As thousands of teachers leave the U.K. for international teaching in the next few years, many will hit the jackpot in their search for teacher paradise. However, there will be equal numbers, drawn by big promises and sunshine, who will end up in a damp squib or worse still - a hell hole. It’s rare you hear about the dark side of the international teaching circuit, but I hope to introduce you to it here.
A friend of mine, an experienced international educator, popped into my messages a few months ago and said “Tom, international education is not as rosy as you sometimes portray it. There are many more dodgy and badly run schools than not, and sadly I find many teachers often don't do sufficient research before taking a job. They get excited by a website and a city, and don't actually find out anything about the school. Looking around I'm finding too many people are getting into international education thinking it's easier and pays more. Those things may be true in some places, but certainly not most. I honestly think international education is going to be the next big complaint from teachers as they believe they're being sold a golden egg when in fact it's just a rock sprayed gold.“
My friend has a point. Perhaps I have painted International teaching as Homers Odyssey in the past, particularly during my experience in Spain, but it’s a sad fact that some international schools, often operating under limited regulation, are making extortionate profits whilst working in ways that would see them shut down immediately in the UK for being below a floor standard of professionalism. Student behaviour can be very poor, with “leaders” caring more about profits than product. Parents can control schools, using their financial investment to dictate policies that would be best left to the professiona