The Difference Between Teaching at a Tier 1 versus a Lower Tier School

The Difference Between Teaching at a Tier 1 versus a Lower Tier School
Collaborative Teaching International School Tiers Tier 1 School

While there is no official definition for what qualifies as a Tier 1 school, the international community has agreed that certain qualities can earn a school this classification. 

These qualities include:

  • An internationally recognised curriculum
  • Ease of transfer between schools
  • High quality teachers and staff
  • Impressive academic results and post-secondary destinations

While these qualities may seem essential, not all schools are built the same. 

Our teaching staff come from all over the world with vast experience in a myriad of educational facilities. 

Below we explore four differences between teaching in a Tier 1 school versus a Lower Tier school.

Resources for Teachers

Teachers are the foundation of a good education. 

Lower Tier schools are not always able to budget for additional teaching resources.

Because of the higher fees that Tier 1 schools charge, money can be invested back into the school to provide students with the best, be that new technology for classrooms, funding to go on an off-campus excursion, upgrading facilities or supplies for day-to-day use. If the Tier 1 school is also not-for-profit, like Alice Smith, then there are also no investors requiring profits and so even more funds are available for school resources.

When teachers want for nothing they are able to continue their learning and further hone their area of expertise, transferring their knowledge into a world-class education for students.

“We work hard, but we know that it’s worth it. The students are ridiculously appreciative of you on a day-to-day basis and the opportunities to do something different are myriad,” said Robyn Coryton, one of our Secondary School teachers.

Facilities Foster Positive Learning Environment

Study after study has shown that quality facilities foster a positive learning environment which is reflected in better grades and overall happier students and staff. Even something as simple as lighting has been found to affect student learning in a positive way.

At a Lower Tier school, there’s often not a lot of funding to invest in facilities and therefore, schools are often located in older buildings lacking the advancements in design that have been proven to benefit learning. Outdoor spaces may also be limited.

In comparison, Tier 1 schools are able to invest in designing and building facilities that meet the needs of their students by incorporating well-researched and innovative classroom design as well as beautiful outdoor spaces that foster creativity and a lifelong love of learning.

“Our green space, our open buildings, our beautiful gardens and fish ponds and the trees, it is such a pleasure to simply be at school, and I think this impacts everyone's attitude to the school day,” said Coryton.

Encouraging Personal Development

One distinct feature that differentiates Tier 1 teaching is the investment put into the personal development of its staff. 

Teachers are vital to the success of students and, knowing this, Tier 1 schools invest heavily in their continued development and pursuit of learning. At Alice Smith, we recognise the importance of keeping on top of trends both in education and teaching and encourage our educators to improve on their skills. This way, we ensure our students are ahead of the curve when compared to others. 

Strong Reputation in the International Community

Because Tier designations are defined by the community, a school that has earned a Tier 1 ranking is in the best position to attract the highest quality teachers.

“Alice Smith had such an outstanding reputation that even as an international teaching newbie I had heard tales of the school, so it was top of my list when it came to be time to seek a new position,” said Carlyn Mok, a Mandarin teacher in our Primary School.

At Alice Smith, we pride ourselves on our Tier 1 international school classification, and we ensure every decision we make is to the benefit of our students and their families. Click the link below to discover what characterises us as a Tier 1 school in Malaysia.

Click here to discover what makes an international school a Tier 1 school