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Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:27 am    Post subject: you asked Reply with quote


I am a North American high school teacher on sabbatical--2 teachables, some letters after my name, more gray hair than black, etc. I was hired as an IB teacher in my school here. We weren't accredited yet by IB at the time, because we were new, and at least half of our students are ESL. My school is now IB, but we have a lot of ESL students still. I suspect that none of my colleagues is making what I make in my school now, to be honest. I think most of the teachers in my school are in the 3500 range, but I may be wrong. Hope that clarifies.
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Joined: 09 Jun 2007
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:24 pm    Post subject: Salaries and Schools Reply with quote

I've been in Singapore teaching a long time. Here is what I know about salaries. Some of you mentioned very high salaries that an experienced teacher will get. The best schools like SAS will not bring you in on such a high salary no matter how much experience you have. They have a published salary scale, and bring you in on the highest step they can for a new teacher into the school. That might be step 5. It takes a teacher more than 15 years to make S$85,000 per year (plus the housing). A school like ISS (International School of Singapore) is the same, but the initial salary is quite low. OFS will start you at a salary based on your experience, but there is no step increase from year to year. I have friends that have taught at OFS for 3 years or more and they have the same salary as when they began. This is the first year in a few years that there has been a substantial raise for everyone. Is it possible to get a salary of S$7,000 per month starting off. Yes- but only on a 10 month salary schedule.
I've been very lucky my whole life with schools all around the world, including Singapore. One or two of them were just starting out, and everything was disorganized and plain awful. There was a high turn-over of staff. I've never experienced a school that has not had difficulty with its organization the first few years. There are two ways to look at this. One is to get out as soon as possible and seek a more established school with all procedures in place and rules in place, and the other is to be excited about being in on the ground floor of a new school. Either choice is reasonable. It is understandable if you choose to get out if you need to accumulate money.
My two cents.
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:58 am    Post subject: A or B Reply with quote

I hear what you are saying TeacherSG,
and it makes a lot of sense.

It goes:
1 A new school will be a mess (probably)
2 It will be sorted within a few years.
3 So be it (you were there at the start or after the grind is over)

Let me add a 2B. If management is bad of a good school or a so so school, it's alright to work there. Bad management of a new school is the kiss of death to a hard working teaching staff.

2B Make sure that if you take a leap of faith with a new school, the management are okay, or you may be damaged...
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Joined: 09 Jun 2007
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:03 pm    Post subject: New school, Bad Management Reply with quote

I agree what about a good well-established school with bad management still being a tenable situation, and a new and poorly organized with bad management being untenable.

It's just awful to feel that you are unappreciated as a teacher in a new but poorly managed international school, especially when you are a good teacher. When the principal or headmaster dictates and doesn't ask for a lot of feedback, that is uncomfortable. I've been in an environment where the school is very political, but the admin leaves me alone and I do my own thing in the classroom. If you are in a school where the principal constantly looks over your shoulder, then that would really bother me. I'd need to request a meeting with him and voice my opinion as tactfully as I can.

If an international school in Singapore has a top salary of S$5,000, trust me when I say that will change! Why? Because no one will want to teach there, and there are too many other good international schools. Also, a bad administrator will not last. He will either leave eventually or be asked to leave. When enough teachers complain, even business oriented schools out for a good profit will fire him. Try and stay for the length of the contract and then get out. If staying the length is difficult, then get out. There are too many great schools out there. They're advertising even now on TIE and other websites.

Again- my 2 cents
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:25 am    Post subject: sound advice Reply with quote

Sound advice TeacherSG,

I agree with you completely. There's some wisdom there worth more than 2 cents by the way.

To agree with your point on hanging in there on contracts, I don't know if new teachers know this, but breaking a contract at any school is not respected by anybody. Even at bad schools. We had several teachers walk off the job this year at my bad school--not only did they walk away from a bad job and F- management, but they walked away from innocent young people. It's hard, you know, the morality in education is driven by the teachers, bottom towards the top. On the itinerant international teaching gig, occasionally you end up in a very bad situation that is harmful to you. There are ways out of it--serious illness (dyssentery, malaria, etc.), death in the family, not being paid and can't afford that country, but that's about it. If it's a purely ESL school and classes are of mixed ages, and for shorter periods of time, it's more doable, of course.
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Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am considering moving to Singapore to live/work. However the salaries mentioned here are scarily low. I currently work on a Native English speaking Teacher scheme in Hong Kong, where people moan incessantly about salaries. However I earn a comfortable 40HK $ here. I think that's around 7400 singaproean dollars.

I'm having second thoughts after reading this. What about salaries in the local schools in singapore or international schools? What would be an average wage per month?
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Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:47 am    Post subject: Salaries Reply with quote

You should try and get addresses of International Schools off the net and try to contact them. I have not seem many such schools advertise, as, I guess that they have a folder full of applications.

You may need a B. Ed. and several years experience teaching. You may also need to have a specialised subject to teach.

MoE does not pay all that handsomely. Try to contact them and ask straight pertinent questions on wage and housing subsidy, health insurance, tax etc. However, accommodation will be a killer unless you wish to live in a HDB flat with some dodgy situations surrounding you.

Scumbag language schools? Six days a week plus other problems and possibly a pay packet under S$4k pm.

Best advice from me is to stay where you are and if you want, go to Singapore for a holiday then do so and enjoy the expensive life style.

If you see this as a negative posting, I am sorry but these are the facts of Singapore.

Caveat Emptor!
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Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy

Last edited by Shakhbut on Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 149
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject: Indonesian in Singapore??? also...Housing info plz Reply with quote

Hi all...

Hey has anyone got any up to date info on apartment rents in a ok area of Sing (not orchard rd - not out in sticks either) If a school offers =housing allowance is it usually enuff?

another question... have seen a high school job advertised DIP ed/pgce required teaching INdonesian... i'm qualified to teach that, but had no idea it was on any curriculum there...anyone got any thoughts on this?

Its a 3 yr contract, always thought Singapore was a bit of a boring place - could someone reassure me?

The salary range didnt sound least not the bottom of it...but get a fat bonus at the end/....that normal ova there?

Cheers folks.

Good luck
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