One of our major challenges, very similar to so many other international schools, is how to keep teachers for longer than the standard two-year initial contract period. The city of Barcelona, and the quality of life here, helps a great deal. The School also puts in some financial incentives into a three-to-five year commitment on behalf of the faculty. And now I’m trying to get in there by offering all newcomers a laptop that they are free to keep once they complete their third year at the school, free of charge. Additionally I’d like to offer a mobile phone free of charge to all incoming faculty next year.
So, there are two things on my end I’m looking to offer. One is a free laptop that after three years of working here they will call their own. On the fourth year we would actually hand over another new laptop to replace the aging one, which then becomes property of the teacher. If the financials work out, I’m sure we can do this for the incoming teachers for the 12-13 academic year. The laptop we’ll hand out would be a MacBook Air.
As for the phone, there are a couple of things at play here. This year we got into a three-year contract with Vodafone for their mobile office product. In essence all school phones are mobile phones, the type of handset that looks like an office phone but which has a SIM inside it. With this system we no longer have to wire all classrooms for regular phones, and moreover when teachers move to a new classroom, they simply pick up the set and take it with them. I manage the whole thing via a web portal Vodafone has made available. Sometimes we suffer from normal cell interfierence on calls, but overall the system is working out well. We get preferential fees on mobile-to-mobile calls whenever these two mobiles calling each other are School owned lines. This works well for extension calling from one office to another, for instance. Soooo, this is what I am thinking. Either way the school already provides a phone for all classrooms. Why not provide this phone to a teacher instead? The teacher will always be within the School’s reach for any emergency, and the teacher can use the reduced calling fees to make local calls as an added bonus provided by the school.
In all, if these two things move forward for the upcoming school year I think new faculty will be happier for it.