qatar

Qatar – In Qatar, there is no income tax or social security so like Kuwait it makes for an alluring place. The lucrative earning isn’t the only appeal to Qatar. It’s rich in culture with its Islamic roots. Qatar is what you make of it though, if you invest time in building a community there and taking the highs with the lows it will be rewarding. The winters are mild and it’s a great jumping-off point for exploring the rest of the Middle East.

Fun fact: Fancy getting adventurous and trying something new? You can join in on the tourist unique activities like dune bashing and desert camping!

What teachers say: “Qatar is a good fit for families, there is a limited nightlife so if you are after constant parties, this isn’t the place for you!” Anon.

Tamara who moved to Japan quoted “I got the job through Teacherhorizons. My advisor was very helpful and supportive the entire time.”  Have a browse of our international school job vacancies to find out more about the schools we work with and set up a profile here.

Is your school aware that they can currently post their vacancies for free on Teacherhorizons? If not, please let them know! They can email info@teacherhorizons.com for more details. If you’re interested in registering your school with Teacherhorizons, check out our FAQ for schools and request your free profile page.

Written by Alexandra Plummer

Discover Yew Chung Education Foundation

Building strong partnerships and trusting relations is integral to Teacherhorizons. We have been lucky enough to work with the Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF)  for six years and placed over 150 teachers. We are hosting a recruitment event in London on the 7th & 8th of December, so now is a perfect time to give you the lowdown on YCEF.

ycefYew Chung Education Foundation is a network of international kindergartens, schools, and colleges that provide quality education to over 10,000 students, spanning from infancy to tertiary, across 20 locations in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The organisation has a unique approach that blends Chinese and Western education and culture by having both Chinese and Western Headteachers for every school and teachers for every class. As each school is part of a larger group, opportunities to move internally or be promoted within the group are high.  The message from the co-principals gives a good insight into their school’s vision and ethos.

Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF) was established just over 80 years ago and educates over five thousand students in several schools across China and Hong Kong. The schools cater for students from pre-school through to high school as well as providing accredited higher education programmes tailoring to both local and international needs. YCEF nurture globally competitive students and shape them to be responsible global citizens.

A collaborative team teaching approach creates a genuinely holistic bilingual learning environment. Click here to find out more about the open-plan learning spaces, specifically designed to enable the campuses to become learning communities.

kidsThe curriculum

The curriculum is based on the National Curriculum for England and modified to meet the needs of the international student population. With this in mind, most of the schools run the UK curriculum up to IGCSE and then culminate in the IB Diploma Programme. The curriculum is further enhanced through a wide range of co-curricular activities and enrichment programmes, such as World Classroom and China Classroom, and students are encouraged to participate in a variety of clubs, sports and athletic competitions. Most importantly, students gain a deep understanding of and respect for cultural diversity, keen awareness of global issues, and develop a lifelong commitment to meeting the challenges of their generation.

 Click here to watch a brief video about YWIES Yantai.

classroomWhat is it like to work there?

Over the past four years, we have placed over 100 happy teachers in YCEF schools in Hong Kong and China and their feedback has been resoundingly positive. The schools look after their staff very well from start to finish, and they all provide a competitive salary, private healthcare, accommodation, and a yearly flight allowance. What’s not to love?

 

 Click here to watch a brief video about YCIS Hong Kong.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 12.06.04Where are the schools?

The variety of cities you can go to via YCEF is one of the reasons many people choose these schools. Of course, some are in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing. However there is also a school, for example, in the city of Qingdao, which is different than many cities in China, it’s on the coast and will challenge any stereotype about a “city in China” you have. This video shows some of the different experiences you would have living here.

How do I apply?

IMG_0879Click on the links below to have a look at each of the Yew Chung and Yew Wah schools recruiting through Teacherhorizons.  If you find a vacancy you are interested in, make sure you get in touch immediately with the International Adviser detailed in the advert! You can also interview via Skype if you cannot get to London, but priority will be given to face to face candidates.

 

 

YCIS ShanghaiYCIS ChongqingYCIS Hong KongYWIS BeijingYWIS GuangzhouYWIS TongXiang
YWIS Yantai,YWIS Shanghai ,YWIS Chongqing.

 

Best of luck to all! If you are interested but have not yet set up an account with Teacherhorizons, start by clicking here and creating a free profile. Once your account has been activated you will be able to see who to email for your chosen school and position. For any queries email info@teacherhorizons.com.

Written by Alexandra Plummer

A Happy Teacher Shares his Experience

Ever wondered how the process at Teacherhorizons works? Here is a first-hand account from Andrew Baker, a teacher in the Cayman Islands who was kind enough to share his experience of the process with with us. We thought it was so insightful we wanted to share it with you…

 

WhatsApp Image 2019-10-04 at 20.24.31My experience with Teacherhorizons was one of practical professionalism. The staff I worked with were insightful and showed a clear understanding of  not just the international teaching circuit, but local aspects specific to cities or countries. I was really encouraged by their promptness to respond to enquiries, the consistent offers of help, and the thoroughness in vetting myself whilst also maintaining a familiar friendliness. In other words, I felt they walked the line between professional-human-resources and approachable-diligent-support very well.

Making a profile

Initially, I heard about the company through a colleague who passed on the email address of one employee. Upon getting in touch, I was quickly passed onto the appropriate member of staff dealing with my section (Secondary Science/Physics) and asked to make a profile on the site. The site is a work in progress but thankfully has all the key parts. I particularly liked their process of making a profile. It gave room and prompting to include a lot of extra detail (in the hope of making myself more alluring to potential employers) but left space for you to fill these details in at your own rate. Even without a full profile, I was still able to navigate the advertisements.

A quick nod to their thoroughness, they did first of all have to verify my profile and organised an initial Skype interview, which was done in a day or so, and reassured me the standard of teachers using the site would be high.

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The site is very intuitive to use and where it is a still a work in progress (e.g. the search functions have interesting algorithms) my Teacherhorizons agent, Tiffany, was quick to respond with helpful suggestions of how to best use it. They categorise schools depending on how thorough their knowledge is of the school, which enabled me to spread a wider net when searching for jobs, but also more heavily lean towards ‘endorsed’ and even ‘visited’ schools. The idea of dealing with a recruitment agency that has personally visited so many international schools was incredibly encouraging. My experience in international schools around the world has already made it abundantly clear that these workplaces vary massively.

One major luxury, is the ability to apply for jobs without having to fill in their respective application forms as well. With the Teacherhorizons site, you simply click apply and you are done.

Choosing a schoolWhatsApp Image 2019-10-04 at 20.24.29

There were slim pickings at first, but as the job season came about, several came up over the course of a week or so. Having done the leg work with my profile in advance, including getting three references sent to them, I was able to spend time vetting the schools freely. My wife and I chose to look in Africa, North America, Europe and South America. Our main constraints were finding a dog-friendly location and one where she could get work as a project manager that she would enjoy. The standard to which each school/job profile is complete can vary quite a bit. Teacherhorizons, as with the applicant profiles, has made the employer profiles quite intuitive. It explicitly prompts the schools to include keys details sometimes missed or avoided elsewhere.

The Application

You can put your preferred locations on your profile for prospectus employeesWhatsApp Image 2019-10-04 at 20.24.30 (1). It was a fairly standard ‘would you be interested in working here’, ‘when could we do a Skype interview’ and ‘please fill in the following small forms to aid our process’.  Surprisingly, from that point on Teacherhorizons did not step back. As I moved further along the appointment process, Tiffany offered advice and support when possible. I consider myself quite adapt at interviewing and have had a high success rate, but still found it pleasant to go through the process with more of a ‘team’ mentality. Again, that local knowledge of the country and the school helped our decision process a lot, and my wife and I eventually accepted a job to work in the Cayman Islands.

We’ve been here for two months now and it has been an adventure getting settled and adjusted. We’re already starting to find a local ‘family’ to call our own along with various great places to spend time. If you’re considering taking the leap into working abroad, I highly recommend it, and Teacherhorizons could be the group that open the right door for you like it did for us.

Andrew Baker

Science Teacher at Cayman Prep And High School

If you’re inspired, then why not browse our latest jobs in South AmericaAsia or Europe? Visit more of our happy teachers blogs to read more testimonials and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries  editor@teacherhorizons.com

Written by Alexandra Plummer