Halloween as an Indicator

reisgio
Posts: 203
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:17 am

Halloween as an Indicator

Post by reisgio »

After years of research into International Schools, I am more convinced than ever that if a school prominently displays Halloween parade or event pictures and videos on its website it is a school that is pretty weak. In fact I would argue that this and this alone is the leading indicator of whether or not a school is of high quality. The less emphasis on Halloween on a school's site the more likely it is a true tier one school.

What are your thoughts on the theory, namely:

The greater the emphasis on Halloween at an International School the more likely the International School is a joke.

vandsmith
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:16 am

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by vandsmith »

haha interesting theory!

i've thought the opposite on occasion though, i.e. the more willing a school is to celebrate different perspectives, holidays, celebrations the "better" it is in terms of community and openness.

so many facets go into a quality school, and moreover that doesn't mean it's a quality school for me. lots of cultural events, a real supporter of arts and play and experiment in school, robust sports programme with healthy living and activity a reality on campus, principals/admin. who really support and back teachers and who have a more liberal-minded philosophy when it comes to teaching methods are a few things i look for.

i want to teach in a school where kids are motivated towards sports, the arts, and hard work. a rigorous curriculum that doesn't emphasize one subject over another and doesn't use overly (and needlessly) complicated language.

not too much to ask haha!

v.

SweetWaterGringo
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:00 pm

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by SweetWaterGringo »

Funny you should say that. A friend of mine is currently teaching at a school in Vietnam, which he says has poor standards and makes a huge deal out of Halloween. I think you may be on to something!

vandsmith
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:16 am

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by vandsmith »

SweetWaterGringo wrote:
> Funny you should say that. A friend of mine is currently teaching at a
> school in Vietnam, which he says has poor standards and makes a huge deal
> out of Halloween. I think you may be on to something!

spooky!

v.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9405
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

I think its as valid as any single factor predictor, you either believe it or you dont.

zanyplum
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:01 am
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by zanyplum »

The first IS I worked at was in an amazing location but pretty low quality. Halloween was a huge deal and the events, parades, and celebrations took an entire school day. My current school is Tier 1 and doesn't celebrate Halloween (though we celebrate many other cultural events. It is a balanced place).

I think you are on to something here.

reisgio
Posts: 203
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:17 am

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by reisgio »

As a follow-up to this, I am more certain of my hypothesis than ever before. Each school I have visited or met with admins from in the last few months has been tested on this characteristic because I have thrown in questions about Halloween. In every case those that get really excited by their Halloween festivities have been the schools that completely suck. Those schools that do very little for the holiday truly mean business because they focus on education every day of the school year. For new teachers, please research Halloween at the schools on your list to get an idea of whether or not the school will be an aggrandized day care or an actual educational organization. Cheerio!

sciteach
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:49 am

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by sciteach »

My first international school that I worked at used to make a big deal out of Halloween. Half a decade later - things around Halloween only occur if something is planned by the student council. As such, I guess this shows that my old school has matured more into what an international school should be. Meaning that things are student directed - not just some nice photos for the school website.

If it's a true American International School (meaning mostly American student) then I would not be too worried. If the school is mainly/almost fully local students, we might be onto something.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9405
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Comment

Post by PsyGuy »

@reisgio

I think youre on to something. Since your original post Ive seen the schools that have the biggest issues make a big deal about their Halloween activities. You may want to consider writing a paper or article about it.

sid
Posts: 1117
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by sid »

I think you're on to something too.
It's not the presence or absence of Halloween celebrations per se, but their prominence in the school. A big deal, all hands on deck, photo ops for everyone... Problematic. A quieter affair, balanced with other celebrations of different cultures and typed.... Ok.

Michelle
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:02 am

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by Michelle »

I look at the prevalence of Halloween photos and holiday, good-time, photos dominating a school's web site as I do pictures of tree fogs, swamps, landscapes and people with big smiles dominating a travel publication for a specific country. You know there is not much in the way of theater, art, music and great architecture. Like wise a predominance of fun photos on a schools web site signals me that academics are probably secondary here. I do think you are on to something.

marina
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:31 pm

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by marina »

Oh good GOD! It's October 2nd and I started hearing the local teachers talk to the students yesterday about our school's Halloween celebration. And this school does stink big time. This theory is true, true, true. It's the only indicator an international teacher needs to determine where not to go that is for sure. I wish I had seen this last year!!!!!!

redvelvetcurtain
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by redvelvetcurtain »

The big emphasis on Halloween activities indicates, probably, that the student body is local and not expat. Schools that cater to local students are often the for profit "stinky" ones.

Parents of students at these schools like it that their children are going to an "international school" and celebrating a foreign holiday with a bunch of foreigners (ie. Teachers). Halloween is a famous foreign holiday and the foreign teachers are actually around for it (unlike Xmas when they go home). So a good Halloween celebration with not just witches and ghosts, but foreigners as well, is one of the perks of sending your kid to an international school instead of a good local private school.

sand_fan
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:17 am

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by sand_fan »

Maybe my school is worst of all. Teachers began talking during pre-planning of the grand hallowween tradition of the secondary students going to the primary school and scaring them. This sounds like such fun, I am giddy in anticipation. I hope we get to dress up, too!

chilagringa
Posts: 338
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:19 pm

Re: Halloween as an Indicator

Post by chilagringa »

So... it's the day after - any thoughts this year?

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