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Posts Tagged ‘highlight’

Video highlight: St. Stephen’s International School (Bangkok, Thailand)

St. Stephen’s International School (Bangkok)

How great to start off each day with the flag ceremony and the Thai National Anthem!

Being that the majority of their students are Thai, they have a strong focus on honoring and respecting Thai and Asian cultural values.

It looks like they also have a focus on having the students learn by doing, including doing a lot of learning outside of the classroom.

Another apparent focus is to provide their students opportunities to be active in community service experiences that help out less fortunate children.

Using the school search feature on our website, there are 31 international schools listed in Thailand.  19 of those schools are in Bangkok and 13 of them are teaching the UK curriculum.

Check out St. Stephen’s International School (Bangkok)’s school profile page on International School Community here.

International School Community Member Spotlight #8: Gloria Hewitt

Each month International School Community will highlight one of our members.  This month we interviewed Gloria Hewitt:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Spain, attending international schools in Barcelona and Madrid.  My father’s American  and my mom is Spanish, so I was always considered ½ and ½ .  I went to college in the U.S. and got a B.F.A. (Fine Arts) from Otis College in Los Angeles.  I started teaching at a public school in L.A. in 1998 and never looked back.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

In 2006 I made the decision to move back to my “home town” and applied for a job at my old school, The American School of Barcelona.  I worked there for 4 years where I shared students and classrooms with some of the elementary school teachers from my childhood.  My experience at ASB was a wonderful experience.  Once I had those years under my belt…I was hooked on the International School life-style.  Our initial idea was to move to Argentina, where my husband is from, but when the opportunity came up to move to Brazil and teach at Graded, my family and I were thrilled to take on the challenge. 

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

The American School of Barcelona and Graded – The American School of São Paulo.  The best part of ASB was it’s location,  Barcelona.  Graded is challenging in a professional way, but São Paulo is a tough city.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

Graded is very strong on offering Community Service opportunities in the area.  I am the staff leader for one of those groups, in which a group of high school students fund-raise for and visit a Cancer Shelter close by.  Every time we visit this location I am further impressed by how mature and resilient our students can be.  It’s quite inspiring.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

Location is key.  I look for a place that I can picture myself living for at least 3-4 years.  In my case, I need to consider my non-teaching spouse.  He can legally work in South America & Europe, so I’m going to be drawn to those areas.  Another really important factor is the true savings potential.  Each school has it, some more than others, and I’m more interested in saving money than traveling. 

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Stimulating,  unpredictable,  addictive,  inspiring, challenging.

Thanks Gloria!  If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here.  If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!

Blogs of international school teachers: “Follow That Elephant!”

Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?

Check out the experiences of another international school teacher from the moment they signed the contract to what they are writing about after a few years working abroad.

Our 6th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Follow That Elephant”   This teaching couple seem to be quite experienced in the international school community, having worked at more than 3 international schools.  The part of their blog that we would like highlight is about their experience living in Malaysia working at Mont Kiara International School Kuala Lumpur.

Entries we would like to highlight:

2 Months In…
“Everything continues to be absolutely wonderful: the food, the weather, the people, the shopping and the school. We’re having a great time!…Yesterday we went to the sikh wedding. One of the teachers at school married a Malaysian sikh, and they very generously invited everyone from MKIS! Since we were invited to this awesome wedding, we figured we would dress appropriately.”

How great to experience a wedding in the host country that you are living in!

Life Outside of KL
“Aside from the small, yet powerful cultural differences that have really come to the forefront this month, all continues to go well. We are still loving the weather, food, shopping, etc. It was especially nice to take a trip to the amazing east coast . According to my students Redang is the best island to visit. According to the teachers, it’s the most expensive. No matter what you say, we loved it!”

Looks like the next stage of culture shock has set in 2-3 months after the initial move, but that is when you also now know some of the great places to visit nearby as well….places you possibly didn’t even realize were there before you moved.

The World of International Schools
“When I tell people back home in the US that I’m teaching in Thailand, they usually assume I teach English to Thai children. When I try to explain by saying “no, I teach at an international school”, I’m often met with a blank stare.”

This type of conversation has happened to all of us!  Check out this entry for another great overview of the international school teaching experience, from recruitment to the benefits to and from what type of people get into this community this overview is very informative!

*If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.

The Peace Quilt of international schools: children’s message for peace

A teacher who is inspired can inspire students and other teachers!

According to the blog: This project began as an idea back in September 2008,the idea being to unite schools all around the world, in some way, potentially as a celebration of the London Olympics, 2012.  The people involved asked themselves to think of an idea of uniting schools all over the World.  The idea suggested was for all schools to do a collage of Peace, where children created their picture of what Peace meant to them, and to have it displayed at the Olympics.  That idea was then turned into another idea of creating a Peace Quilt.  They got in touch with the not-for-profit organization PEACE ONE DAY and Jeremy Gilley.  POD have gladly made their Global Education Resource available free to all schools.  This was perfect for them, as Peace is something they were very committed to, knowing that it is a wish all children have.  This was the beginnings of this exciting project.

http://peacequilt.wordpress.com/

Of course international schools around the world have already started to participate.  There have been numerous international schools that have already got involved.  Some of them are:

International School of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)

Colegio Experimental Alberto Einstein (Quito, Ecuador)

Dili International School (Dili, East Timor)


The International School of Seychelles (Seychelles)

There are more international schools that participated (check out their pictures here):

International School of Monaco (Monaco)

International School of Kabul (Kabul, Afganistan)

American International School of Niamey  (Niamey, Niger)

Marymount International School (Rome, Italy)

Mont Kiara International School (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Qsi International School Bratislava (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark)

and the list goes on….

I LOVE when teachers have a dream and then they make it become a reality.

Blogs of International School Teachers – “Backpacking Teacher”

Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?

Check out the experiences of another teacher from the moment they signed the contract to what they are writing about after a few years working abroad.

Our 2nd blog that we would like to highlight is called “Backpacking Teacher.”  What an interesting experience living in Saigon and working at a young school that is growing and expanding.

Entries we would like to highlight:

What do I expect from my new life in Saigon?
Before I head off for another overseas sojourn it’d be a nice idea to document what I’m expecting to find and what I’m looking forward to. That way, down the track, I can review my expectations against a future reality. Most of what I’m expecting is based upon what life was like when I lived in Indonesia.
I’m expecting:
The very poor and the very rich
A political system that exists largely in the background…

Worst thing that’s happened to you whilst traveling?
How about the time I worked in Indonesia managing a remote resort .. ah yes ..that one.  I managed this remote resort on the island of Java. The country was in upheaval, students had recently been shot on the streets of Jakarta and my security manager came into see me.  “Pak”, he says. “Bad news. The local people they not like the resort making money on their land. They coming tomorrow to burn it down”.  “ok”, says I, attempting to be calm. “time to put our contingency plans into gear”. Thinking all along how absurd it was that I had contingency plans, for rioting villagers, ready to go…

Reflections on my new school
The physical environment is superb with well appointed classrooms, interactive whiteboards in each classroom, air-conditioning and a management team that is very supportive of the teaching staff. The school has real potential and for a school this young it has made massive strides in it’s quest to be a leading school in Saigon. This can be shown by the number of teachers and students who have moved to the school from other international schools in town. It’s an exciting place to be and makes for an environment that’s both challenging and a pleasure to teach in. I’m certainly happy with my choice and enjoy working here.

The previous blog address of this teacher can be found here.  There are some great entries about the process a person goes through when searching for and getting a job at an international school.

Great link #2: What’s it Like Teaching Abroad? An International Teacher Case Study

We found this link at shelteroffshore.com which is a website geared towards expats.

“Shelter Offshore is a directly aligned resource for internationally minded individuals – or in other less confusing and ‘jargony’ words, we the team who write and research for this online publication do so because we are passionate about the international lifestyle. What’s more, we genuinely want to offer up quality information, facts and even advice to others who want to explore life outside the box that they are currently living in!”

Topics on the website include: banking and saving, living abroad and expatriate services.

Highlighted article – What’s it Like Teaching Abroad? An International Teacher Case Study

“If you’ve ever considered the option of going abroad to teach at an international school, then this article featuring a case study who has worked at many international schools is for you”

Highlights from the article:

How has teaching abroad benefited you and how has your international experience affected your family?

It’s been the best thing that could have happened for us all, even for Matthew who never actually lived abroad with me, because we spent quality time when we were together, not so much quantity time but really good quality time.  Both Matthew and Jessica are much more internationally-minded because of this.  They have both traveled more extensively as a result and experienced different countries not just from the perspective of a holiday-maker but from actually living there.

Finally, what advice would you give to anyone thinking about going to live abroad and work as a teacher at an international school?

Well, I would absolutely recommend it!  Not just for developing you professionally but also developing you personally.  The people who work in international schools are incredibly positive, interesting, confident, independent people.  They are really open, friendly and interested in you as a person.  I think that’s the type of person who is attracted to working abroad and also you are dependent on each other for so many things because you have no family close at hand and so, as a result, you become more supportive and inclusive of others who are in the same situation.

Read the whole article here

Member spotlight #2: Christy Niemeyer

Every 6th and 27th of each month International School Community will highlight one of our members.  This month we interviewed Christy Niemeyer:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?
I am from Southern California. I was living and working as a fourth grade teacher for San Diego City schools before teaching abroad.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?
It all started on New Year’s Eve 2003. I was talking with someone at a party whose sister was teaching in Malaysia. This person was telling me the exciting and lucrative life her sister was leading by working internationally. I had never heard of international schools, and as I was looking for a change, I knew this was the exact kind of change I was looking for. Three months later, I accepted a job at the American School of Barcelona. Not exactly a lucrative job, but it was an amazing opportunity.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
I have worked at two international schools so far. The first was, as I mentioned, The American School of Barcelona. It is a small school, which makes it easy to get to know both students and teachers alike. It also honors both local and multicultural traditions. Students participate in making cakes called Monas, which are cakes decorated with different themes, a local tradition. This happens around Easter. To honor other cultures, students participate in Santa Lucia celebrations (a Swedish tradition), American Halloween, and Chinese Shadow puppets, just to name a few.

I now work at Seoul International School, in South Korea. The school facility itself has a lot of character since it resembles a Korean palace, and there are Korean sculptures throughout the campus. I find this school unique because of its amazing choir and junior orchestra program. This is the first time I have worked at a school which nourishes the musical talents of students so well. During the holidays, the junior choir performed beautiful songs with the junior choir from Korean International School, our neighboring international school. It was great seeing students from the two schools perform together and they sounded amazing.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
Taking a cab ride back from the airport last week, our driver seemed to want to accommodate us by playing a mixed tape of songs (loudly) in English: Bridge Over Troubled Water, and You Are Not Alone were just a few tunes played. I really felt it was for our benefit which cracked me up. I find the local people here so kind, and they often go out of their way to be helpful.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
The job itself is the most important since I will be spending most of my time at work, thus I look at the integrity of the school and that it utilizes the best resources, technology, and school programs. I also like to talk to teachers who are currently working there and get their impressions of the school. Salary and benefits is also a huge consideration. Finally, the school location is also important to me, especially in terms of climate and safety.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Rewarding, eye-opening, fun, flexible, and ADDICTIVE