Supporting teachers to increase retention in BC offshore schools
This design project seeks to provide administrators in British Columbia offshore schools with practical strategies to employ to support the teaching staff in their schools and potentially reduce the high rate of staff turn-over that exists in them. Coupled with my own observations based on ten years of experience working in Canadian schools in Asia, and a survey of recent literature, staff turn-over in international schools comes as a result of culture shock and the lack of job satisfaction. The literature review revealed a key finding with regards to staff turn-over in international schools: teachers routinely leave when they feel unsupported by school administration. This finding informed further examination into pastoral care of teachers and distributed leadership in the school context. As well, organizational blogging and podcasting have been researched as these are formats I have employed to support overseas teachers. I used organizational blogging as a way to communicate with staff about a variety of topics and I used podcasting as a way to publish an article in a convenient and modern format for fellow administrators. The strategies I present to administrators of BC Offshore schools are establishing an organizational blog for the purpose of reducing culture shock and feelings of isolation among staff, establishing Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to promote staff bonding, establishing a Leadership Club or Class to reduce the factors that may cause stress among teachers in overseas schools, and practicing distributed leadership to increase feelings of importance and inclusion among staff.