Avoid Swiss boarding schools

PsyGuy
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Post by PsyGuy »

@EyEyEy

Those arent wrong, they are wrong for you. Swiss boarding ISs can be amazing great places to work and an IT can save a lot at them. You cant save what you dont earn. There are ISs that provide boarding for the IT as part of the contract saving a considerable amount of coin in expenses.

Im going to keep focusing on salary, do you repp most ITs, that you can claim most ITs primary concern is savings, or is that just something you think?

@clarita

I concur to the extent, it depends what your idea of fun is. The night life isnt going to compare to BKK, but it does exist. You can be bored in Switzerland, but you can also be very satisfied with your personal life, how much you have to put into that depends on what type of person you are and what you consider entertainment.
Heliotrope
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Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by Heliotrope »

If I were to consider Switzerland, I think I would trust the person who has been working there for years, rather than someone who hasn't and only looks at the salaries. @EyEyEy's message is also backed up by other posters, and is almost identical to what I've heard from a good number of teachers who have also worked at Swiss international schools. All of this is also echoed by contributors on other forums.
Switzerland is a beautiful country though, so it's a shame it's not a good place to save money. Anywhere on Lake Geneva would be pretty perfect, as well as most other major Swiss cities. It's all so well-organized, clean, and the mountains are breathtaking. Also, their flag is a big plus.
angelica1981
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Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:28 pm

Re: Reply

Post by angelica1981 »

PsyGuy wrote:
> @EyEyEy
>
> Those arent wrong, they are wrong for you. Swiss boarding ISs can be
> amazing great places to work and an IT can save a lot at them. You cant
> save what you dont earn. There are ISs that provide boarding for the IT as
> part of the contract saving a considerable amount of coin in expenses.
>
> Im going to keep focusing on salary, do you repp most ITs, that you can
> claim most ITs primary concern is savings, or is that just something you
> think?
>
> @clarita
>
> I concur to the extent, it depends what your idea of fun is. The night life
> isnt going to compare to BKK, but it does exist. You can be bored in
> Switzerland, but you can also be very satisfied with your personal life,
> how much you have to put into that depends on what type of person you are
> and what you consider entertainment.


What EyEyEy wrote is also true for me, and for my former colleagues, and all the other teachers I met at other Swiss boarding schools, so that's quite a few teachers.

Which Swiss boarding ISs 'can be amazing great places to work', PsyGuy? Because from my experience, and that of the others with whom I worked and those I knew at other Swiss ISs, the life of a teacher working on boarding was a small kind of hell. No private life, pressure to be available even when off hours, very poor work-life balance.
angelica1981
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:28 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by angelica1981 »

unsure wrote:
> Rhysboy wrote:
> > But I’ve heard that teachers salaries are high to offset the cost of living?
>
> Bare in mind that the monthly minimum wage in Switzerland where these schools are is
> between 3800 to 4000 Eur ($4500 - $4800) - so many of these 'schools' pay their
> teachers barely above the minimum wage.
>
> The issue is that most of the bottom tier schools in Switzerland are for profit
> boarding schools. They charge exorbitant fees (often in the 100s of thousands of US$
> / CHF), pay their teachers less than the day schools, and treat the teachers
> extremely badly. They're often for profit money making machines, that hire
> semi-qualified teachers, and take on the children of the wealthy that the genuinely
> good boarding schools around the world don't want. While there are some exceptions to
> this, it does seem to be a very popular business model in Switzerland.

Yes, this was what I observed. And I wasn't even at a bottom tier school. It was like a posh social club for wealthy children, and the teachers were like servants. A low point for me was having to clean up vomit left by a bulimic student we weren't permitted to speak to about her bulimia. The housekeeping staff had refused to clean up any more vomit themselves. It was the least enjoyable teaching experience of my career.
Illiane_Blues
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Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by Illiane_Blues »

I heard a similar story about a teacher having to clean up vomit regularly but this was at the most expensive of all of the Swiss boarding schools. It might be the same school as none of these boarding schools come close to being top tier.
Phil
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Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:49 am

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by Phil »

I felt I needed to reply to the poster calling Switzerland "dull".

I respect that people have different preferences, and realize that what is heaven for one individual, may be hell for another. Switzerland is definitely not the place to go if you want to experience a varied exotic culture, spontaneous chats with strangers, culinary experiences, dating, nightlife, etc. However, if you are the type of person who would rather spend their vacation skiing, hiking or biking, than exploring London or Buenos Aires, then it is hard to think of a better place to live. There is simply no other country that has the same level of world class outdoor scenery and activities, and the same quality infrastructure to access it as a daytrip. Sure, the national parks in the USA are more varied, if you are willing to do a 6 hour drive from the nearest city.......In Switzerland you can be at the top of a spectacular ridge, psyched about the day's hike/run/bike ride, 2 hours after waking up, having spent the morning sitting on a train and a gondola, chatting with your spouse, sipping a coffee and enjoying the views. Did I mention that the weather is relatively good? Never too cold, and never too hot, always with the option of escaping to the high altitude if you need to cool off. It is also a very safe and efficient place. The welfare state delivers great services while keeping taxes very reasonable. Can't think of a better place to have your kids grow up in. The local schools may be better than the international ones, and they sure pay a lot better. Sure, prices are high, but you learn to adapt your consumption. I have almost stopped eating meat and going to restaurants. My body thanks me for it though. Fish and veggies are cheap if you shop at the budget retailers, and as a consequence I have never eaten as healthily as here. Consumer products are just slightly more expensive than elsewhere. What kills you are services, the dentist, childcare and healthcare, etc. Integrating also seems harder than in many other countries. As a final point, it may be useful to look at how people vote with their feet. How often do you see French and German teachers moving to Switzerland to work? How often do you see Swiss teachers moving to France and Germany (granted, this does not tell us much about teaching at international schools, but it does say something about the perceived attractiveness of the respective countries)?
unsure
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:15 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by unsure »

Phil wrote:
How often do you see French and German teachers moving to
> Switzerland to work? How often do you see Swiss teachers moving to France
> and Germany (granted, this does not tell us much about teaching at
> international schools, but it does say something about the perceived
> attractiveness of the respective countries)?


When I worked in Germany, my school was full of people who'd worked in Switzerland.
Phil
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:49 am

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by Phil »

unsure wrote:
> Phil wrote:
> How often do you see French and German teachers moving to
> > Switzerland to work? How often do you see Swiss teachers moving to France
> > and Germany (granted, this does not tell us much about teaching at
> > international schools, but it does say something about the perceived
> > attractiveness of the respective countries)?
>
>
> When I worked in Germany, my school was full of people who'd worked in Switzerland.

Interesting! I would like to know more. Were they Swiss or German? What were their motivation for preferring Germany?
unsure
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:15 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by unsure »

Phil wrote:
> Interesting! I would like to know more. Were they Swiss or German? What were their
> motivation for preferring Germany?

North Americans, Antipodeans, Brits, and yes a couple of Germans.

They had a range of motivations, from wanting to live in Germany, to career advancement, and some were following spouses who's companies had moved them on. In other words - the usual.
PsyGuy
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Post by PsyGuy »

@Heliotrope

Ive worked in Switzerland.
One opinion supported by a very small number of other opinions.
I could not care less who you trust.

@angelica1981

Poor work life balance for you.
Apparently one that was a very nice boarding IS, compared to your complaints.
Despite all your complaints and gripes theses ISs dont have a problem recruiting staff.
I would have said no to the vomit.
Why would you want to talk about her bulimia?

@Phil

You can still find social opportunities and night life in Switzerland.
Heliotrope
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Re: Reply

Post by Heliotrope »

PsyGuy wrote:
> @Heliotrope
>
> Ive worked in Switzerland.
> One opinion supported by a very small number of other opinions.
> I could not care less who you trust.

If I combine the opinions I've read here with the ones I've heard from other teachers who have worked in Switzerland, it comes to 20+, who are all saying the same thing. Versus your one contrary opinion.
First time I've heard you say you've worked in Switzerland btw.
And I don't care that you don't care who I trust.
PsyGuy
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Post by PsyGuy »

@Heliotrope

Ill take my own experience and the scores of IT opinions that manage somehow to keep the boarding ISs in Switzerland going.
I dont care that you dont care.
Heliotrope
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Re: Reply

Post by Heliotrope »

PsyGuy wrote:
> @Heliotrope
>
> Ill take my own experience and the scores of IT opinions that manage
> somehow to keep the boarding ISs in Switzerland going.

You mean the boarding schools with crazy low staff retention rates?
Strange how those 'scores of ITs' never make it onto forums like these.
PsyGuy
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Post by PsyGuy »

@Heliotrope

Yes, those boarding ISs that are fully staffed every year that have their pick of ITs.
Nothing strange about it, they have nothing to complain about. Just your ~20 whiners.
Heliotrope
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Reply

Post by Heliotrope »

Pretty much every school is fully staffed, including some pretty terrible ones. That says nothing.
The boarding schools even have an edge on other bad schools in that they have the Swiss Alps, their fancy-looking buildings, and the image of an exclusive private school for the elite to sell their school to potential employees. Of course they don't have any problem recruiting. The very low retention numbers tell you that most teachers were unaware of what's real going on.

I haven't seen much whining, just people telling others what experiences have been had at these schools.
When negative stories about a school back up your claims you welcome them. When they don't, they're whining?
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