Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Employment at AIS
(CLICK THE QUESTION TO SHOW ANSWERS)
1. What are the preferred qualifications for instructors?
Our ideal candidate has the following qualifications:
- * BA/BS in Education or a postgraduate degree in Education from a fully accredited university
- * Current subject area certification in Montessori Early Childhood Education (ages 3-6), Elementary Education, or Secondary Education
- * Two or more years of successful full-time teaching experience in an academic preschool or K-12 setting
- * Excellent health
- * Fluency in English
- * Willing and able to follow a professional dress code to the letter
- * Cultural sensitivity, respect for other cultures, and respect for the host culture
- * Open, caring, humane individuals who have positive outlooks
- In general, we are looking for professional teachers - teachers who know how to prepare lessons, how to follow an established curriculum, how to dress professionally, how to manage a classroom, how to conduct themselves appropriately both inside and outside of the classroom, and how to work effectively with parents, coworkers, and administrators.
- Regarding behavior outside of school, teachers at AIS are held to a higher standard, and their behavior plays a great role in determining the parents' level of trust and respect for the teachers. Thus, teachers at AIS are more carefully scrutinized here than in other communities. The "best fit" for our community would be a teacher who has a healthy lifestyle, who focuses on his/her students throughout the school week, and who behaves moderately and respectfully in the community outside the school.
2. What are the specific duties of a teacher at Ayeyarwaddy International School?
The duties of our teachers include, but are not limited to, the following:
- * Attend a one-week onsite pre-service training/orientation.
- * Plan all course lessons and align them with the curriculum for your particular subject area.
- * Turn in weekly lesson plans to the principal (or other administrator) prior to the start of each week of classes.
- * Work with other faculty on curriculum committees to modify and/or expand the curriculum.
- * Work with other faculty on WASC accreditation committees.
- * Actively participate in faculty meetings/planning sessions.
- * Participate in, and help to develop, extracurricular activities.
- * Host at least one after-school club which meets once per week for at least one hour.
- * Act professionally while on duty and refrain from engaging in off-duty conduct that may negatively impact the school.
- * Abide by the laws of the Union of Myanmar. Special care should be taken to avoid acting in ways that will directly or indirectly insult the religious and political beliefs of the citizens and leaders of Myanmar.
- * While residing in school housing, maintain a clean apartment and respect the rights of neighbors in terms of noise and privacy.
- * Adhere to the policies related to school housing and visitation restrictions.
- * Abide by the dress code policy for the school.
3. What is the dress code policy for the school?
- * Men must wear long trousers (jeans are not allowed); dress-shirts (short-sleeved is okay) with a collar and buttoned up to all but the last button; and any shoes/sandals except rubber flip-flops.
* Women must wear long slacks (not jeans or leggings) or skirts that fall below the knee. You may also wear the traditional sari (called longyi here); however, it must be of the appropriate length, and you must tie it correctly (our Myanmar staff will teach you how to do this). You must wear a blouse that leaves everything to the imagination. The blouse must fit well (i.e., it is not tight), and it must be long enough (your midriff must be covered). You may wear a short-sleeved blouse (recommended for this hot climate). For shoes, anything except rubber flip-flops will do.
* Women and men may not wear facial jewelry.
4. What is the salary, and what are the benefits?
- Salaries are based on academic degree(s) and relevant experience. Each salary decision represents a private contract between the teacher and Ayeyarwaddy International School. Salary payments are made in USD on the last day of each month. The school pays the local tax on foreign salaries; the amount is not deducted from a teacher's pay.
All teachers receive free housing at the school in one-bedroom apartments with basic furnishings (bed & bedding, dresser, kitchen set, and basic kitchen equipment). Couples have multi-room apartments.
The school will provide teachers with the necessary documentation in order to secure an initial Business Visa. We will pay the cost of the initial visa in full (if processed at Mandalay International Airport upon arrival) or in part (up to $50 reimbursement, if processed elsewhere). We will also pay for the costs associated with renewing visas (limited to visa cost, travel to/from Mandalay, and, if necessary, stipend for one night in a hotel).
Teachers are entitled to paid sick leave (5 days per semester) and personal leave (1.5 days per semester). Teachers must provide proper documentation and (aside from emergencies) advance notice to qualify for sick leave. All requests for personal days must be submitted at least one week in advance.
Teachers will have off all national holidays (based on holidays recognized and celebrated in Myanmar).
All teachers have myriad opportunities to connect with the local community, to learn about Myanmar, and to make a difference in the lives of those around them.
5. Does the school accept couples?
- We welcome couples, provided that each person meets the teacher requirements that are outlined above.
6. Does the school provide health insurance
- Yes, we provide health insurance. Whether or not you have insurance, Myanmar is not a place for those in poor health. If you have any doubts about the state of your own health, you should probably consider teaching in another country.
7. What can you tell us about the school?
- Ayeyarwaddy International School is the first full academy in the region to be based on an American curriculum model. Our school, which is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC), offers classes from preschool to high school. Our student population includes both Myanmar students and a large number of students who are ethnically Chinese but who reside permanently in Mandalay. In addition, we have a small international population. English is the language of instruction, and the goal is to have graduates who are proficient in English and who are academically prepared to attend a university in the United States or in any English-speaking country.
8. What can you tell us about Mandalay?
- Mandalay is a city of about a million inhabitants. You will find modern conveniences in the main town and plenty of rural beauty just outside of the city proper. The pace of life is slow by Western standards: people take time to stop and talk with one another. You will see more people on bikes and scooters than in cars. The local people will smile at you and take time to welcome you to their community. As noted above, the local culture is restrictive by Western-standards, and teachers are held to a higher standard of behavior. If nightlife until after midnight is important to you, then you should consider another setting.
9. What is the technology situation like?
- We have wireless Internet at the main school building. It's not always up (Myanmar has regular power outages and incredibly poor Internet capabilities), but it works well enough for e-mail. Skype is more of a challenge. Each classroom has a SMART Board, a projector, and a desktop computer. For times when the Internet/power is down, we have generators that keep the power running. If the generator fails, we also have whiteboards and markers in each classroom. It is important for teachers to be prepared to teach with and without power (i.e., have a backup plan if power is down and you cannot use the projector in the classroom). Outside of the school, there are Internet cafes in town; however, these places are often no better than what we have at the school. If high-speed Internet 24/7 is essential to you, then Myanmar would not be a good choice for you.
10. Is it easy to get around?
- Other than one's feet, bicycles are the most common form of transportation, and teachers can purchase reasonably good ones in town. The center of town can be reached by bike in 10-15 minutes.
Motor-scooters are also very common. The law requires the use of helmets, and foreigners must have a valid license to drive.
Transportation is interesting. You'll see vehicles with the steering wheel on the left or on the right. While most cars have a steering wheel on the right (as in England), drivers drive on the same side of the road as in America (which makes left turns challenging).
11. What do we do about banking in Myanmar?
- Banking in Myanmar is a challenge. In the past, teachers had to wire money to their home from Thailand or Cambodia; however, now teachers can wire money directly from Mandalay.
12. Is Mandalay in a malaria zone?
- Mandalay is NOT a malaria area. For answers to most health issues related to the region, please visit this website:
13. Can we find Western food and products in Mandalay?
- The town does have western-style grocery stores and western-style restaurants; however, we personally recommend the local cuisine. There are dozens of places to eat in town which serve dishes that you will find nowhere else. In addition, there is a large outdoor market just down the road, where you can buy fresh food to prepare in your apartment.
14. How does one get to Mandalay, and are there luggage restrictions?
- Regarding flights, if you intend to get a visa on arrival (available to persons from the USA, Canada, the UK, and a few dozen other countries), then you can fly directly to Mandalay, which most teachers reach via Bangkok. Currently, if you do an online search for flights from your country directly to Mandalay, you will find incredibly high rates (thousands of dollars). This is because many of the new Bangkok-Mandalay flights are not yet included in the major online search engines. You might find more realistic prices by buying two tickets: one to Bangkok from your usual online flight resource and then a separate one from Bangkok to Mandalay purchased directly from Air Asia or Bangkok Airways.
- Regarding luggage, if you have anything more than one normal-sized suitcase, most international carriers will charge a fee. Please check with the airline's website to learn about any additional costs.