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What is the Reality of Holidays at International Schools?

 
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 541
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:18 pm    Post subject: What is the Reality of Holidays at International Schools? Reply with quote

Hi Guys,

I'm currently a TEFLer, but I was planning on getting certified teaching status in the subject areas of English Literature and History over the next few years. This was so I could hopefully get a job teaching at international schools.

It's a big investment in time and money and there are quite a few reasons why I'm seriously considering it. To be honest I'd like to teach something closer to my interests and there can be opportunities to live and work in a few places where the EFL options aren't great. Besides, the packages at international schools can be very decent and one of the big draw cards for me is the holidays [if that offends some of the more sensitive readers out there then so be it].

Anyway I was speaking to a registered teacher very recently who has worked in the state system in both the U.S. and Australia and she told me that the holidays, whilst the might seem extremely generous, aren't great. Indeed, she spent most of her holidays prepping for the next term, marking, doing reports, filling in paperwork etc., etc and, the way she told it, the holidays were pretty much the same as any other job Sad.

I know there are a lot of people on Daves' with experience in all sorts of educational institutions so if you are familiar with international schools and have something to add it would be great to hear from Smile. Many thanks.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFAIK that is exactly the case. Where I grew up my neighbor was a teacher. He and his colleagues spent the summer 'holidays' preparing for the coming school year (lesson plans, tests, exams etc) and doing PD. They always had a pool party about a week before school began which seemed to be their real holiday.

The notion that teachers have the summers off has never been anything more than a political attack to further contract negotiations. IMHO
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12370
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you can count on having 5 or 6 weeks real vacation in the summer with short breaks at other points in the school year. NOT as good as at the Saudi University where I did Prep Year English. I taught during 2, sixteen-week semesters. The rest of the year was MINE ! Although that did NOT mean 20 weeks in some bar in Pattaya !

Last edited by scot47 on Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DebMer



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 211
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:09 pm    Post subject: Re: What is the Reality of Holidays at International Schools Reply with quote

This is true of any K.12 teaching job in the U.S., so I would expect the same at an international school. No rest for the wicked. Shocked And however much you do outside of school hours and work days, you'll still be behind.

1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
Hi Guys,

I'm currently a TEFLer, but I was planning on getting certified teaching status in the subject areas of English Literature and History over the next few years. This was so I could hopefully get a job teaching at international schools.

It's a big investment in time and money and there are quite a few reasons why I'm seriously considering it. To be honest I'd like to teach something closer to my interests and there can be opportunities to live and work in a few places where the EFL options aren't great. Besides, the packages at international schools can be very decent and one of the big draw cards for me is the holidays [if that offends some of the more sensitive readers out there then so be it].

Anyway I was speaking to a registered teacher very recently who has worked in the state system in both the U.S. and Australia and she told me that the holidays, whilst the might seem extremely generous, aren't great. Indeed, she spent most of her holidays prepping for the next term, marking, doing reports, filling in paperwork etc., etc and, the way she told it, the holidays were pretty much the same as any other job Sad.

I know there are a lot of people on Daves' with experience in all sorts of educational institutions so if you are familiar with international schools and have something to add it would be great to hear from Smile. Many thanks.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a link to international schools in Japan, if you want to look up what sort of summer breaks they offer.
http://www.tokyowithkids.com/fyi/international_schools.html

I have never worked in an IS, but I was a FT teacher (not assistant) at a private HS in Japan for a few years. Summer break was not really a break, nor was winter. Classes were suspended, of course, but even so, summer had its special classes, festivals, study abroad trips, etc., and spring break was busy getting ready for the new semester (in April), cleaning the building (yes, teachers!), meetings, etc.

So, where are you thinking about international schools?
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fladude



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all depends on the teacher and to some extent their knowledge of the subject which they teach. I teach internationally a mix of subjects including US History. World History and AP US History (all high school) and don't do much "prep" in the summer. In fact, I don't crack a book until about two weeks before classes start. The week before I do work pretty hard. It really depends on the individual, their own innate ability and their confidence level.

It also depends on the school. Lower tier schools usually have shorter breaks, better schools have longer breaks. I am looking at almost a full 3 month summer break next year. Very Happy

I would NOT invest a huge amount of cash into becoming a teacher though. If you already have a degree then look to alternative certification. It may require you to do a two year stint in your home country, but you will get paid while you do it. I am doing well and never took an education class in college, although I do have a degree and graduate degree in my subject area.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the few schools that I am involved with the students have 180-200 instructional days (1000 classroom hours) per academic year (~35-40 calendar weeks).

Of the remaining 12-16 weeks the teachers spend:

1 week (20-40 hours) in workshops (pro-D). 20 hrs/yr are required to keep our teaching certificates valid come renewal time (certificates are 5-year renewable).
2 weeks - 1 week before each term is dedicated to prep for each term.
2-weeks - 1 week after the end of each term for marking, preparing reports and other related tasks.

The remaining 7-12 weeks are time off (usually 2-4 weeks between terms and 4-6 weeks between each school year).

.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9010
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one I worked for, British, didn't believe it books Smile We had to make all the material. I suppose after the first year it gets easier, but I spent holidays pouring over material, copying and pasting and making sure it was pretty enough to use in class. Oh, and practicing my handwriting since we were only allowed to use Marion Richardson in class.

I've also thought about going back to intl schools, I know there are good ones out there, but I've been scared off. I much rather prefer getting 20 weeks off. While I won't get free schooling for my daughter, some schools don't allow free schooling from the get-go. Plus, I'm looking at homeschooling. MOneywise, if you can get into a good uni, it's about a wash. During the time off I can work more if I choose.

A friend of mine has been with the DODEA for 7 years and I'm making much more than her. Of course, she has housing and other benefits, but like I said, it almost comes out to the same.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 541
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone for the replies and if anyone else has something to add it would be great to hear from you Smile.

Glenski wrote:


So, where are you thinking about international schools?


Would love to eventually wind up in the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Botswana, Zambia, Argentina, Mexico or Brazil.

fladude wrote:


I would NOT invest a huge amount of cash into becoming a teacher though. If you already have a degree then look to alternative certification. It may require you to do a two year stint in your home country, but you will get paid while you do it. I am doing well and never took an education class in college, although I do have a degree and graduate degree in my subject area.


Looking at a Graduate Diploma of Education through an Australian university. I should get it knocked over in about one and half years.
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