Report: #1395205

Complaint Review: ISM Academy/International Quito, Ecuador

  • Submitted: Thu, August 24, 2017
  • Updated: Thu, August 24, 2017
  • Reported By: ISM International Academy, Quito, Ecuador — Jackson Mississippi USA
  • ISM Academy/International Quito, Ecuador
    Academy Calle Unión 886 y Ave Geovanny Calle, Sect

ISM Academy/ISM International Quito, Ecuador Bad School, Abusive School, Not a Christian School, Lying School, Thieves Quito Pinchincha

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: ISM International Academy: Great Teaching Challenge & Real Cultural Experience

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This school in Quito and Calderon Ecuador recruits heavily and makes heavy promises to anyone contacting them for employment as a teacher.

I observed for two years verbal and physical abuse of teachers from the UK, America, Australia, and Sweeden.  This school only pays approximately $2.00 per hour as the 15 hour required work per day and the 6 days a week is not counted toward what they will tell you is their hourly rate.

Any "extranjero" stupid enough to go here will be subtrated their entire pay on their termination.  They threaten you with blackballing and make you sign a "joint release" when you leave.

They claim they are a Christian school, yet they are not Christian towards either the students, teachers, nor education material.  While they do buy material which appears to be Christian, they do not promote the teachings.  Now, the director has an association with Pensecola Christian Academy but they have idols on the school grounds.

Most teachers- even seasoned, qualified, credentialed teachers last here only three to six months.  This family is embedded in the school and the teachers are a number.  You are not a person.  You do not have the ability to have normal human dignaties while working for this employer.

In the 2016-2017 year all non native teachers were forced to quit at both campuses under threat of blackballing.  The coordinators are racist and hate people from other places. 

Normal workdays- Monday thru Saturday

Normal Work Hours- At school 7:00AM-4:00PM (Emails begin with further work at 4:30 PM until 2:00AM with the next days work that must be done before 7:00 AM).

Breaks: There are none.  During the workday you must work during all student breaks.  After the students leave you must attend mandatory meetings.

They claim many certifications.  While my employment was inplace they claimed IB certification, but in fact were not certified.

Audits:  A joke.  The staff is brow-beaten for anywhere from a day to a week before to put in place documents which never before existed in their Carpeta de Docente.

Discrimination:  They heavily discriminate based upon age, disability and medical condition.

Your certifications and degrees: The only way I can describe it: disrespected.

They try to pass 99.9% of their student body, even when the exams are failed.

Lastly, the lowest common denominator is all that can be described for this school.  It is an affront to the concept of a school.  Beware all teacher grads, and English speakers thinking they will get a good job in Ecuador.  I hear that most of the schools here are the same way.

What is to be certain is that the turnover rate at most of these schools approach 100%within 3-6 months (especially this school) and you will leave here with your heart and soul broken.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

ISM International Academy: Great Teaching Challenge & Real Cultural Experience

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (Ecuador)

 I am so sorry to read about your experience and really hope that you have found yourself in a good place for you now. Everyone's experience is different and in fairness to those of you doing your research about schools to teach at in Ecuador, I would like to offer the following about my experience as a foreign teacher at ISM International Academy. For me it was awesome. I learned so much about teaching and formed lasting friendships with students, other teachers and administrators. It is super hard work, as the writer has fairly stated. For sure teaching is challenging wherever you are, but teaching in a foreign country with all the layers added of a new culture, language, rules and economy, is especially challenging. Yet, I loved my experience not only because of the rigor of the challenge but also because it was real. I was truly immersed in another way of doing things. I noticed some foreign teachers who had difficulty often had expectations that things would run the same way they did in their country. First it is important to know that every school in Ecuador has to follow government regulations, which include, as the writer said, that failing students is very difficult. Yet by following very meticulous procedures the school can fail students when merited, a few cases of which I knew personally during my tenure there. I believe some foreign teachers have come from other foreign countries where they have been put on a pedestal by the school and the parents.

Expecting this same treatment at ISM will cause problems for you. This is not so in Ecuador, so do not expect it. You will work side by side with Ecuadorian teachers without any special treatment, which for me was the experience I was looking for. And in fact this was one of the best parts of my job - the community I had with the other teachers. It is a great privilege to become part of it. You mentioned the family ownership of the school, and surely there are downsides to all types of ownership, but something extremely positive at ISM is the sense of community and compassion they have cultivated from the top down, if you are open to it. I faced enormous personal challenges in my tenure at the school and their support for me was steadfast. ISM is not a religiously affiliated school, though their vision and mission indicate Christian values. For me, Christianity is an inside job, not something I expect from my environment. I have been in many environments that claim to be Christian but are not. Be the light, and you will find others that are too, and you will be able to combat the negative forces that will be present in any environment you are in, Christian or not.

I love this school, first for the students. These are not the rich elite of Ecuador. These are the middle class who you can really impact to make a change in their future, and lead them to opportunities they might not have had otherwise. I love the Ecuadorian teachers with an amazing work ethic and who have mastered some teaching techniques that I really admire and try to imitate. I love the administration which can surely be stern, yet totally nurturing too. They are not perfect, their procedures are not perfect, yet they have their heart in the right place and they are some very hard working people. I admire how they address both Ecuadorian government requirements and their own vision for the future. I admire their high standards and ongoing pursuit of excellence. ISM is in fact an IB school and has been for many years due to the IB Diploma Program. They have recently been in the process of getting certified for the IB Middle Years Program, which I believe is what the writer refers to. So my advice is if you want to chill out and travel with a little teaching on the side, this is not the place for you. If you want things to be run the way you think they should be run, this is not the place for you. But if you are looking for a true teaching challenge, an opportunity to make real friendships with Ecuadorians, experience the culture from the inside out, and engage with students that will challenge you but make your heart sing for a long time, then consider ISM.

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