In survey 5, we asked current teachers at the American School of Kuwait about administrative support for discipline. We have responses across all three school levels, and below is a report of the trends that we noticed.
- Multiple respondents in all three levels cited consistent follow-up after disciplinary action as a problem.
- Multiple respondents in all three levels cited consistent documentation of disciplinary action as a problem.
- Several respondents in the middle school indicated that the middle school principal tends to withdraw from handling discipline and tries to “pass the buck” to assistant principals.
- Several respondents in the high school indicated that the high school principal has relationships that are too friendly with students in order to be effective when handling discipline. Others mentioned that the high school principal tended to side with students and parents before even having any discussion with involved faculty.
This is our final planned survey for the 2017-2018 school year. We have at least three weeks of surveys planned for the first month of school, and look forward to more interaction with you at that time.
Note: The survey will remain open and we will add new responses that add to the material we summarized above. You can find the original survey by clicking here.
This post addresses the following parts of our mission and beliefs:
- Educate the ASK community about current events at the school.
- Solicit feedback from the ASK community via frequent surveys and provide a transparent account of the input received.
- Encourage members of the ASK community to become more active in pushing the school to enact positive change in order to create and inspire a positive school environment for all members of the community.
- A partnership among families, teachers, and students is essential for successful learning.
- Institutional transparency promotes positive engagement and fosters trust between the school and its stakeholders.
We believe that soliciting frequent feedback should be an institutional habit that occurs frequently multiple times throughout the year. We hope that our surveys model this behavior for the administrators at the American School of Kuwait.
We would like to use survey #5 to investigate whether teachers feel supported when needing to escalate discipline to their administrators. A lot of teachers have contacted us and mentioned that they feel their administrators don’t support them with classroom discipline. This includes questioning that implies the discipline wasn’t necessary, not following through on discipline, and many other behaviors that are generally unsupportive of teachers.
Complete the survey here.
In Survey 4, we asked a simple questions: How many “summer runners” do you think there will be (including current faculty that don’t return as well as new teachers that choose not to show up in the first place)?
The current average (updated daily) is:
Keep submitting responses (here) and we will keep updating daily. Once the new school year begins, we will use our sources to find the actual number.
Survey 3 asked,
“ASK is going to have around 50 new teachers. What advice would you give to new teachers so that they can have a positive and successful 2018-2019 school year?”
These are some of the responses we have so far. We will continue posting responses as they come in.
- First, Experience the good moments of laughing, growing and learning with your students, and hold on to them. They will help you get through your two years. In retrospect, it IS ONLY two years! You can do it! Second, if you’re not independent, become independent real quick. This will not only help you personally in Kuwait, but at ASK as well. The support could or could not be there in so many different aspects. I know a handful if not a plenty that have never felt that sense of community or compassion that so many highlight of ASK. But dont let that independence turn into negativitity or depression. There will be times it comes close. Trust me. Times you feel helpless and have no control. At school, yes, and personally and socially. Thats when you open your jar of positive moments with your students! Last but not least, remember you work with the same people you live with…. and this particular bubble will eat up any gossip it is fed (at work and at home, the good and the bad). Be careful. It spreads like wildfire! Congrats and Good Luck on becoming a Falcon!
- Don’t ask any questions. Give students As and Bs. Start looking for another job now.
- 1) Understand and accept that the school is run by the students and parents, for the benefit of the students and parents. In the hierarchy of the school, teachers come far below parents, staff, admin and the business office. 2) Understand and accept that this isn’t the States. This system is the system the Kuwaitis have created, and you don’t have the energy or strength to change it. 3) This isn’t an academic institution. This is a business. Parents don’t send their kids to ASK for world class education, they send them to get grades for scholarships, so they’re expecting the grades. It will be your fault if they don’t get them
- Don’t let the little things get you down, because there will be plenty of big things!
- Get a driver’s license and purchase a used car as soon as possible; it doesn’t need to be fancy, just reliable. Start accepting any and all tutoring opportunities. Never accept less than 25KD for tutoring unless you are scheduled for four or more hours a week; if that is the case, 20KD is fine. Always charge in the event of cancelation or change without prior notice. Once you build a following, drop students that you don’t enjoy spending time with. The parents will be begging for you to stay. Keep your tutoring hours to yourself; your colleagues don’t need to know. I agree with another submission to begin thinking about a new job early. Start preparing your resume and recruiting accounts before summer begins your first year. You’ll have a new job in another country by December-Jan of your second year. Start stating your intentions early that you’ll sell your car. There will never be change at ASK until there is a change of heart in Wael and the board of ownership. They represent contemporary Kuwaiti culture and are preparing their country’s future. There is nothing you can do to change their hearts. As an international teacher, you have the power of freedom to choose where you belong. And some places are fit for no one. Enjoy the fresh, cheap food Kuwait offers. Always get enough sleep, in bed by 10. 😉
- I did Kuwait and ASK wrong in two regards. First, I let myself get excited about the potential that the school had…or has…it’s hard to tell. For some time, admin would be able to sell change, offer new exciting things to try in the classroom…only to hit a roadblock when business profit trumped educational progress. And this was frustrating to a point where many teachers just stopped asking because the status quo and school reputation was paramount. Secondly, I would have tutored a lot more. At one point I was tutoring 10 hours a week, but I think I could’ve upped that to 20. Yes it would have been challenging, but there wasn’t much to do, and the demand was there. So, bottom line to those new-hire-fresh-out-of-college-teachers…tutor, get your international experience for 2, maybe 3 years if you can, and then get yourself to the next level. You’ll be amazed at how much different your next international school will be.