Teachers are not just looking for “a lot of money and the chance to go skiing” when they go abroad to teach but also want to do something “educationally exciting”, a leading education expert has said.
Professor Deborah Eyre, the founder and chair of High Performance Learning, said it was also “particularly important” for teachers to feel they would be part of a strong team doing something that made them feel valued.
“How do you make your teachers feel that they’re going to be doing something interesting and exciting?
“What they’re asking for in addition to a lot of money and a chance to go skiing is the fact they want to be in a place that’s educationally exciting, where we’re doing something which we all know is kind of quite upbeat and contemporary, where we’re feeling positive about the people that we’re working with, where we’re all working as a team.
“What you need is something which entices your teachers to feel that they’re valued, that they’re doing something really good.
“And I would say it doesn’t matter whether you use the IB, IGCSES, it doesn’t matter, it’s the experience that your teacher has.”
She spoke during a panel debate about how schools can “add value” to their overseas branches, which included discussions about sustainability and architecture and what today’s “savvy shopper” parents were looking for in addition to good exam results.
“They want [their child] to be an enterprising, thoughtful, well-considered person, a rounded person – your teaching and learning offer and your curriculum and particularly your teaching and learning framework has to deliver that point,” said Prof Eyre.
“That is the savvy shopper that you’ve got and it doesn’t matter if it’s an international parent or a local parent who is trading up…what they’re looking for from your school is something which prepares their child now but also for the future.”
Prof Eyre, whose High Performance Learning organisation has the core belief that all children can achieve academic success, added:
“It’s not good enough for just a percentage of people to do well any more, they won’t accept it. It’s theoretically possible for everyone to be a high achiever, that’s what parents are asking for, they’re paying their money, you deliver the goods, doesn’t happen by chance, you need a framework that enables it.”
Prof Eyre also stressed the importance of school leaders in adding value, but said that it was not always enough for school operators to think “get the right principal it will all be fine”.
“Quite a lot of them have been promoted very early so they’re ambitious but inexperienced,” she said.
It was no longer enough either, she said, to simply transport what happened in one school into another.
“I just make the case, and I’m up for an argument about it, that I think that these elements – teaching and learning and curriculum – are key to your commercial success because you’ve got to satisfy your customer, your parents your teachers.
“I think this is a really key piece and if you want to stand out from the crowd you need to really pay attention to it.”TIOB News