Teachers – Want a Private Education For Your Children But You Cannot Afford It?

You need to teach overseas! Pick a country, any country, and there will be at least one international school there. International Schools offer private education for expatriate’s children worldwide. And, while most of the parents have to pay school fees, one of the conditions nearly always included in the contracts of international teachers is free education for the teachers’ children. There are over 4000 international schools worldwide, all requiring teachers to staff them, many of them offering excellent quality private education.

Picking a school that suits both your children’s needs and yours can be challenging, but it is possible. In a recent interview I conducted with international teachers, Maggie Hos-McGrane, an international teacher of 19 years experience said that after she had completed her research she’d found only 30 of the more than 4000 international schools suited both her and her children. If you have children, here are some things you should consider when applying for teaching posts abroad in international schools.

Is the school a profit making enterprise?

There are a number of different kinds of international schools to choose from, some are run by a board and are not designed to make a profit, and others are run by an individual or company in order to make a profit.

As a teacher you will be concerned that the school’s educational philosophy matches your own. As a parent you want to insure that your children’s education is the priority of the school, rather than the amount of money spent on educational materials and the effect that will have on the school’s owner’s profit.

There are some directors or owners of international schools that may be more interested in the financial benefits of running a school than the education benefits to the students. Be aware, both as a prospective employee and as a parent.

Is the school accredited?

International schools can become accredited by an organization that sets educational and operational standards for international education institutions. One such organization is the Council of International Schools (CIS). In order for an international school to become accredited by CIS, they must go through a rigorous appraisal process which looks at the staff and management, the facilities and, the quality of teaching and learning in the school.

If an international school is accredited, then you can be confident that the quality of education provided by the school is high. Most schools that are accredited by an organization like CIS advertise their status on their webpage, brochures and stationery.

Other organizations that offer accreditation for international schools are NEASC, COBISEC, ISCIS and the Association of Christian Schools International, to name a few.

How many students are in the school?

This is particularly of concern for parents of high school aged children as the number of students in a school may affect the number of subject choices offered at higher levels. For example, if there are only 30 students in the graduating class, then the school will have to limit the number of subjects being offered to make it cost effective. This can often affect profit and non-profit making schools alike.

Additionally, the number of students in the school can affect the number and type of extra curricular activities offered, and therefore your child’s opportunities to experience team sports and other activities that are usually run after school.

When a school has a large number of students, this can also mean that the school is more likely to have a well-stocked library, well equipped laboratories, up-to-date computer equipment and outdoor activity areas. This is usually true of larger schools simply because there is a larger pot of money to fund these facilities from.

On the other hand a school that has thousands of students, while usually offering a wide variety of subjects and activities for students, can often be an anonymous place for children. It is up to you to decide what a good balance is for you and your family.

Which curricula do the schools subscribe to?

There are international schools abroad that offer what is essentially a national curriculum. In fact, in the case of many British schools abroad, it’s even called the National Curriculum.

You can find international schools that are running the national curriculum from America, the UK, Australia, Canada, France (usually taught in French), and so on. Securing a teaching contract in an international school that offers the national curriculum that you and your children are used to will help ease the transition. However, you are not limited by the curricula that you have taught in the past, international schools are generally looking for good teachers and realize that teachers can adapt and teach any curriculum.

When you are looking for a good school for your children, you may run up against some curricula that you haven’t come across before. For example, there is the school wide system offered by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). The IBO offers the Primary Years Programme up to Year 6, the Middle Years Programme from Years 7 to 11, and the Diploma Years Programme for Years 12 and 13.

Which examinations will your children be working towards?

There are a number of examinations available for international school students, and you will need to understand the options before making any decisions about accepting an employment contract.

I mentioned the IBO previously as being a school wide programme. However many schools adopt bits and pieces of the programme. You may find that an international school offers the Diploma for the upper two years but offers the British IGCSE for Years 10 and 11. IGCSE is an examination based qualification, and the IBO Middle Years Programme has no formal examination assessment, students get a certificate and a record of achievement. Some international schools have a mix and match attitude to the curricula offered.

International schools that run national curricula tend to prepare students for the related national exams. American schools overseas run a mixture of state curricula and AP courses.

In this article I have listed just a few of the factors you’ll need to consider if you would like to get a private education for your children by teaching overseas. While I don’t have any children of my own, many of my colleagues do, and they believe that the education their children are receiving abroad is better than what they could get back home, wherever home may be.

Continuing Medical Education for Anesthesia and Its Importance to MOCA

Continuing Medical Education or CME is a method for all medical professionals to stay updated in the latest technologies and discoveries in their field of choice. This is very important because medical science is an ever changing science, and what was true while you were still in school may not necessarily be considered to be helpful now. MOCA or Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology is an on-going process of assessment of one’s medical licensure specifically for anesthesiologists.

The concept of Maintenance of Certification started in 1999 with the ABMS or the American Board of Medical Specialties. Because ABA or the American Board of Anesthesiology is a member of ABMS, they implemented MOC activities. It was also a way for ABA to prove that they were committed to making certain that all their professional members strive for quality patient care as well as clinical outcomes. As I said, MOCA is a program that requires life-long commitment to the maintenance and improvement of an anesthesiologist’s quality of work. Only after a diplomate completes all MOCA requirements within ten years will he be awarded with a certificate for MOCA and be allowed to continue to practice in the specialty and subspecialty of anesthesia.

The MOCA program has four parts and this is where continuing medical education comes in. The first part is the professional standing assessment. In order for a diplomate to complete this part, he or she must maintain an active and unrestricted license to practice his or her profession in at least one part of the United States or Canada. The second part is the lifelong learning and self-assessment. As a diplomate, you must dedicate yourself to engage in continuing medical education with a total of 350 credits; at least 250 of those should be Category 1 credits. The third part is the cognitive expertise assessment. In this part, a diplomate must successfully complete an online test prepared and provided by ABA. A third of the test will be regarding general anesthesia and the rest will cover subspecialties in the field. The fourth and final part is the practice performance assessment and improvement; here a diplomate will be assessed in his performance in the clinical area either by peer review or case evaluation and simulation.

Although continuing medical education is only technically required in the second part of the MOCA program, it is necessary in the completion of the rest of the parts. If you look closely, continuing medical education is still required on the third and fourth part of the program wherein you will be tested on your knowledge and skills. With proper CME, you can ensure that you stay up-to-date with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide quality service.

Continuing Education for Radiology Technicians

It’s important to understand continuing education for radiology technicians if you’re planning on going into this field. Fifteen years ago a new requirement was put into place by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, requiring that any ARRT registered rad tech complete 24 hours of continuing education credits in order to keep their professional status. At least half (or all) of these credits must be Category A, which means the activities are approved by a Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism.

You may think continuing courses are just a waste of time, but it is important for radiologic technicians to have this kind of training throughout their careers to stay informed and on top of their game. With all the constant advances in modern medical technology and shifts in healthcare protocol, it should be easy to see why anyone working in this field would need to brush up on their skills and knowledge every couple of years or so. This continuing education requirement is one way of making sure that happens.

If you are registered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists you must comply with the continuing program requirements to renew your registration. The ARRT has been performing random registration renewal checks since 1997, and if you can’t prove that you’ve earned 24 continuing education credits in the last two years you’ll have to complete them ASAP. Otherwise, you will lose this important professional designation.

Earning Category A activity credits isn’t difficult, though, so if you’re worried about fulfilling your first required continuing education for radiology technicians you can rest easy. These are simply activities that have been approved and evaluated by a Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism. It shouldn’t be any more difficult than the courses you took to get your degree and become a certified radiologic technician in the first place, and if you’ve been working in the field none of the coursework should be so unfamiliar that you can’t grasp it.

Continuing program requirements ensure that radiology technicians are prepared to continue working in this field and can handle the technologies of the moment. It’s a good thing.