Preview American International School Dhaka Bangladesh2018-01-03T13:58:37+00:00
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Woman teacher writing a review of American International School Dhaka Bangladesh

American International School Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dates covered: 20xx – 20xx
Average Score of all Reviews: 6.5

School Website: http://www.aisdhaka.org/

Review 6) 20XX – 20XX
Academic integrity of school (10 is top score)
8
Effectiveness of administration
1
Academic and disciplinary support provided
5
Director’s involvement in academics
1
Fair and equitable treatment by board and director
1
School has adequate educational materials on hand
6
Attitude of local community towards foreigners
9
Cost of living in relation to salary (10= most favorable)
9
Satisfaction with housing
8
Community offers a variety of activities
4
Availability and quality of local health care
3
Satisfaction with school health insurance policy
6
Family friendly / child friendly school and community
7
Assistance with visas, shipping and air travel
9
Extra curricular load is reasonable
4
Security / personal safety (10 = very safe in and out of school)
6


Comments:
First I must say that I loved Bangladesh and my experience there has changed me in vast and marvelous ways. Yes it is a challenge living in Dhaka, a huge urban myth with real consequences. Yet the reason I took the teaching post was for exactly this reason: I wanted a challenge. The students are terrific. The parents and the PTA are terrific. The Bangladeshis who work at the school are terrific. I left after only two years with over twenty others including the principals of the elementary school and the high school. I was saddened by this as it threw my life back into moving again which I had not wanted to do. I did it for protection both of myself and my career.

The head of the school, Michael Popinchalk and The Head of the High School James Workman rule from the top. They could not possibly get away with some of what they do in the States. I noticed that ISS protected them at every turn. It is not as simple to say that this is a money making game and those at the top of ISS and the schools earn huge sums and want to protect them. After my experience in at AIS/Dhaka, I asked myself why Mr. Popinchalk chose this job. He is not certified. In my opinion he possesses a simplistic and detrimental attitude to those students who are not perfect. He is a micro-manager and I saw no originality or imagination. After working in international schools for some years I have come to the conclusion that men and women like Mr. Popinchalk who are not really school material in any way can, with the protection of ISS and its imperious Ms. Larson, make very good money and have their kids educated for free. This opportunity would not exist for them in the States as they would have to be accountable. My experience tells me that limited people can make a go of it in the international schools world of administration with no accountability. This is pathetic but true.

Mr.Popinchalk and Mr.Workman blackball teachers at the hiring fairs. If you get in the way they hurt you and ISS supports this behavior. Very limited people have found each other. It took me a few months to recover from this experience yet now I am doing quite well. I am glad for the chance to have met the above mentioned people as they have taught me that I need to make my choices with more trust in myself. I had seen somethings I did not like but took the job anyway as I could not believe that anyone could be as limited and be so cruel to so many people and go as far as to attempt to ruin a career.

This web site is a nice thing. ISS and places like AIS/Dhaka manage their world through isolating the teacher. This web site gives us some room to keep breathing.

Review 5) 20XX – 20XX
Academic integrity of school (10 is top score)
10
Effectiveness of administration
10
Academic and disciplinary support provided
10
Director’s involvement in academics
10
Fair and equitable treatment by board and director
8
School has adequate educational materials on hand
10
Attitude of local community towards foreigners
5
Cost of living in relation to salary (10= most favorable)
5
Satisfaction with housing
8
Community offers a variety of activities
10
Availability and quality of local health care
5
Satisfaction with school health insurance policy
8
Family friendly / child friendly school and community
8
Assistance with visas, shipping and air travel
10
Extra curricular load is reasonable
9
Security / personal safety (10 = very safe in and out of school)
5


Comments:
Dear ISR, first of all, thank you for providing your services on this site.I would like to thank the longest serving Director of the AIS/D, Michael Popinchalk for all his professional contributions.The message which I would like to share through your service is to represent all the positive results which are pretty obvious now, when Michael Popinchalk has completed his work at AIS/D:

1) Choice of highly professional and experienced administrative group members.

2) Quality recruitment of teachers and other faculty staff members.

3) Establishment of ongoing process of training for support staff.

4) Inspiration of a proud feeling of being an integral part of the school organization.

5) Introducing programs such as English speaking classes for support staff. This initiative is highly appreciated by the support staff as to learn English language in Dhaka is very expensive and almost impossible for them.

6) More structured teaching. Teachers are required to constantly monitor their instruction in class to improve student’s learning, to make the learning process interesting, challenging and promoting student’s curiosity for knowledge.

7) The process en route IB program has been started. The hardest stage of the beginning has been completed. It was tough but under patient leadership of the administrative team, it was successful.

8) The school has expanded significantly in the last five years. New facilities have been added and AIS/D has become a safe place for the school community. This is particularly important in a place like Dhaka.

9) Formation of Dhaka International Schools Association(DISA) comprised of several international schools in Dhaka has become an excellent venue for exchange of teachers professional ideas and experiences such as Teachers’s workshop, mini-Nesa conferences.

10) The school security has improved tremendously during this period. These are just a few things of Mr. Popinchalk and his administrative team’s efforts to make this school one of the leading schools in South Asia. Managing a school is not an easy job, one cannot satisfy each and everybody. We all work, ‘grow’ and change in the process of our work experience.Regarding my opinion about the Dhaka city – It is over populated, expensive and becoming more and more unsafe. There are no safe places for children’s activities except the schools and the clubs. But it has it own rich cultural background. Bangladeshis are very artistic and musical.

Review 4) 20XX – 20XX
Academic integrity of school (10 is top score)
8
Effectiveness of administration
2
Academic and disciplinary support provided
7
Director’s involvement in academics
3
Fair and equitable treatment by board and director
1
School has adequate educational materials on hand
9
Attitude of local community towards foreigners
9
Cost of living in relation to salary (10= most favorable)
7
Satisfaction with housing
8
Community offers a variety of activities
4
Availability and quality of local health care
3
Satisfaction with school health insurance policy
5
Family friendly / child friendly school and community
5
Assistance with visas, shipping and air travel
5
Extra curricular load is reasonable
4
Security / personal safety (10 = very safe in and out of school)
6


Comments:
Bangladesh is a tough place to live. The children are very nice and are excellent students. The administration overall is not recommended. The teachers recruited are, for the most part, very competent and a plus for the school. The package is adequate keeping in mind the high cost of living in Dhaka for a western lifestyle. Teachers are asked to do too much, in general. I enjoyed my time there but was very happy when I moved on. It was a very stressful working environment.

Review 3) 20XX – 20XX
Academic integrity of school (10 is top score)
3
Effectiveness of administration
2
Academic and disciplinary support provided
3
Director’s involvement in academics
3
Fair and equitable treatment by board and director
2
School has adequate educational materials on hand
7
Attitude of local community towards foreigners
6
Cost of living in relation to salary (10= most favorable)
9
Satisfaction with housing
9
Community offers a variety of activities
7
Availability and quality of local health care
2
Satisfaction with school health insurance policy
6
Family friendly / child friendly school and community
5
Assistance with visas, shipping and air travel
7
Extra curricular load is reasonable
9
Security / personal safety (10 = very safe in and out of school)
6


Comments:
Dhaka is a huge, very crowded, dirty city. The people are very curious, but not threatening or malicious. You need to expect to be stared at every time you go out. There is a high level of corruption, but it doesn’t affect you on a day-to-day basis. There is a U.S. Embassy doctor, a British doctor and a good Bangladeshi doctor trained in Germany, but medical facilities are very limited. For anything serious, you need to go to Bangkok or Singapore for medical treatment.

The school has great potential with fantastic students and wonderful parents. 48 nationalities are represented in the student body. The administration, however, is challenging. Mr. Popinchalk is a micro-manager and everything is controlled from the top. Both the High school and Elementary principals have left this year. There will be many new teachers in August throughout the school, including a new high school counselor and secretary. There have been a number of changes in the school board, which I think will be an improvement. A social committee has just been formed, which will help to raise staff morale. Having said that, the PTA has been extremely supportive and has organized some wonderful events.

There are some great holiday locations within easy reach, including islands of Malaysia, Bali, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar etc., as well as some places to visit within Bangladesh. Taking a boat trip to the Sunder bands is magical or trekking in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (check on security before attempting this). Guide Tours offer fantastic day or overnight boat trips to various locations including weaving villages, Hindu temples. These trips are well-organized, wonderful food and very relaxing.

Housing is mostly in apartments, but on the whole, they are very spacious and most have balconies and useable roof space for parties. There is a system of clubs in Dhaka, where each nationality has it’s own club. These are the only places where alcohol is served. Once you join one club, you are welcome to visit other clubs as guests. All clubs have swimming pools, tennis courts, squash courts, TV rooms, DVD & video libraries, restaurants and bars. They are mainly where the expats hang out.

There is also a wonderful selection of good restaurants in Dhaka including Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Indian, French, seafood, steak houses, Pizza Hut, etc. If you like to party, there is plenty of opportunity. There are also a number of balls throughout the year organized by various groups. There are active women’s groups including the Dhaka American Women’s Club (DAWC), the British Women’s Association (BWA), and the United Nation’s Women’s Association (UNWA). They all have monthly meetings and organize fund raising events throughout the year.

Although Bangladesh is a difficult place to live and the school has it’s challenges, if you are adventurous and have the mind set to make a go of it, you could have a positive experience here.

Review 2) 20XX – 20XX
Academic integrity of school (10 is top score)
9
Effectiveness of administration
10
Academic and disciplinary support provided
9
Director’s involvement in academics
10
Fair and equitable treatment by board and director
10
School has adequate educational materials on hand
9
Attitude of local community towards foreigners
9
Cost of living in relation to salary (10= most favorable)
9
Satisfaction with housing
8
Community offers a variety of activities
7
Availability and quality of local health care
7
Satisfaction with school health insurance policy
8
Family friendly / child friendly school and community
7
Assistance with visas, shipping and air travel
9
Extra curricular load is reasonable
8
Security / personal safety (10 = very safe in and out of school)
6


Comments:
Just wanted to post an update so that those looking for a new post will not be put off by Popinchalk’s history and his fiefdom. Mr. Plotkin is the best administrator I have ever met…and this comment is made during his second month in the position. He has very effectively handled a traumatic situation that affected students, parents, and faculty.

Members of Popinchalk’s old “gang” are finding themselves in a shaky position under an effective admin. I doubt many will be here for long. In spite of the glowing report written below by one of Mr. Popinchalk’s female buddies, there were so many problems created by him that it will even take Walter Plotkin years to straighten them out.

Dhaka is still not a pretty place but the school and the admin will now again make it an attractive package and place to work.

Review 1) 20XX – 20XX
Academic integrity of school (10 is top score)
9
Effectiveness of administration
10
Academic and disciplinary support provided
9
Director’s involvement in academics
10
Fair and equitable treatment by board and director
10
School has adequate educational materials on hand
9
Attitude of local community towards foreigners
9
Cost of living in relation to salary (10= most favorable)
9
Satisfaction with housing
8
Community offers a variety of activities
7
Availability and quality of local health care
7
Satisfaction with school health insurance policy
x
Family friendly / child friendly school and community
x
Assistance with visas, shipping and air travel
9
Extra curricular load is reasonable
8
Security / personal safety (10 = very safe in and out of school)
x


Comments:
What a great place. This school is among the best that I have ever experienced. Bangladesh can be a depressing but the school and the school community are top notch. As a teacher I am well supported and the only observation that I would make is that, in an effort to listen to everyone, sometimes decisions are watered down. The school seems to be welcoming a broader range of students (read slower learners) but it seems that efforts are being made to support their inclusion. I want to comment on some of your survey items:

Effectiveness of administration – great team, wonderful to work with (notice I didn’t say for), their hearts seem to be in the right place, no body perfect but all trying hard.

Director’s involvement in academics – limited, as it should be, just right.

Fair and equitable treatment by board and director
– hasn’t been an issue, you should have a n/a category.

School has adequate educational materials on hand
– The boat literally has not come in – don’t know if that is the school’s fault or a result of government turmoil.

Community offers a variety of activities – if you are bored it’s your own fault but you have to improvise a lot.

Availability and quality of local health care – we have a great doctor on staff, outside of school we are better off than most third world locations.I am glad to be here!

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