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John Ritter

Senior Associate, Search Associates
John Ritter

School Leaders' Retreat and Educators' Conference
Area of Specialty:School Governance

John Ritter has served as the head of Lincoln School in Kathmandu, the International School of Beijing, the International School of Amsterdam, the American International School of Lusaka, and Vientiane International School. He has also served as a Visiting Practitioner at the Principals Center, Harvard Graduate School of Education and has been recognized as a National Distinguished Principal by the US State Department and US Department of Education. John as conducted over 90 Board retreats and other forms of governance training and school planning for international schools in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. John also has an interest in the integration of host county studies into international schools' regular curricula, and he was involved in the AISA Project on this topic, "Hands Across Africa."


Full Day Institute

Title More Theses on the International Schoolhouse Door: Thinking Critically About What We Do
Programme School Leaders' Retreat
Days Offered October 17th and 18th (Repeated)

"The best international schools are the least international of schools."

"Community service programs promote the very values we don't want children to have."

"If you want to experience real international education . . . go home."

These theses are intended to provoke questioning, critical thinking, and friendly argument about what we are really doing at international schools . . . and how we might do things differently.

At last year's AISA Leaders Retreat we examined theses about governance, planning, and staffing, but we were not able to consider internationalism in depth. This year we return to focus on internationalism.

In addition to the above, some other theses for the participants to consider will be:

"To create a truly international school, look for teachers with no experience at international schools."

"International school regional activities programs help students stay culturally isolated while visiting other countries."

"Host country study programs develop negative attitudes toward the host country."

"If you want a true cross-cultural experience, turn to the culture that is most like yours."

"The concept of 'Third Country Kids' is a form of expatriate self-absorption."

"If we want to teach languages effectively, we should stop teaching them."

"Parents who work in development projects enthusiastically support their own children's community service projects that foster the very results the parents want to avoid in their own work."

"If you want to change the world . . . go home."

  • To question what we do.
  • To consider what we might do differently.
Target Audience Administrators, School Directors, School Board Members
Conference Material Handouts to be provided for this session.

3-Hour Workshop

Title Hands Across Africa (co-presenting with Dianne Zemichael)
Programme Educators' Conference
Day Offered October 19th

"Hands Across Africa" is an AISA-sponsored project to help schools develop their own ways to integrate learning about their host counties into their regular curricula. Funded by grants from the Overseas Advisory Council, this project has produced teaching plans which are now availalbe to adapt and use. It also provides models for schools to use to develop new plans. Most of the plans apply to elementary and middle school grade levels.

Join "Hands" to see these plans in action, receive a set of plans, work on plans for your school, and discuss key steps to implementing such plans at your school.

  • To review teaching plans for integrating Africa into the curriculum.
  • To understand and practice how to produce such plans.
  • To consider how to implement such plans at your school.
Target Audience Administrators and Teachers
Conference Material Session Handout

1-Hour Workshop

Title Catch 22: Securing Your First Administrative Position
Programme Educators' Conference
Day Offered October 19th

Most vacancy announcements for a principal’s position at international schools list “previous experience as a principal” as a key qualification. How can one overcome that “Catch 22”? This session will provide some practical tools to help you decide if such a move is really right for you; to help you develop a plan to prepare yourself for the position; and to help you plan how to secure such a position.

Target Audience Teachers
Conference Material No session materials

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