Good place to live with two young kids/teach in good school??

Hello, all!

I am a single mom of two young kids and a certified secondary teacher. For those so kind to offer, I am looking for suggestions for good places to live and teach. We are not new to the international school circuit, but we have never been to Southeast Asia. My mother's and grandmother's generations both lived in the area (the Philippines, Laos, Indonesia) and I am looking to continue the tradition, so to speak.

While I enjoy traveling, I am not keen on big, over-populated cities like Jakarta. I would ideally like to live in a quieter area, close to the beach if possible. I would also like to live close to a school so I can hopefully walk, or at least hire a driver to do the dirty work for me. I am looking for a smaller school that takes a holistic approach to education. I currently work in a private, for-profit school with spoiled rich kids where kids are not allowed to be kids. I would also like to teach in the same school my children attend.

I am also looking for a good benefits package and compensation that allows me to adequately care for my children. I am not extravagant with my spending, and I am not looking to get rich.

Any suggestions for good places to live, good schools in which to teach would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance for your advice  :D

One problem in some places may be your status as a single mum.
That would depend on the reasons as very high moral values are common in some countries.
As a rule, the bigger the city, the more chances of big international schools with fat bags of cash to pay you with.
Beach and work. Join the very long queue of people after the same thing, but the vast majority are still dreaming.
BSD, Tangerang has lots of big schools - google them and take it from there.
PS -  No beach any where near.

Thank you for the quick reply. I hadn't considered the fact that being a single (well, divorced) mother wouldn't sit well with some prospective employers. That's definitely something I will have to consider! I put that in my post as more of a safety factor.

As I said, I don't necessarily want to strike it rich, I just want to be able to live somewhat comfortably. In the States, being a single mom and teacher, I couldn't even afford visiting the movie theater or going out for a bite to eat. I simply want to not worry about every cent, and I don't want to have to send notes home asking for money.

Finally, I don't want to live AT the beach. I am well aware enough to realize I'd be standing in a long line of expats wanting the same thing. I am hoping to live within an hour or two for maybe small weekend trips. I am looking for a place to live that allows for relatively easy access to the beach.

The Green School in Bali might be perfect for you.  Located in Abiansemal, Badung Regency, its only about a 20 minute drive to the beaches at Sanur, which given that you have two kids yourself, is an excellent and safe beach without the rips and currents that are all too common on many of our other beaches.

The school founder, John Hardy (of silver fashion jewelry fame) is Canadian, (Canadian/American), and in past years quite a number of their teachers have come from the US.

Have a look at their web site, and you can take things from there:

http://www.greenschool.org/

Another possibility for you could be BIS (Bali International School) which is located right in Sanur.  Their web site:

http://baliinternationalschool.com/

I only mention the Green School first as you mentioned your interest in holistic approach to education, and that defines the Green School perfectly.

Also, what Pak Fred mentioned about your single mom/divorced status is true in many parts of Indonesia, especially those areas which are primarily of Islamic faith, but Bali is predominantly Hindu, so your situation would not be an issue to consider here.   

Good luck!

Thank you for the suggestions! I will look into both schools and locations. Without any background information, they sound like great choices. I have come across the names of both schools in passing, so this is some reassurance that they are reputable schools.

Glad to know that Bali is predominantly Hindu and will not automatically disqualify me for being a divorced mother!

To be honest, the Green School got off to a bit of a rough start when it was first founded several years ago.  As such, you might well find some criticism out there on the internet.  Those issues were eventually all resolved, so you might consider more recently made comments as being more accurately reflective of its current status.

Once again, good luck!

The green school managed to get a really bad rep some years ago but that does seem to have changed.
Flights from Jakarta to Bali take about 90 minutes and are cheap with air asia.
A well qualified, experienced teacher will get about 30 million/month in a good school there.
That and you can fly to other beaches - a change is as good as a rest.

A good deal of that initial bad rep had to do with their initially requiring teachers to live on campus in houses made of bamboo and alang alang.

You can only imagine the culture shock of teachers arriving there from schools like The Chapin School and the Rudolf Steiner School in the upper east side of Manhattan.  I have some very funny stories about that, as I happened to be there when the first wave of teachers from NYC arrived.   

Moreover, John, while gifted and talented in many ways, was never trained as an educator and completely misunderstood that while it was fine to provide on campus housing for his teachers, for many it's understandable that they would want to keep their personal lives completely disconnected from their professional life. 

There were some other issues as well, including curriculum, but from I what hear from several parents and currently enrolled students, those "bugs" early on have all been worked out.

What I personally like and respect about the Green School is that unlike some other international schools on Bali, there is a good mix of both foreign and local kids as well as a very generous scholarship program for local kids who otherwise, would never have such an opportunity and be able to stay right at home, in Bali.

Hi peeps, Yeah, They are right!! Jakarta is quitely primitive rather than bali. Even major population in jakarta more educated than bali, but the culture and social life is absolutely different with bali. And if u can choosing where's to live, please choose bali. At least, u gonna be safe as a single parent and also as a foreigner. Bali just like home for every body who want to live in peace and harmony. But if the situation and condition uncompromising, u can trying living in south jakarta. Bintaro jaya is quietly safe and homy. Also cheaper rather than central bussiness district in jakarta. Don't forget to check ur kids future school and ur office as well.Because distance gonna be ur biggest problem if unexpectedly u missed t0 put traffict jam on ur danger list.

Thanks, all! I have been doing my homework researching these schools on internationalschoolsreview.com. There were definitely a lot of comments about the shaky beginnings of the Green School. I would be very interested in teaching and sending my kids there if we do not have to live on campus. I can do without a lot of things, but at least at home I'd like a real toilet.

I am definitely leaning toward living in Bali, but I have heard the cost of living is rising quickly. Would a teacher's salary be adequate? Again, I don't want to live like a princess, but I do want to be worry-free in that area. And I want to do a little bit of traveling when I am able.

Thanks again for all your help!

Yes, the costs of living on Bali go up year after year, but where aren't they?

At the Green School or BIS you can expect a good salary, and certainly one which would provide you with a good life style, as well as the opportunity to bank some money for travel or whatever.

And of course, there are also quite a number of private schools which are always looking for expatriate teachers, especially for English teachers from countries where English is the native language.  Their salaries are less than at top international schools, but again, enough to provide a decent life style.   

One of my closest friends on Bali is Dr. Bruce Pohlmann who is currently retired and living in Singaraja, Bali.  He is by far the top expert on expatriate teaching in Indonesia, and the author of several books on this topic.  His doctorate in anthropology from UC Berkeley concentrated on cross culture education. 

You should most certainly have a look at his web site, and after that, you'll very likely want to contact him directly. 

http://www.cyberbali.com/teaching.overseas.htm

He is also a member of this forum (and several others), and here, his handle is drbruce.

Cheers, and more good luck!

Thank you for the contact information! I will definitely check into his website and then email him. I am in Mexico for another year, so I have plenty of time to do research and apply, but I want to stay on top of things so that I can have the best choices.

Even though I am an "English" teacher, I do not have English as a Second Language certification (although I have the experience!). I am certified to teach grades 6-12 in the English Language Arts subject. I hold a teaching license in the state of Virginia with a BA in English, 8 years of teaching experience, and will have two years of international experience after my stint in Mexico is over. I am hoping to obtain my certification in IB education over the next year. Hopefully this will be enough to satisfy some of the international school requirements in Indonesia!

You have given me a wealth of information. Thank you!

guerrita81 :

Thanks, all! I have been doing my homework researching these schools on internationalschoolsreview.com. There were definitely a lot of comments about the shaky beginnings of the Green School. I would be very interested in teaching and sending my kids there if we do not have to live on campus. I can do without a lot of things, but at least at home I'd like a real toilet.

I am definitely leaning toward living in Bali, but I have heard the cost of living is rising quickly. Would a teacher's salary be adequate? Again, I don't want to live like a princess, but I do want to be worry-free in that area. And I want to do a little bit of traveling when I am able.

Thanks again for all your help!

. Bali still way much cheaper than jakarta in my opinion :D because in bali they still respect simple life. But in jakarta no money less respect.

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