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MYP Coordinator and Head of MYP
Tromso International School (Norway)
Apr 8, 19
MYP Coordinator and Head of MYP
Tromsø International school is the northernmost IB school in the world to offer the primary years and middle years programmes. We are a relatively small school of 150 students and 30 employees working in a close-knit community founded on the ideals of the International Baccalaureate pedagogy. Here at Tromsø International School, every single student and staff member is seen and valued. We are small enough for everyone to know each other and to have time for one another. As a member of our team, you will have the opportunity to make a real impact on the development of the school.
Our school is located in the city of Tromsø, a city of 75 000 inhabitants set on an island 350 km north of the Arctic circle. Here you will find a university, an international airport, a vibrant night life, excellent shopping opportunities, Aurora Borealis and stunning nature. The city is located on an island, surrounded by mountains on the mainland and the nearby islands. The sun does not set between the 20th of May and the 20th of July, and it does not rise between the 27th of November and the 15th of January. If you enjoy having cross country ski tracks just outside your doorstep, hiking, fishing, berry picking, water sports, winter sports and a good work-life balance, you will enjoy life in Tromsø.
About the role
Tromsø International School has an available position as Head of MYP and MYP Coordinator from August 2019. This position consists of a 20% Head of MYP position, 40% MYP Coordinator position and a 40% teaching load. The role division between administration and teaching may change as the school continues to grow. During the autumn of 2018 the school successfully completed their first Multi-Programme Evaluation since Authorisation.
You will be leading a highly engaged and supportive team of MYP Homeroom teachers, single subject teachers and SEN teachers and assistants. You will also work closely with the rest of the school leadership team and administration, including the Head of School, Business Manager, PYP Coordinator and Head of PYP, Inclusion Coordinator and Librarian.
The constructivist approach that the IB advocates for student learning applies equally well to the learning of teachers and administrators in the school. A significant contributing factor to a deeper understanding, and improved practice of the MYP is the nature of the collaboration within the team.
- Effectively manage resources – people, time and money, to ensure the enhancement of the teaching and learning in order to address the overarching mission of the school and the mission of the IB
- A commitment to collaborative planning is central to the philosophy of the IB. The MYP Coordinator and Head of MYP has a pivotal role in this process and has to ensure that the standards for implementation are understood, and that the programme is planned, taught and assessed collaboratively.
- The MYP Coordinator and Head of MYP is responsible for the development of the programme and the whole-school implementation of the programme.
- Facilitate for, oversee and outline the frames for the weekly timetabled collaboration time.
- Lead in-house professional development within the MYP team, including in-house workshops, lesson observation and guided goal-setting
- Responsible for the communication with the IB office.
- Develop, in liaison with the rest of the school leadership team, a clear, long-term strategic plan, with actions and a realistic timeline for its implementation informed by the 2018 Evaluation Report, Norwegian legislation and the needs within the school and learning community.
- Contribute to the on-going development and implementation of school policies.
- Regularly arrange general sessions about the MYP for the whole-school community and for interest groups within the community, such as parents and board members.
- Ensure that the curriculum promotes an inquiry-based and constructivist approach to learning with students making connections, thinking conceptually and critically and reflecting on their own learning whilst providing opportunities for student-initiated actions.
- Spearhead the development of a system for data collection and analysis of student data to track progress, inform planning, curriculum and articulation.
- Coordinate substitution by interviewing and maintaining a pool of candidates and contacting them when required, following up the substitute when at school and setting the expectation for teachers to maintain a folder of substitute lessons
- Set the plan for break supervision, organize supervision cover when teachers are absent, follow up break activities and drive the school’s commitment to creating a safe and good school environment
- Organize MYP assemblies in collaboration with MYP teachers and students
- Follow up behaviour issues and conduct of order
- Internal evaluation in your team for professional development and growth, including lesson observation
- Orienting and supporting new teachers and following up their probation period
What we are looking for:
A person who is highly driven to develop the MYP team, the programme implementation and the school at large. The successful candidate will be a member of the leadership team at TRINT and will put the needs of the MYP team and the needs of the school above own interests in strategic decision making. The successful candidate possesses a high level of professionalism, integrity and will seek to proactively foresee and find solutions to issues before they arise as well as continuously strive to develop and improve practices within the team. An ability to identify, support and nurture talent within the team and to establish and develop co-decision processes within the team as well as taking responsibility for leadership and stepping up to the tasks as they arise.
- Qualified teacher status with minimum four years of relevant university education
- Minimum five years of experience from teaching the MYP
- Must have completed recent and relevant IB workshops
- Extensive programme knowledge and familiarity with the MYP documents
- Written and oral fluency in English
- Previous experience from educational leadership including experience in professional development
- Must be a highly skilled collaborator who is flexible in their work
- Master’s degree in education or educational leadership
- Being an IBEN practitioner is a plus and you will have the support of the school to continue fulfilling your IBEN role requirements
What we can offer
- Equal pay conditions are offered to local and international candidates. The package includes school fees for own children if applicable but does not include housing. The successful candidate will receive an annual remuneration of 40 000 kr on top of the tariff wage for teachers in their salary bracket. This will bring the annual salary to 490 000 kr – 680 000 kr before tax pending on level of education and years of experience (50 000 EUR – 70 000 EUR).
- The highest level of contributions-based pension available in Norway
- Co-decision rights for staff through the teachers’ unions in school club
- A social group of colleagues and a supportive work environment
- A commitment to professional development, hereunder:
o IB recognized workshops and IB conferences within the school’s budget
o Five annual whole staff development days in school
o Tromsø International School is a member of the Norwegian International School’s network for professional development. Our partner universities are the University of the South East of Norway (USN) and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).
o Membership of the Nordic Network of International Schools and a commitment to participating in conferences
o Membership of NIBS and a commitment to participating in NIBS activities such as job-alike days and conferences
Want to know more?
We have created a recruitment pack that can be found at the end of this document containing practical information about the role and the package. We hope this information will help you assess if Tromsø International School can be a good fit for you.
How to apply
Send your CV and letter of application to Business Manager Rita Stobbs on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attention: If you apply for this position, please inform the school and us (Admin@searchassociates.com) that you saw the notice on the Search Associates website.
Please note this school is not a registered member of Search Associates.
The aim of this document is to provide prospective applicants with detailed information about the remuneration, school culture, work-life balance and what it means to work in an international school in Norway. We hope this information will be useful in determining if our school is a good fit for you.
Tromsø International School is a not-for-profit independent school regulated by the Independent School Act. The Independent School Act refers to the Education Act, and the school follows Norwegian legislation. The school receives 85% state funding compared to state schools. The remaining 15% we may collect through tuition fees. This means that we may charge up to 2 400 EUR per student per annum. We are not an academically selective school, all students who apply for a place at TRINT and who are of mandatory schooling age will be offered a place, so long as the school has the capacity. Our students include expats who live in Tromsø for a limited period, international Norwegians with ties to an additional culture and Norwegians who see the benefits of an IB education. Our SEN students receive support from TRINT staff, and the expenses are reimbursed by the local authorities.
Equal pay conditions to locals and expats
Norway is considered a high cost and high salary country on an international scale. Our salary is banded in accordance with the rates determined by annual collective bargaining through the trade union. Norway aims to be an equal society for all its inhabitants. Within a Norwegian context, it would not be natural to offer additional benefits to international hires. Instead, the salary we offer should be enough to live comfortably, choose your own accommodation and accumulate some savings. One difference between working in Norway and in an expat hub in a low-cost country is that cleaners, drivers, waiters etc. should also earn a fair wage. Therefore, it is less common for private persons to hire domestic help and it would be relatively expensive to do so.
Income tax percentage is based on a range of factors, with total annual income being the key factor. As a rule of thumb, estimate 30% income tax for a teachers’ salary. It will most likely be slightly lower.
What does an example budget look like?
The following budget is an example, in the local currency, Norwegian kroner.
Example annual salary: 570 000
Monthly net salary: 34 675
Budget for single person
Monthly net salary
Left (high rent)
Left (low rent)
This example gives a guideline to living expenses for a single person in rented accommodation using public transport in Tromsø. Some rental apartments include internet and electricity, while others do not. Food is a big variable factor. When TRINT staff were asked what they spend on food per month, answers varied between 1200 NOK and 7000 NOK. This depends on your choices such as how frequently you dine out. Alcohol and tobacco are heavily taxed. Expect to pay 80 kr for a beer at a pub and 35 kr in a supermarket, 100 kr for a glass of house wine at a restaurant and 150 kr for a mid-range bottle of wine at the shop. A three-course meal at a first-rate restaurant may cost 700 kr plus drinks, while a main course at a mid-range restaurant may cost 200 kr.
Salaries in Norway are negotiated with a household where both adults are working in mind. Single parents are assisted in terms of benefits and tax deductions but bear in mind that livings costs in Norway do not facilitate for one working parent supporting a spouse and children. While we do not imply that it is impossible to manage with such an arrangement, it will be more challenging than in a low-cost expat hub.
Half tax in November
Income tax is half rate in November, this is to help cover additional costs over Christmas, such as return flights home and presents.
Our staff members do not pay school fees for their own children.
While some international schools cover two annual return flights home per school year, this is not common practice in Norway and it is not practiced in TRINT. Our assessment is that our Norwegian staff members travel as frequently as our international hires. Instead, all employees in Norway earn additional holiday pay which is paid out in June and which is meant to help you pay for your holidays. This is calculated as follows:
12% of the earnings the previous year minus a deduction of five weeks holiday (the five weeks holiday is unpaid, while the rest of the teachers’ breaks is time off for working more than a standard work week during the school year). The holiday pay is not taxable.
Example holiday pay calculation:
Annual salary: 57 000 EUR
Monthly salary after tax: 3 467 EUR
Pay in June (holiday pay minus salary deduction instead of regular pay): 5 743 EUR
The first June you work in Norway, the salary for the previous year will be five months’ salary, not a full year. This first year, we will deduct less pay for holiday, so that you break even based on a normal month of pay. Your holiday allowance is still taken out in full.
The benefits of the welfare state apply to international hires from the day your contract commences. This means that the state and local authorities have a responsibility for ensuring that all Norway’s inhabitants have access to certain fundamental goods such as education, the health service and income in the form of benefits or social security if they are unable to work. Most Norwegians will not pay into a private health insurance. You will be charged a highly subsidized rate for services such as GP visits and prescriptions, but if your payments exceed 245 EUR over the course of a year, you will not be charged for further services.
What support is offered when moving?
Our previous international hires have felt very supported by the school administration and their colleagues when moving. We will do what we can to make the move and transition as comfortable as possible. This is not so much put to paper in the form of policy as it is part and parcel of our school culture. If we can help you, we will. This could mean attending viewings on your behalf while skyping you and helping you with the paper work such as registering with the police, obtaining a tax card and opening a bank account. Don’t be surprised if your colleagues offer to lend you their private car to do a big shop upon arrival, pick you up at the airport or invite you out for drinks, a mountain hike, sightseeing or a barbeque in their garden. We socialize a lot as a group, and we hope you wish to contribute to maintaining this part of our work culture.
If you move here with a partner, we hope they will find that the invitation to join the TRINT family also extends to them. While we cannot guarantee that we will offer a working spouse a position at TRINT, we are more than willing to help with a job search, providing insight to the job application process in Norway, making introductions to recruiters and using our networks in any way possible. We will happily extend an invitation to your partner to our social events and hope that we can serve as a base for making friendships within the community.
Values that are part of the Norwegian mindset
When people are asked about which moral or political values they think are predominant in Norway, most people answer: political democracy, gender equality and equality between all people, intellectual freedom – freedom of expression and freedom to practice one's faith, tolerance and respect, economic and social equality, solidarity and active participation in organisations and society at large.
Leadership in our context
Our international mindedness compliments our school culture, and we like to borrow from best practice around the world. When it comes to leadership, our host country culture resonates with how we want to practice leadership. The Norwegian culture of co-decisional leadership and a flat hierarchy is very much integrated into how leadership is perceived within TRINT. When evaluating whether a leadership position at TRINT is right for you, please bear in mind what this looks like and how this aligns with your personal values. In your role, you will be able to impact the school culture in various forms, but our view on leadership is something that we are set on.
While the typical Anglo-American leadership is often based on authority, Scandinavian leaders are known for encouraging dialogue across the organisation, involving employees in decision-making. Leaders work closely with their employees and there is a short power-distance between leadership and other employees. We believe this spurs motivation and ownership. The Scandinavian leadership model also emphasises the importance of delegating work. Instead of micro-managing projects, which can be both stressful and time consuming, employees are trusted to execute tasks in alignment with a common goal. The model is based on teamwork and the notion that every employee has a voice, responsibilities and influence. Another aspect of Scandinavian leadership is the custom of sharing knowledge and important information with each other. In Norway, it’s not unusual for leaders to practice full transparency. This creates an environment that is based on mutual trust and a sense of shared responsibilities and common goals.
Manifestations of this view of leadership may be:
- The view of the leader at the bottom of an inverted pyramid, lifting staff up and recognizing them for their accomplishments.
- The role of the leader is to make the other members of the team good, and to take responsibility when things do not work
- A flat hierarchy where assistants, teachers and leaders are equal parts who are equally valuable and respected
- Decisions are reached in collaboration. The voices of the teachers are important in decision-making processes and they should be involved at an early phase of the process, not when a decision has been reached. When decisions cannot be reached in collaboration, the leader’s decision stands.
- The teachers’ time is respected. The leadership team may make decisions concerning certain aspects of their time, while other parts of their time is protected. This also applies to time outside of contracted working hours. Norway has been ranked as one of the best countries to live in (many times). One of the reasons might be that Norwegians are nailing work-life balance. Employers recognise the importance of having a life outside the office, and a collective understanding that family and health come first.
- Respect is something you earn. Scandinavian leaders don’t get respect from their employees just by title. Respect is earned by including, sharing and communicating. Leaders must be prepared to be told if their employees disagree with them. The Scandinavian leadership model actually encourages different opinions and relies on people expressing them. By doing so, trust, loyalty and relationships are built.
The legislated right to a safe and good school environment
Students in Norway have a legislated right to a safe and good school environment. The school has a duty to act if we have knowledge or suspicion of a student not experiencing a safe and good school environment. The duty to act includes paying attention, intervening, notifying the Head of School, inserting measures and evaluating the measures. It is the student’s subjective experience of their school environment that is the determining factor, and the student’s voice is paramount in the process of securing a safe and good school environment.
A teacher will always be what one calls a significant adult for the student. The teacher has power of definition over the student because of the asymmetric power dynamics that exist in their relationship. Although there is equality in the encounter between teacher and student, the teacher will always have greater power than the student in this relationship. This is because the teacher is an adult who carries out a professional career in relation to the student. The teacher’s power of definition means that the teacher’s opinion of the student and the teacher’s conduct towards the student plays a key role. As a natural follow of this, we recognize that it is never the child or the young person who is responsible for ensuring the quality of the relationship with the teacher. This is an adult responsibility that the teacher must take.
Teachers in Norway work 1687,5 hours per year. How this is organized differs between schools and between local authorities. In Tromsø International School, we have a locally negotiated working time agreement, where we spend a larger portion of our working week in school than in an average public-sector school. A full-time teacher is present in school 08.10-16.00 Monday to Thursday and 08.10-14.30 on Fridays. The total workload is the same as in a public school, 42.5 hours per week, but our teachers are present in school for a bigger portion of that time than the industry standard. This is because we recognize collaboration, where teachers are present in school, as a success factor for implementing the IB programmes.
A full-time teaching position consists of a 17,75 hour per week teaching element. The rest of the time is used for staff and team meetings, break supervision, individual and collaborative planning and breaks. Homeroom teachers have a reduced contact time of 0,75 hours per week. This is part of the individual working agreement and is negotiated collectively between staff trade union members and the Head of School
If you have read this far
Thank you for taking the time to familiarise yourself with our culture. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.