Teacher Orientation

All new teachers will be provided with a comprehensive orientation prior to the start of school.  The orientation program will first and foremost focus on helping new recruits adapt to their new surroundings and the culture of China.  All teachers, new and returning, will participate in joint orientation sessions following that of new teachers.  The goal of orientation is to prepare teachers for life in China, for their career at ISNS, to help build bonds between faculty members, to set the tone for the new academic year and to create a healthy and positive working environment.

Buddy System

A knowledgeable returning teacher will be assigned to support each new teacher as a “buddy.”  The buddy will assist the new teacher in getting adjusted to life in Shenzhen and the basic operations of the school.  The buddy can recommend good restaurants, help the teacher to sign-up for good apps, point out where the copy machines are located, introduce the teacher around to the staff, help with the request forms, make sure the teacher knows how to get things like a stapler, etc.  Buddies will do a formal check-in with the new staff member at least three times before September 30th and then again several more times throughout the year.

Professional Mentoring Structure

Grade Level Leads, Department Heads and Coordinators are to mentor new staff members regarding the academic program.  These leaders must ensure the new staff member is up on all things IB and are implementing the IB effectively.  The IB Coordinators will provide a weekly induction session for all new teachers in the first two months of school.  The Coordinators will also meet with teachers on an individual and team basis throughout the year.  Teachers are always welcome to schedule an appointment with their Coordinator.   The Coordinator, Team Lead or HoD should also conduct a peer observation for new staff early on in the academic year.  Additionally, new staff may request to observe the Coordinator, Team Lead, HoD, or another highly effective member of the team do a model lesson

Recommendations for Emergency Preparedness

Living and traveling overseas is an adventure and the likelihood of encountering an emergency situation is relatively high.  The following are tips to help you be proactive in preparing for an emergency situation while living and traveling overseas:

Always tell someone where you will be traveling and provide contact information for where to find you in the event of an emergency.  Have a plan for how others will locate you if you are hospitalized, incapacitated or otherwise unable to respond.

Provide the school with the contact information of a loved one who can be contacted in the event that you are hospitalized, incapacitated or otherwise unable to respond.

Provide an alternative means for the school to contact you in the event the regular school email does not work.

Check communication channels from the school on a regular basis in case any emergency or important information is shared.

Have several methods of payment with you when traveling.  Carrying both cash and a credit card is recommended in case one does not work in a given situation.  Do not rely on your ATM card to obtain cash.

Always bring your computer with you when traveling in the event that school is closed and online learning must be delivered.

At home, always keep a stash of cash in local currency as well as USD should you need it in the event of an emergency or to evacuate the country.  Always keep a credit card for emergencies – often times plane tickets can only be booked using a credit card.

Keep a bank account active in your home country that you can access from anywhere in the world.  Give a trusted family member in your home country access to your home bank account in case you are unable to access it from overseas and need assistance.

Be sure that a trusted family member or friend in China has access to your local accounts, passwords passport information and other important information should you become incapacitated in any way.

Register with your local Embassy/Consulate and if available get on their mailing list. Keep their phone numbers both on your phone and (in case you lose your phone) in another location (pocket of the backpack you always travel with).

Create a “go bag” for emergency travel that includes: Important documents, toiletry kit, basic clothes for your arrival, etc.