While teachers go through an adjustment and transition period when starting at a new school or a new position, teachers who work in International Schools (ISs) appear to encounter additional challenges (Alexander and Daresh, 2016). Teachers in ISs are required to do more than transition, they must ‘cross-over’. While the term ‘crossing-over’ is not widely used, there are various terms such as transition, acclimatisation, assimilation and enculturation, educators and researchers use to describe the process teachers experience when they are new to an IS (Brown, Burton, Dashwood, and Lawrence, 2010).
‘Crossing-over’ for teachers in ISs can include adjusting to a physical location change and/or navigating through aligning previous pedagogical practices, philosophies, and teaching perspectives with new institutional expectations and strategic direction (Brown, Burton, Dashwood, and Lawrence, 2010). This definition of ‘crossing-over’ is particularly useful as it identifies and illustrates the need for educators in ISs to adapt and navigate through ideological, pedagogical, and cultural barriers in order to successfully integrate into their complex work environment.
Have you heard of the term teacher ‘cross-over’? Do you think teachers need different skills to work in an international, private, state or comprehensive school? Comment below.
Alexander, L and Daresh, J. (2016) Beginning the Principalship: A Practical Guide for New School Leaders. United States of America: Corwin.
Brown, A., Dashwood, A., Lawrence, J., & Burton, L. (2010). ‘Crossing Over’: Strategies for Supporting the Training and Development of International Teachers. International Journal of Learning, 17(4). Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
This exert was adapted from, Teacher transition in international schools: A literature review, from ACS Centre for Inspiring Minds (May, 2018).