Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Books for an international view May 1, 2012

Filed under: international education — bestbookihavenotread @ 12:29 pm

Some of the books that I had or have added to my home for my children and family members to look at include:

Material World: A Global Family Portait by Peter Menzel and

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story From Africa by Jeannette Winter

Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier

One Hen-How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Vera Williams

Africa is Not a Country by Margy Knight

One Well-The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss

Seeds of Change by Jeannette Winter

If the World Were a Village by David Smith

Where Children Sleep by James Mollison (link with photos)

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel

A Life Like Mine: How Children Live Around the World by DK Publishing


By the way, what is an International School? February 22, 2012

Hi Readers,

I’ve accepted a position as the head of Curriculum for the International School of Dakar. It’s located in Senegal, West Africa. The school is Preschool through grade 12, housed on one campus, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I’m including some general information about International Schools and specifically ISD.

International Schools are loosely defined as “schools that promotes international education, in an international environment, either by adopting an international curriculum such as that of the International Baccalaureate, or by following a national curriculum different from that of the country the school is located in” (specifically American in this case).

Here’s criteria used by many to ‘describe’ international schools:

  • Transferability of the student’s education across international schools.
  • Multinational and multilingual student body and teacher population
  • An international curriculum.( e.g. IB – DP, MYP, PYP)
  • International accreditation
  •  English as the language of instruction

These schools cater mainly to students who are not nationals of the host country, such as the children of the staff of international businesses, international organizations, foreign embassies, missions, or missionary programs.


Here’s information about the specific school from their website :  

The International School of Dakar

The International School of Dakar is a growing, vital, vibrant learning community which serves the needs of Dakar-based expatriates seeking a western-style education in English. Our graduates have gone on to top universities in both the US and Europe. ISD provides an excellent core educational program augmented with a diverse range of special subjects and extra-curricular activities. French, PE, Art and Music are a part of each elementary student’s schedule. AP classes and other enriching courses are offered for high school students.

ISD is not just about classwork, though, it provides opportunities to educate the whole child, and students at ISD will be involved in service learning, athletics competitions, clubs and other activities. ISD provides an impressive array of ways to get involved in the school and community.

A key word at ISD, ‘community.’ ISD is a community as much as a school; membership in the community provides many benefits. Nurturing, challenging, and enriching are just a few words that describe this special place


The International School of Dakar ISD) is an independent English-medium international school which offers, in a nurturing environment, a rigorous, US-based, PK-12 curriculum enriched to reflect the needs and diversity of its international student body and faculty. ISD inspires students to become lifelong learners and responsible global citizens in a rapidly-changing world.


The International School of Dakar (ISD) believes that offering the best possible education program, curriculum, and instruction based on the highest standards will provide students the opportunity to maximize their potential. ISD believes quality education is attainable when students are valued as individuals in a community, prepared to think globally, and challenged to act responsibly.



  • provide a well-rounded program of instruction using best educational practices appropriate to the diverse cultural, intellectual, and social needs of our international student body
  • provide a US-based, non-sectarian, college preparatory, PK-12 curriculum with English as the language of instruction
  • provide educational resources for a safe, challenging, tolerant, and supportive environment in which students are actively encouraged to participate
  • prepare students to be independent thinkers, skillful communicators, and lifelong learners
  • foster a sense of individual responsibility, self-discipline, self-reliance, and respect for self and others
  • promote a creative, active lifestyle
  • orient students to the world of technology and media, developing familiarity, competence, and awareness of the tools they will need as they continue their learning process beyond high school
  • encourage students, teachers, school administrators, parents, and board members to play an active role in promoting educational excellence at ISD
  • recruit highly-qualified and motivated faculty and staff and provide opportunities to foster their professional development
  • provide opportunities for families and friends of ISD to strengthen community bonds through a range of inclusive activities and programs
  • encourage acceptance and tolerance of the diversity of moral, traditional, and religious values




Speed Dating Schools February 4, 2012

subtitle: International School Job Fair experience Cambridge 2012 Part 1

I bet that title grabbed your attention! Speed dating? Speed dating schools? Is that some new thing that helps singles get dates? Wait, Kristine is married–why is she speed dating? Is she starting a speed dating school? Did your brain go through any of those questions?

So this post doesn’t really fall under the normal categories that I usually write about, but I think it’s a topic that could be of interest to educators, bloggers, or just people who are interested in something different.

Boy has this been different!

First I’m going to outline the interviewing process for international schools (from my limited experience). It is very different than the process I am familiar with in Ohio. International schools attend job fairs around the world and interview teachers and administrators for their openings. Most schools are represented by the Head of the School (think superintendent) and usually two principals. Those administrators are referred to as “recruiters”. The ‘recruitment’ cycle takes place from the beginning of January, is hot and heavy through February, and wraps up with a few in the spring.

During a job fair weekend, schools have the opportunity to meet and interview from a pre-screened pool of candidates for jobs. It allows them to interview candidates in person versus over Skype, when things get complicated by things like time zones, internet connections, etc.

Round one of the process is like speed dating (but on speed!). In a massive room, you have approximately 120 seconds to present yourself and your resume to the school and make the case for why they should grant you a lunch date-um–personal interview.

The lunch date/personal interview takes place in the school’s hotel room or suite. That sounds really creepy while writing it down, but it really makes sense when you are here and doesn’t come off as strange at all. It’s like the hotel room becomes their office for the weekend.

If you and the school hit it off on the lunch date, you might then move on to another date, but with an additional person on the date. On some occasions, the lunch date was such a success, marriage (or a job) might be proposed! I’ve been told that there have been instances of schools giving candidates 24 hours to make their decision so that the school still has the opportunity to interview other candidates if the first marriage proposal isn’t accepted.

I could have probably gone with a whole The Bachelor white rose thing, but speed dating seems like a better fit. That would have fit too.

So I’ve done a bunch of speed dating and had many great lunch dates with schools I was extremely impressed by. The mutual hunt continues tomorrow.

I wish I could “same time, same channel” like Batman would have, but I’m not that dedicated with my timing of the blog. So instead, “tune in next time”.


So I’m a Little Sad December 23, 2011


I am in my fourth year of my current position and it officially will not exist next year. This makes me a little sad (okay-more than a little). I usually have a very positive outlook on most things, but I’m having difficulty with this one. I hate to say I knew it was inevitable, but I did. I might say more on that some other time.

So what am I doing next year? I’m trying to figure that out every day. Here’s what I do know:

  • I do have a position within the district I’ve worked in for nineteen years (good news), even if it means bumping one of the new teachers I’ve mentored the past several years out of their position (super yucky news).
  • I do have a licensure as a principal ages 3-14 now (good news)
  • I have been accepted by an international educationn search organization for educators as an administrative candidate (good news)
  • I had a Skype interview with a school in Asia this week (good news) (oh, by the way-I started my career in an International School in Luxembourg and am considering returning to international school education-more on this later)
  • Filling out job applications is a full-time job (bad news)
  • Getting ‘ding’ letters is no more fun at my age than it was when I was waiting on college acceptances (yucky 😦 )
  • I’d really like to be spending my time reading books and cleaning my house, but am a little hyperfocused on what I’m going to be doing next year (bad news)
  • There are very few blogs out there about educators in international education, at least that I can find. I have met several great international educators through twitter, NCTE, and more and they have been very helpful.
  • I could refocus on writing the professional book I’ve been outlining for the past several years (good news)
  • I am partially finished with coursework for my superintendent licensure (good news)
  • I have enough reading material from NCTE to keep me busy for the first half of 2012 (good news)

Holiday Break goal-get a good idea of first steps, second, etc.