Operations at SAS: SAS Teacher Demographics 2020–21

If you ask an SAS parent what they like best about the school, the answer will likely be "the excellent teachers!" This week, we explore the demographics of these professionals, who focus their energy, enthusiasm, and expertise on educating your children.

Teacher numbers and nationalities

SAS currently employs 398 teachers in 395.2 full time-equivalent positions. Our teachers hold 23 different passports. Nearly three-quarters come from North America, with 233 from the United States and 50 from Canada. Australia, China, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and New Zealand each account for between 14 and 24 teachers, and we have four teachers from Spain. Smaller numbers come from Taiwan, South Africa, France, the Philippines, Peru, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan, Ireland, India, Hong Kong, Germany, Holland, Brazil, and Belarus.

Teacher experience, tenure, and qualifications

Our teachers join us at different points in their careers, but most have gained significant experience before joining SAS. This year, our 29 newly hired teachers had on average 12 years of experience teaching elsewhere, and 93% of them had taught for six or more years before joining us.

Once at SAS, our teachers average longer tenures than is usual in international schools, where staff tend to be highly mobile. This year the average stay for all SAS teachers lengthened to 8.7 years. Over 83% of our current teachers have been here longer than two years, and nearly 40% have been here ten years or longer. These are impressive statistics that illustrate the stability and dedication of our faculty.

The large majority of our teachers have academic qualifications beyond a bachelor's degree, with 82% holding at least one master's degree, including 17 with doctorates. SAS encourages and invests in the professional development of our educators, and we are proud of our many teachers who have earned higher degrees while teaching here.

Further facts about SAS teachers

Our teachers have an average age of 45 years, which has remained quite consistent over the last 15 years. Our teaching staff this year is 67% female and 33% male, which we may compare with 76% female for K–12 teachers in the US, according to the most recent available US Education Department data. Currently, 88% of SAS teachers were hired overseas, while 12% are local hires (meaning Singaporeans and foreigners already living here).

Turning to household composition, this year 35% of our teachers are "teaching couples," (both spouses work at SAS) while 65% are "single" hires (a spouse, if any, does not also work at SAS). Contrary to what some may believe, teaching couples are not necessarily more economical because although we may save on some benefits, such as housing, teaching couples often have children whose education at SAS is a significant cost.

In hiring, SAS strives to assemble a diverse group of excellent teachers, viewing qualifications, experience, and compatibility with the school's ethos as the most important qualities to look for in applicants. SAS is committed to attracting the best candidates; we received roughly 60 applications for each of this year's teaching vacancies.

Student-teacher ratio, class size, and extracurricular contributions

Our 2020–21 student-teacher ratio has dropped to 10.1:1, ensuring that all SAS students receive ample personal attention. This ratio factors in all classroom, specials, and support teachers, as well as counselors, librarians, and technology coaches. It does not include instructional assistants, who, especially for our younger students, provide significant extra adult interaction. When thinking of your child's classes, it is also useful to consider class size, another indication of the personal attention each student can expect. Class size at SAS is generally limited to 16 students in our early learning center and 22 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. These numbers compare favorably with most other schools in Singapore.

Beyond the classroom, each SAS teacher sponsors or leads a co-curricular activity at school, with some teachers participating in multiple activities. Through coaching sports, guiding activities, or supervising clubs, our teachers connect with students in different ways while helping them to explore their interests and develop their skills.

We are extremely proud of our teachers, a talented, dedicated, and highly professional group committed to personalizing the educational program for each student and delivering rewarding educational experiences every day. We hope you have enjoyed learning more about them. Please send comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles to mrogers@sas.edu.sg. We look forward to hearing from you.