WZIS is known for its tight-knit community. Visitors to the school regularly comment on the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. A large part of this is due to the strong relationships enjoyed between members of staff. One of the benefits of being a small school is we regularly see each other throughout the day. All staff eat together at lunch and the new school café also facilitates regular gatherings. Outside of school there are regular social events and teachers regularly gather both inside and outside of their homes. Weekly studies help strengthen these bonds and most staff members are part of our international fellowship that meets every Sunday.
The school day is relatively long (8:15-17:00) but there are plenty of breaks throughout the week. There is a good balance between contact and non-contact time, allowing teachers the space they need to prepare classes, mark books, and organize additional events. This means that it is generally possible to leave school at 17:00 without any work to do at the evenings of weekends. Many teachers also organize additional extracurricular activities and several times throughout the year teachers accompany students on local, national, and international field trips.
There are two major vacations throughout the school year; one over Chinese New Year, and one over summer. Teachers typically go back to their home countries for one of these vacations, and travel in the other. Families may choose to stay in Weihai and make the most of the local beaches and consistently hot summer weather. Younger teachers without children often arrange extensive international trips visiting nearby countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, Vietnam, and South Korea.
WZIS continues to expand its professional development provision every year. Less experienced teachers are assigned a mentor and are observed several times a semester. All teachers, regardless of experience are assigned a line manager who will observe them at least twice a year and carry out an annual appraisal process. During our teacher orientation weeks we offer training sessions and in the 2016-17 year we are looking to bring in an outside facilitator to run some of these sessions. Annual conferences are offered for teachers who have served for a minimum of two years. We work with ISC, ACSI and EARCOS to offer conference opportunities for teachers and school leaders. TEFL training is also given for teachers with little or not experience working with English Language Learners (ELL).
WZIS offers a competitive salary and benefits package. The salary is well in excess of the local average and is based upon relevant experience, training, and responsibility. The benefits package includes:
- Return flights over two years (annually for those who have served 4+ years)
- All visa expenses
- Medical insurance
- Professional training
- Mandarin Chinese language classes (our school is a registered HSK center)
- Transport to and from school
- All meals in school
For families we also offer:
- Free tuition for children (including our organizations Kindergarten (WKS))
- Transport to and from school for all family members
- Part time or full time employment for a spouse
- Heating over winter (for families with children)
- Stipends for children not attending a WZKIS school