Where in the World to Start?

expatscot
Posts: 252
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:26 am

Re: Where in the World to Start?

Post by expatscot »

OK - a couple of extra points following on from your previous post.....

> Just to clarify - yes, my husband will be joining me, however he won’t be
> relying on my income. He can do his current job online, or (depending on
> our location) could possibly find his own employment. He works in finance.

However, he'll still need a visa to enter a country as a spouse and then work there. He would need to ask his employer to check out the visa position if he works online - some will require a visa for him to continue working, even online, others might not (France, for example, does require this). The school might help, but it would depend.

> Our plan was always to look into moving overseas once our kids all finished
> school (3 kids) but, much to our surprise, our youngest has expressed an
> interest in joining us. This would turn our 4.5 - 5 year plan into a 2.5
> year plan. He would be in his second last year of school when we move, and
> he wants to gain entry into university after high school (so assuming he
> does join us, a good school for him is important).
> Asia would suit us due to ease of travel to Aus to visit family, but
> included flights in employment package is by no means a deal breaker.

So you do have to be aware of the effect of moving at this point on a teenager. Academically, he'll go into Y12 / IBDP year 1, which isn't a problem. However, you need to think about what's available for them to do - from experience, the last thing you want internationally is a bored teenager! Look carefully at the cities you are applying to as well.

> I’ll have about 7-8 years teaching experience by the time we move. Not a
> lot, but more than a little I suppose. I also have an environmental science
> degree, however no real experience in that field of work.

Depending on your teaching qualification, that might help. It could mean you're qualified to teach some science (biology, maybe?) or Environmental Systems and Societies at IB, possibly also Geography. That depends on your own confidence too.
Illiane_Blues
Posts: 311
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:56 pm

Re: Where in the World to Start?

Post by Illiane_Blues »

I know a teacher who got her international start at a good school in Tunisia which for reasons unknown to me got relatively few applicants despite a solid reputation. Her main concern was the her boy would be included by the other kids at school and at the time the school had a lot of international students and the boy had a good time. Bit of a boring city fwih but they had a good time socialising with other teachers and expats and going to beach. Stayed 6 years.
The main school in Addis Abeba is very good indeed and you will save lots of money but gets lots of applications so not a school where you would start out. Cannot hurt to apply tho.
Problem with lower end schools in popular destinations is that students are usually 100% local and in lots of countries they will exclude or even bully staff kids unless they speak the language or are the kind of kid you just don't mess around with and who will be popular anywhere.
Singapore might be a good option if you do go for lower end schools as local kids are not allowed to attend and it has lots of schools and everyone speaks English.
Heliotrope
Posts: 989
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Where in the World to Start?

Post by Heliotrope »

Illiane_Blues wrote:
> I know a teacher who got her international start at a good school in
> Tunisia which for reasons unknown to me got relatively few applicants
> despite a solid reputation.

There was a terrorist attack in 2015 that was worldwide frontpage news. I imagine interest in working in Tunis dropped significantly after that. That might have been the reason.
sciteach
Posts: 202
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:49 am

Re: Where in the World to Start?

Post by sciteach »

When it comes to working overseas for the first time - some teachers make the mistake of looking for which country they want to work in. This significantly limits your opportunities as the jobs that are available significantly change each year. For example - I teach Science and have been to quite a few job fairs. I've been to Bengkok and there were few jobs that year. Then I've also been to one of the smaller earlier fairs and had 10+ interviews with different schools and was offered multiple jobs. It really depends on what is available and who is looking at the time.

A good thing to think about is also what you teach, what you bring and what you may cost. If you are an elementary teacher - then you are often in a difficult position as this is often one of the dime a dozen jobs. Many of the better schools often keep English/Humanities/Elementary positions vacant for longer so they can get teaching couples - with one teacher being the more difficult to find (such as Math, Physics, Chemistry etc).

You also have 2 dependents which as mentioned previously significantly adds to the schools cost. Many schools (specifically post covid) are looking to employ people that have less overheads. As such, many schools will often employ teaching couples, then singles, then teaching couples with kids, then the rest (which includes you). There is of course some flux in this depending on the school. For example - some schools with an almost entirely local population will employ families which are the token expats for photographic purposes.

If your husband can work virtually - also consider internet access speeds and accessibility. For example - China has lots of jobs but say goodbye in getting continual access to western platforms. Also consider that there may be time zone differences which can make things challenging.

The ME is the one area where you are more likely to get a job in a government schools (or should I say local school) compared to other countries - but note that this can be difficult to teach in as a foreign female teacher. Teaching at a mostly local clientele school can also be challenging for your kids which is something that you need to seriously consider. Also note that as your child gets closer to Year 11/12, quality of education is important and also the school year is different than the international scene. For example - school starts in August/September. Would you son be happy spending another 6 months at school if he completes his education overseas?

Having experience in the IB/American/British curriculum is helpful, but honestly you need to teach at these types of schools. Completing an IB workshop (such as making the pyp happen) probably won't make that much difference in employability, apart from schools which penny pinch so much that they might employ you as you are $400 cheaper to employ than another person.

Accommodation changes significantly between countries. For example it's almost never included in Europe, you often get an allowance in the more popular countries and some locations give you an apartment. Think of the variety as the same as working in a public school in your home country. There is a lot of variety.

Wages are honestly all over the place depending on where you live. There are some countries (I'm thinking Crete) where jobs are a tad over $20,000 AUD a year before tax. Then there are some jobs in Saudi Arabia which pay over $100,000 after tax and accommodation. It's best to think about take home pay after accommodation and tax.

One thing I seem to have found missing from this conversation (but I only scanned the replies) was how to get a job overseas. The three main options tend to be

(1) Applying directly to each school
(2) Getting an employment agency to apply on your behalf
(3) Use something like Search Associates / ISS/ Schrole

Do note that the advantages of using Search / Employment Agency can be anonymous references which gives them an advantage over just applying directly to the school. However - some schools (often the more penny pinching ones) do prefer the direct route as it's a few thousand dollars cheaper for them.

The comments on which country to work in from other people is mostly valid. That's why I suggest look for which jobs are available at the time and consider if you might be happy living and working there.

I've found it difficult to find the perfect location, culture, school balance. Often a good school might be in a city of country you don't want to live in (China for me). Or it might be an easy place to live and travel but difficult to get to know the locals (Japan).

Some people say it's better to live in a nice location and work in a terrible school - but I think it really depends on the person. This might work fine for some - but can be a hellscape for others. It's honestly too difficult to know as there are too many variables.

If there is something which I wish I had more experience in - it would be teaching students who were learning English as an additional language. I don't mean a throw away course - but actually teaching students. I taught lots of refugee students before I left my home country - but having a class where they speak to each other in another language you don't understand changes everything.

I'm putting myself out on a limb - but I would not probably work in China or the Middle East at the moment (specifically the ME as a female who will be seen as the main bread winner). The schools which are probably best suited for you (good expat population + reasonable educational standards) also tend to be the schools which attract more teachers.

To give you an idea - I once had an interview with the Head of School for a school in Vietnam (easily considered one of the best in the region) and he mentioned that over 100 teacher had applied for the humanities position but only 8 for the science position.

Also remember that this is my opinion and take it with a grain of salt. The only thing I can guarantee is that some people will disagree with me.
Lastname_Z
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 12:17 pm

Re: Where in the World to Start?

Post by Lastname_Z »

Just coming in to say that a lot of the comments by scitech about China are uninformed.

As long as you install a VPN before you go to China, you will have access to all your western platforms. You will likely have faster speeds than you had in Australia as well.

Although China has had the strictest border controls during this pandemic, they have also been one of the most open and Covid. If I wasn't committed to where I am now, I would definitely consider going to China. I am basing this on the experiences of my friends who have been teaching in China throughout this pandemic.
secondplace
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:40 pm

Re: Where in the World to Start?

Post by secondplace »

Don't rely on your VPN to get around the Great FireWall.

These are tolerated by the government but can be closed at any time.
sciteach
Posts: 202
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:49 am

Re: Where in the World to Start?

Post by sciteach »

RE Lastname_Z

When it comes to internet access in China - I think that a VPN is acceptable for school related things, but completing work virtually is a bit of a gamble. It's true that the CCP tolerates VPN's, but speak to someone in Shanghai when they are having the local CCP conference when VPN's are shut down or work poorly for a month or so when it's your job.

There were times when I could not even use Skype which is quite a rarity in China when I used to live there. The internet might be faster in China - but that's the Chinese Internet. I honestly like to describe the Chinese internet as more of an intranet (meaning the Chinese internet works great).

I also believe that the concept of an international education for Chinese students is being changed which will significantly affect the amount of employment of foreign teachers in the country in the medium term. The limiting of tutoring after school and during holidays will potentially affect many schools ability to provide holiday programs. There is also the talk of adding accommodation, tuition and other benefits such as flights as a taxable expense.

Another thing to consider is the current 'grey' trade war between Australia and China at present. It's probably more stable for other nationalities (Brits, NZ'ers) to work there at the moment as if you do something stupid then there is a limited amount that the Australian government can do due to the strained relations between the two countries.

It should also be noted that China is a huge country and what occurs in one location is often totally different in another. This knowledge is a couple of years old, but I've heard of VPN's and the internet working fantastically in more rural or secondary cities with less chance of meddling by the central government.

If new laws come in - they often occur in major cities (such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen etc) as a tester and are then rolled out if successful. But then again - of the law is actually implemented depends on which way the wind is blowing and if any dignitaries are visiting. Examples include if street vendors are allowed to operate. As such - my views may be uninformed for some locations in China but not all.

My favourite quote about China is the following: "Everything you have heard about China is true - somewhere in China". I would say give it a couple of years after the pandemic and when relations between Australia and China have cooled, then it would potentially be a better location than at present for a single or teaching couple.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10128
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

@Monty

Youre spouse may not reply on your income, but they are still going to need some degree of sponsorship involving the IS. They will need a visa at a minimum and then there is healthcare and other benefits. Unless your prepared to take the step of marketing yourself as a single (its really none of your ISs business, if youre willing to not involve them or more importantly take any of their assistance or coin). It could be doable in some locations. Your more competitive because your less expensive because now its just you and your child (and the tuition waiver is a major expense). If the IS provides your benefits in the form of allowances, and you can self sponsor a dependents visa, than its really not any of there business who is living with you or doing what. Its possible your spouse could do all there work without involving the local government. If you maintain a residence or presence in AUS then they likely can funnel the coin with his work though that and not involve the local or regional government. There are a lot of business types that work in Asia that arent paying anything to Asia.

A good IS can mean a lot of things for your child. At any IS thats not the bottom of the third tier, theres going to be ISs that are "good" for getting into Uni. I dont want to state the worst ISs are still probably better than most DSs youd find in regulated DE, but well there it is.
I do tend to agree with @expatscot that your relocation may not be the best time for what amounts to a senior school study abroad. Leaning more towards large cosmopolitan and metropolitan regions where there are a multitude of opportunities for socialization and activities is wiser than hoping your child meshes well with the students at the IS and that being the only avenue of socialization.

Its become more common that IE contracts are coming with fewer flight benefits. Its becoming a much less common ask for an IS to fly and accommodate 3 or 4 people to fill one classroom. The incremental cost of adding a chair and a desk to a classroom for a tuition/seat waiver has historically been one of the easier elements of a contract to negotiate. The costs however of that seat when theres a full tuition paying parent available is real coin however, it can easily exceed the costs of an ITs salary when looking at the cost off ledger.

At one time the token expats for marketing and advertising purposes was a thing, its not anymore. ISs have found that stock photography or hiring some white kids to take photos in the IS is much cheaper than bringing over a family.

I tend to agree with @sciteach that primary is rather saturated Its possible you could get some marketability out of your ENS degree, but an ITs experience is far more marketable than what they can teach. If thats the angle you want to approach than you need to decide is your willing to loose additional years of teaching experience and their marketability for new experience that will be closer to that of an Entry grade IT. Thats assuming you even want to or can make that switch. Its hard to say in any given year or what the year will look like when your recruiting whether a career or professional class primary IT will be better than an entry class IT in ENS will be the better market.
Many ISs do keep a number of primary vacancies so that they can make a deal with higher demand ITs that are part of a teaching couple. Its not uncommon that an IS really only needs a maths or science IT as they could fill the primary vacancy easily but they keep the primary vacancy available in case they find that maths or science IT that needs appointment for their spouse as part of the deal.

Malaysia as a whole is about the same level of competitiveness as Thailand is as a whole. BKK is more competitive than KL though. ITs that settle for KL basically want the SG city experience without the price tag. The coin and comp arent as good as China, but thats true of just about everywhere.

This comes up every year. Theres this position that male ITs in primary are under represented and that a male primary IT is some kind of unicorn, but the field isnt really doing anything about changing those dynamics and its been enough time that if IE and DE wanted more gender balancing they could have done it already. Parents want a more maternal presence for their kids in primary.

IPC training isnt anything in IE, its essentially a knockoff of PYP.

There are substantial concrete elements to defining an ISs tier. Its is not entirely subjective as @Thames Pirate claims. There are less tangible elements but there are very tangible elements to tier rankings. Likewise there are 1st tier ISs that have British ISs and offer IGCSE and/or A*. It is not all American ISs in the first tier.
Often among the first tier ISs there is one thats better than the others and thats the elite or premier IS in the region. While there are some regions that have a very small presence where the second best IS may be the second tier IS, in large regions a second tier IS is likely substantially lower than second best. You may have to get much further down before you reach second tier.
Tier classification is not entirely subjective nor is it an issue of point of view. You can be entirely happy at a third tier IS thats a perfect fit for you, but its still a third tier IS. You can be miserable at a 1st tier IS and dread every day, but its still a first tier IS. Its not imagined prestige.

Tier rating are regionally bound. Tier standing is vaild only in relation to other ISs within the given region. Yes Cambodia has a tier 1 IS, that doesnt mean that its comparable to other tier 1 ISs in other regions, it means that within the region of Cambodia there are X ISs and among them when parsing all the metrics that some proportion of ISs (likely 1) is going to be better among the others.

IB is important in IE as it bridges the the third and 1st tier ISs, many second tier ISs are IB ISs. Thats not to say you cant make it to first tier without IB, it just usually takes longer and you have to work harder. I would also concur with @sciteach that in general funding an IB workshop on your own isnt likely to be worth very much. When it is worth something is at a fair where you might be the only IT with IB anything compared to applicants that dont have the workshop. In those situations theres more pressure on both sides to close. Otherwise an IS thats likely to consider the few hundred coin in workshop savings isnt likely to be a place you want to teach.

While its true as @sciteach states its possible for internet access and VPNs to vanish, its not likely to happen for any extensive period of time. Theres just too much business at stake for China to engage in a prolonged shutdown of the great firewall. I dont see time differences between China and AUS as an issue, no more than they would be in AUS.
I also agree with @sciteach that in China what is the rule in one location or province may not be in any other province.

@Lastname_Z

Thats not standard at all. There are plenty of lower tier ISs, mostly in the EU that dont provide a flight benefit, and I already hear you saying thats not a school youd be interested in, but there are plenty of ITs that will eat the cost of flights and the rest for an opportunity to live in X country. There is a an IS in Italy along the coast that not only doesnt include a flight benefit but requires a F2F interview and the IT has to pay the cost.

@Heliotrope

Best IS for a student is not necessarily the best IS for an IT.
There are LOTS of locations with nothing to offer, a good portion of China has nothing to offer.
Ive found a lot of trailing spouses that are bored out of their minds.
No the #4 Is in Taipei is way better than the #1 in Ethiopia.
We disagree.

@Illiane_Blues

Because it was Tunisia, and because location is more important than the IS. Because no one says "my love I can not wait to be standing on the veranda drinking a glass of wine in your arms" in Tunisia.

@sciteach

Thats not a mistake thats exactly what you should do. You should choose your location first based on the location and then identify ISs within those regions that you would work at.
Heliotrope
Posts: 989
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Discussion

Post by Heliotrope »

> I dont want to state the worst ISs are still probably
> better than most DSs youd find in regulated DE, but well there it is.

I disagree. Some ISs perform as poorly as the bottom 10% back home.


> I do tend to agree with @expatscot that your relocation may not be the best
> time for what amounts to a senior school study abroad. Leaning more towards
> large cosmopolitan and metropolitan regions where there are a multitude of
> opportunities for socialization and activities is wiser than hoping your
> child meshes well with the students at the IS and that being the only
> avenue of socialization.

I agree with @expatscot as well. But I would focus on schools that have a fairly large international student population, and not on the location of that school as much, as kids mostly socialize with peers at their schools, even if there are other avenues available outside of school. They spend most of their time at school, so best if they can connect there. If they get excluded at school, they will be miserable.


> At one time the token expats for marketing and advertising purposes was a
> thing, its not anymore.

Particularly in some Chinese ISs it's still a thing.


> Malaysia as a whole is about the same level of competitiveness as Thailand
> is as a whole. BKK is more competitive than KL though. ITs that settle for
> KL basically want the SG city experience without the price tag. The coin
> and comp arent as good as China, but thats true of just about everywhere.

I know lots of teachers that stay away from Singapore and prefer KL, even if the savings potential in both would be exactly the same. There's no 'settling' involved.


> Parents want a more maternal presence for their kids
> in primary.

Not true, at least not at most of the schools I've worked at. The male Primary teachers were always very much in demand by the parents.


> Tier classification is not entirely subjective nor is it an issue of point
> of view. You can be entirely happy at a third tier IS thats a perfect fit
> for you, but its still a third tier IS. You can be miserable at a 1st tier
> IS and dread every day, but its still a first tier IS. Its not imagined
> prestige.

Yes, it's COMPLETELY subjective.
Tier classification isn't regulated by some authority that has official criteria that you can use to assign a tier level to a school.
What's a tier 1 for one teacher may be tier 2 for another. Different teachers prioritize different things. There are no official criteria we can use to say a certain school a teacher considers tier 1 isn't objectively tier 1.
All we can say is that some schools are tier 1 for *most teachers (but not all) because most teachers (but not all) prioritize the same things (a good savings potential, professional leadership, PD, etc.).


> Tier rating are regionally bound. Tier standing is vaild only in relation
> to other ISs within the given region. Yes Cambodia has a tier 1 IS, that
> doesnt mean that its comparable to other tier 1 ISs in other regions, it
> means that within the region of Cambodia there are X ISs and among them
> when parsing all the metrics that some proportion of ISs (likely 1) is
> going to be better among the others.

Typically, the regions used for tiers are regions like SE Asia, Europe (or Western Europe), or South America.
That Phnom Penh-based tier 1 school isn't tier 1 because it's the best school in Cambodia, but because most teachers consider would rank it amongst the better ones in the SE Asia region.


> IB is important in IE as it bridges the the third and 1st tier ISs, many
> second tier ISs are IB ISs.

Most of what most teachers consider tier 1 schools also have at least one of the IB programs (usually IBDP).


> Best IS for a student is not necessarily the best IS for an IT.

I agree.
Luckily, most of the times it will be though, in my experience.


> There are LOTS of locations with nothing to offer, a good portion of China
> has nothing to offer.

That might be true for you, and for some. Not for all.


> Ive found a lot of trailing spouses that are bored out of their minds.

Some people will be bored anywhere. In my experience most will find something worthwhile to do anywhere if they do more than waiting until it's handed to them on a silver platter.


> No the #4 Is in Taipei is way better than the #1 in Ethiopia.
> We disagree.

Yes, very much.


> Because it was Tunisia, and because location is more important than the IS.
> Because no one says "my love I can not wait to be standing on the
> veranda drinking a glass of wine in your arms" in Tunisia.

The Tunesia school used to be VERY competitive, but probably less now after the attacks.
The La Marsa and Carthage neighborhoods, which is where most teachers live, are nice. Not a bad place to drink wine on your veranda at all. It's not a very exciting city, but the weather is good, the beaches are great, the cost of living is low, and there are many cheap flights to a lot of European cities if you want excitement during a break.
Not a hardship location at all, although not sure how they're handling Covid.


> You should choose
> your location first based on the location and then identify ISs within
> those regions that you would work at.

I would only advise that if the location is somehow extremely important for you, or you'll have to be very lucky to end up at one of the few good schools there, or be miserable 8 hours a day five days a week at one of the other schools there. There are teachers that want to work in a specific country because their spouse is from that country. It makes sense to prioritize a specific country then. In other cases, the quality of the school would be just as if not more important for me as the location. But that's me - of course we all have different priorities.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10128
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@Heliotrope

We disagree.

We disagree. An IS may have a sizable international and expat population, but for all its size it may be very "clickie" with only a few well defined social groups. These attributes are difficult to know or predict in a advance. Its far better to choose a globally cosmopolitan and metropolitan location that will offer additional and variable outlets for children to socialize.

We disagree, its not really a thing anymore. Thats not to say there arent exceptions, but the practice of hiring westerners as a photo opportunity in marketing and advertising is quickly shrinking given the cost of that hire compared to the minuscule cost of stock photography.

We disagree. I know lots of teachers that stay away from KL and prefer SG, based on the prevalence of English among other attributes.

We disagree. Its very true, parents, especially moms want a maternal teacher for their children in primary. Parents may want a male primary IT as a specialist for DT, science, and math but for reading and literacy (which is the foundation of primary edu) they want a maternal presence.

No, it is NOT completely subjective. We disagree. Most of the attributes and criteria such as salary, contact and instructional hours, housing, insurance, relocation, etc. and non comp elements such as curriculum etc. are very objective, concrete and tangible. Little of the heavy lifting that goes into an ISs tier rating is subjective.
No, Tier level is not a matter of personal perception or point of view. An IT can be very happy at their tier 3 IS, its still a tier 3 IS. Just as an IT can be miserable at a Tier 1 IS its still a tier 1 IS.
No, there are absolutely formal criteria.

Tiers are regionally restricted by country not by region such as SE Asia, or Western Europe. Cambodia has a Tier 1 IS just as Laos, and Thailand, etc do. They may not have an elite tier IS (thats the exception), but assuming their quantity of ISs is sufficient they have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier ISs. Location matters. An IT that wants to go to Cambodia is among other things interested in what the best IS(s) are and how the other ISs in that region are relative to the others. if they want to go to JP or SG or wherever what ISs are of what tier in some other country means all of zero.

That doesnt make them an IB IS, despite what the IB would like everyone to think.

We disagree. We have different experiences.

That, rarely is there a location that has opportunities, as you claim may be true for you and for some but not for all.
That most will find something worthwhile to do anywhere may be true for you and for some but not for all or even most.

We agree that we disagree.

That was then this is now, and even then it wasnt competitive. Its not an exciting city because its Tunisia. I get that if something is clean and theres decent construction and architecture youre in, because again for you as we have discussed many times on this forum youre an IT that prioritizes savings. Because for you if the costs are low all you need is a salary on the higher end to reach your saving expectation and thats what sells it for you. Catching a cheap flight to be a tourist somewhere else is not living in that location. Living in Nice or Rome is not anywhere close to visiting those places on the weekend, because flights are cheap.

I would advise choosing location in the vast majority of cases except for a few discreet scenarios. Thats my position, and of course we disagree.
Heliotrope
Posts: 989
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Reply

Post by Heliotrope »

TLDR: We disagree


PsyGuy wrote:
> We disagree. An IS may have a sizable international and expat population,
> but for all its size it may be very "clickie" with only a few
> well defined social groups. These attributes are difficult to know or
> predict in a advance. Its far better to choose a globally cosmopolitan and
> metropolitan location that will offer additional and variable outlets for
> children to socialize.

It's actually relatively easy to research if you put some effort into it.
And what I've seen and what my teacher friends with high school-age kids say, schools with a large local student population are more likely to exclude an expat kid than one that has a more international student population.


> We disagree, its not really a thing anymore. Thats not to say there arent
> exceptions, but the practice of hiring westerners as a photo opportunity in
> marketing and advertising is quickly shrinking given the cost of that hire
> compared to the minuscule cost of stock photography.

When 'something is a thing' is hard to determine. It still happens is all I'm saying, although it might be true it's happening less. I don't have the data to say how many do this though, and neither do you.


> We disagree. I know lots of teachers that stay away from KL and prefer SG,
> based on the prevalence of English among other attributes.

I didn't say there aren't teachers that prefer SG. I'm saying many teachers in KL aren't 'settling' for KL because of the high prices in SG. They just prefer KL.


> We disagree. Its very true, parents, especially moms want a maternal
> teacher for their children in primary. Parents may want a male primary IT
> as a specialist for DT, science, and math but for reading and literacy
> (which is the foundation of primary edu) they want a maternal presence.

It isn't true in most of the schools I've worked at. The male primary teachers were very popular with the kids and with the parents, including the moms. They mostly want a teacher that is liked by the kids. It's also what I've heard from some other teachers.
You've clearly had a different experience.


> No, it is NOT completely subjective. We disagree. Most of the attributes
> and criteria such as salary, contact and instructional hours, housing,
> insurance, relocation, etc. and non comp elements such as curriculum etc.
> are very objective, concrete and tangible. Little of the heavy lifting that
> goes into an ISs tier rating is subjective.
> No, Tier level is not a matter of personal perception or point of view. An
> IT can be very happy at their tier 3 IS, its still a tier 3 IS. Just as an
> IT can be miserable at a Tier 1 IS its still a tier 1 IS.
> No, there are absolutely formal criteria.

There are no official criteria. If you think there are, please link to the organisation that came up with these.
Yes, salary, contact and instructional hours, housing, etc. are objective, but whether or not those are what determines if a school is tier 1 or 2 is not.
If you're very happy at a school, then it's tier 1 for you, while it can be a tier 3 for someone else.
Tiers, like tears, are in the eye of the beholder.
I do use tiers, but when I say a school is tier 1, I mean it's tier 1 for me, or for most teachers (and there's a fair amount of overlap).


> Tiers are regionally restricted by country not by region such as SE Asia,
> or Western Europe. Cambodia has a Tier 1 IS just as Laos, and Thailand, etc
> do. They may not have an elite tier IS (thats the exception), but assuming
> their quantity of ISs is sufficient they have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier ISs.
> Location matters. An IT that wants to go to Cambodia is among other things
> interested in what the best IS(s) are and how the other ISs in that region
> are relative to the others. if they want to go to JP or SG or wherever what
> ISs are of what tier in some other country means all of zero.

There's no official answer to this, but from what I read on forums such as this one and others, most teachers use the tiers for a region made up of a number of country, such as SE Asia, the Middle East, etc.
Lots of people are interested in a certain region and not just one country.
The term 'Elite tier' is used by almost no one, except you and maybe one or two others.


> That doesnt make them an IB IS, despite what the IB would like everyone to
> think.

It doesn't make it an IB World School perhaps. It's still an IS that offers IB, but not for all grades. Most (90%+) tier 1 schools (or rather: schools that are considered tier 1 by most teachers) teach IBDP at the diploma level. And 2 out of 5 of those tier 1 schools offer not just DP, but also MYP and PYP.


> That, rarely is there a location that has opportunities, as you claim may
> be true for you and for some but not for all.

Not sure what to do with this sentence.
Let's just assume we disagree, thats probably a safe bet.


> That most will find something worthwhile to do anywhere may be true for you
> and for some but not for all or even most.

We move in different circles.
Most trailing spouses I've known had no problem entertaining themselves, even in less desirable locations. The ones that didn't were the ones that didn't try, or the ones that couldn't stomach not having a job at their level despite knowing before making the move that they wouldn't be able to work there.


> We agree that we disagree.

We are very much in agreement. On the issue of not agreeing.


> That was then this is now, and even then it wasnt competitive. Its not an
> exciting city because its Tunisia. I get that if something is clean and
> theres decent construction and architecture youre in, because again for you
> as we have discussed many times on this forum youre an IT that prioritizes
> savings. Because for you if the costs are low all you need is a salary on
> the higher end to reach your saving expectation and thats what sells it for
> you. Catching a cheap flight to be a tourist somewhere else is not living
> in that location. Living in Nice or Rome is not anywhere close to visiting
> those places on the weekend, because flights are cheap.

Yes, it was very competitive. It used to be very hard to land a job there.
Not sure how hard it is now, the recent reviews are still very positive, but it seems its reputation has dwindled a bit amongst ITs.
Yes, I already said it's not an exciting city. Not everyone wants 'exciting' though. I do prefer exciting cities, but I think I would probably quite happy even in a relatively boring city such as Tunis, with its beaches and culture.
I'm not an IT that prioritizes savings over everything else, it's just one of the things I look for, amongst many others, mostly because I need to save for retirement and because I have some other financial obligations. Luckily, most of the schools that meet my other requirements also offer a salary that allows for a good enough savings potential. Last time when I was fortunate enough to have multiple offers I chose a school that wasn't offering the highest savings potential.
Having the option to fly to Europe is a nice perk, it doesn't mean you don't also explore Tunesia. Visiting Rome if you don't live there isn't a bad thing. And I'm not too keen to live in Rome tbh, visiting it will be just fine.


> I would advise choosing location in the vast majority of cases except for a
> few discreet scenarios. Thats my position, and of course we disagree.

Yes, of course.
Different people prioritize different things, and you and I seem to be very different (well, we do both post too much on this forum, we have that in common).
PsyGuy
Posts: 10128
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@Heliotrope

Its not relatively easy. Finding out numbers of expats to host nationals is not the entirety of the social situation at an IS.
What I've seen and what my teacher friends with high school-age kids say, schools with multiple student outlets inside and outside of the IS are more likely to afford positive social opportunities for an expat kid than one that relies solely on the availability of the ISs international student population.

While there are limitations to determining when a thing is a thing. I do have the data and it is happening far less.

I'm stating many teachers in KL are settling' for KL because of the high prices in SG. They would prefer SG over KL.

I only post from experience and reliable and trusted sources. Its true in the vast number of cases I've experienced. Male primary teachers are perhaps preferred for a DT, maths or science specialist IT, but parents especially moms prefer a maternal presence in reading and literacy, which ultimately equates to the HRT role. They mostly want a teacher that is like them, and understands their perspective and point of view in educating their child. This confirms with other outside sources. You've clearly had a different experience.

There are absolutely formal criteria.
Yes, salary, contact and instructional hours, housing, etc. are objective, and play a major role in determining an ISs tier.
No, Tier level is not a matter of personal perception or point of view. An IT can be very happy at their tier 3 IS, its still a tier 3 IS. Just as an IT can be miserable at a Tier 1 IS its still a tier 1 IS. It is not in the eye of the beholder.

Tiers are regionally restricted to the region and the region in this case is defined as an individual country. An IT wants to teach in Thailand, whats the top of the scale in that country. A parent is being transferred to Myanmar whats the tier in that country. No one goes to the ME or to SE Asia, they travel to a country.

Premier is equally used as a term synonymous with Elite tier and is is common practice.

Thats what the IB says. The classical definition of an IB World IS/DS was one that had all three programs PYP, MYP, DIP for its curriculum, then the IB changed it to an IS/DS that utilized any IB curriculum. We are going to constantly disagree agree with this definition. Your of the position that an IS that offers some IB program makes them an IB IS, my position is that it doesnt. IB bridges the third to 1st tier because those second tier ISs lean much more heavily on their IB curriculum than the ISs at first tier that offer DIP as an alternative SLL track. We disagree.

Yeah, we disagree. Its just easier.

Many trailing spouses have nothing more to do than complain how their new location doesnt have this doesnt have that and isnt like it is back in the HOR. We disagree.

We wholeheartedly agree that we disagree.

No it wasnt competitive, it was Tunisia. Your equating all competitiveness on the same field, when what your really referring to is - to being competitive in a local footsball league vs. FIFA. We disagree.

Yes you do, you consistently and constantly prioritize savings above all other factors. I get that if something is clean and theres decent construction and architecture youre in, because again for you as we have discussed many times on this forum youre an IT that prioritizes savings. Because for you if the costs are low all you need is a salary on the higher end to reach your saving expectation and thats what sells it for you. Catching a cheap flight to be a tourist somewhere else is not living in that location. Living in Nice or Rome is not anywhere close to visiting those places on the weekend, because flights are cheap.

Yes, of course. We prioritize different things, and we disagree a lot.
Heliotrope
Posts: 989
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Reply

Post by Heliotrope »

TLDR: Surprisingly, we still disagree.


PsyGuy wrote:
> Its not relatively easy.

Not for you perhaps.
I've never had any problem uncovering that sort of data. If you know where to dig it's fairly easy.
We disagree.


> While there are limitations to determining when a thing is a thing. I do
> have the data and it is happening far less.

You don't have the data, but feel free to post a link to your data to support your claim.
And I really don't have any idea how often it's happening.
It might be happening less, but it's still a thing. We might have a different definition of what 'a thing' is though.
We disagree.


> I'm stating many teachers in KL are settling' for KL because of the high
> prices in SG. They would prefer SG over KL.

I'm stating there are also many teachers who prefer KL over SG, and they are in KL because they want to be there, not because they're settling but would prefer SG. I myself would prefer KL over SG if I had to choose - I don't like downtown KL, but the rest of it (where I would actually live) I prefer over most of SG.
Also, salaries in SG are almost always substantially higher than in KL, when comparing same tier schools. Saving potential isn't vastly different between SG and KL, so there's really no financial incentive to choose KL over SG.
We disagree.


> I only post from experience and reliable and trusted sources.

Hahaha!


> Its true in the vast number of cases I've experienced. You've clearly had a
> different experience.

Yes, I've had many experiences that were very different from what you're describing.
We disagree.


> There are absolutely formal criteria.
> Yes, salary, contact and instructional hours, housing, etc. are objective,
> and play a major role in determining an ISs tier.
> No, Tier level is not a matter of personal perception or point of view.

There aren't any official criteria, but feel free to post a link to them.
It is however true that most teachers have mostly similar criteria, and these actually match with most of mine. But even with those mostly similar criteria, people can reach very different conclusions about the same school.
Just like most men prefer a certain type of woman, but there's no objectively perfect woman, just some that are favored by many. There's also not one objectively best school, merely one that most people would rank #1 according to their personal preferences.
We disagree.


> Tiers are regionally restricted to the region and the region in this case
> is defined as an individual country.

There's not one definition of what a region is. For you it might mean a specific country. For others a region will be something like 'Central Asia', 'Eastern Europe', etc..
On this forum, a very large majority of the users use the term to describe the latter.
We disagree.


> synonymous with Elite tier and is is common practice.

A quick search on this forum will show you that you are almost the only one using 'elite tier'.
We disagree.


> We are going to
> constantly disagree agree with this definition. Your of the position that
> an IS that offers some IB program makes them an IB IS, my position is that
> it doesnt.

Please read more carefully. My response was: "Most of what most teachers consider tier 1 schools also have at least one of the IB programs (usually IBDP)."


> No it wasnt competitive, it was Tunisia. Your equating all competitiveness
> on the same field, when what your really referring to is - to being
> competitive in a local footsball league vs. FIFA. We disagree.

I define competitiveness by how difficult it would be for the same candidate to land a job at a different schools, at the same point in time.
We disagree.


> Yes you do, you consistently and constantly prioritize savings above all
> other factors.

I don't, I know what I prioritize better than anyone else, just as @Thames Pirate knows better than you and anyone else what she can save each month.
Savings potential is important for me in the sense that I need enough to save for retirement, but if that threshold is cleared, it becomes very unimportant. If two schools both clear that threshold, I would pick the better school, even if the other one would pay a lot more.
But I do prioritize savings potential over salary, where you prioritize salary over savings potential.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10128
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@Heliotrope

Its not relatively easy. Finding out numbers of expats to host nationals is not the entirety of the social situation at an IS. What I've seen and what my teacher friends with high school-age kids say, schools with multiple student outlets inside and outside of the IS are more likely to afford positive social opportunities for an expat kid than one that relies solely on the availability of the ISs international student population.. We disagree.

I do have the data, its not a thing, we disagree.

I'm stating many teachers in KL are settling' for KL because of the high prices in SG. They would prefer SG over KL. We disagree.

I concur. I've had many experiences that were very different from what you're describing. We disagree.

There are absolutely formal criteria.Yes, salary, contact and instructional hours, housing, etc. are objective, and play a major role in determining an ISs tier. No, Tier level is not a matter of personal perception or point of view. An IT can be very happy at their tier 3 IS, its still a tier 3 IS. Just as an IT can be miserable at a Tier 1 IS its still a tier 1 IS. It is not in the eye of the beholder.
We disagree.

There is one operational definition of region and its country Within this forum, a very large majority of the users use the term to describe country. We disagree.

A quick search on this forum will show many instances of the term "elite tier". We disagree.

I read very carefully, its more some 1st tier ISs have an option for some part of the IB curriculum if they arent a classic IB World IS, its not most. We disagree.

I define competitiveness by how difficult it would be for the same candidate to land a job at a different schools, at the same point in time. We disagree.

You do. We disagree.
EyEyEy
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:32 pm

Re: Where in the World to Start?

Post by EyEyEy »

I've read many topics since joining this forum in March and lots of it is really interesting & helpful. However, most of the time I'm just wondering: who is this @PsyGuy clown?
He's almost always wrong but still posts more than all others combined. He just keeps repeating falsehoods, and formulating a well-structured and error-free sentence seems to be beyond his abilities. Imagine having someone like him on your debate team.
At first it was amusing, like a class clown can be, but he's not funny and he's actively spreading misinformation. I'm glad some people are pushing back but it only seems to be encouraging him.
I'm not on many forums so I'm not too familiar with internet trolls but he seems to be one: insecure, and not half as smart as he would like to be. I feel sorry for his students.
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