School Finance 705: SAS Teacher Demographics 2017–18

Singapore American School has a spacious green campus, top-notch facilities, and excellent educational resources. But our greatest asset has always been our teachers. This week, we explore the demographics of these professionals, who focus their energy, enthusiasm, and expertise on educating your children.

Teacher nationality, experience, qualifications, and tenure at SAS

SAS currently employs 383 teachers in 381.5 full-time equivalent positions. Our teachers are citizens of nineteen different countries, with nearly three-quarters coming from North America. Thirteen or more SAS teachers come from each of China, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Singapore. One to three teachers come from each of Brazil, Holland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, and Venezuela.

SAS teachers' nationalities

Our teachers come to us at different points in their careers, but most have gained significant experience elsewhere before joining SAS. This year, our new teachers' average teaching experience is 10 years, and 71% have taught for six or more years prior to joining us.

Experience before joining SAS

Once here, our teachers on average stay longer than is usual in international schools, where staff tend to be highly mobile. The average length of stay for SAS teachers this year stands at 7.61 years, which is very similar to last year's number. Nearly half of our teachers are now in their sixth or higher year here, again an enviable figure among international schools.

SAS teacher tenure

Most of our teachers have academic qualifications beyond a bachelor's degree, with over three-quarters having earned at least one master's degree. SAS encourages professional development and we are proud that a number of our teachers are pursuing higher degrees through programs supported by SAS or independently.

Qualifications (highest degree achieved)

Further facts about SAS teachers

Our teachers' average age is just over 44 years, which has remained consistent over the last decade. Our teaching staff this year is 62% female and 38% male, which we may compare with 75% female for K–12 teachers in the US, according to US Education Department data. We feel that having teachers of both genders benefits our students by giving them a variety of role models and teaching styles. SAS is committed to hiring the best teachers, whether at international recruiting fairs, through our hiring portal, or through personal inquiries here in Singapore. Currently, 88% of our teachers were hired overseas, while 12% are local hires (meaning Singaporeans and foreigners already living here).

Turning to household composition, 38% of our teachers are "teaching couples," (both spouses work at SAS) while 62% are "singles" (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; qualifications, experience, and compatibility with the school's ethos are the qualities we look for most during the hiring process.

Teacher age, gender, hire location, and "single" status

Student-teacher ratio, class size, and extracurricular contributions

A student-teacher ratio of 10.6:1 means that 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 our 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 typically limited to sixteen students in our early learning center and on average, twenty-two students in grades K-12.

Beyond the classroom, each SAS teacher sponsors or leads a co-curricular activity at school, with some teachers participating in multiple activities. Whether this is coaching soccer, providing Model UN support, sponsoring a creative writing club, or supervising student ushers during performances, our teachers play a key role in helping students explore and develop their interests.

Student-teacher ratio in recent years

SAS received over 2,000 applications for the 41 teaching positions available for 2017–18. We are extremely proud of our talented, dedicated, and highly professional teachers, who are committed to giving each student personalized and rewarding educational experiences at SAS. We hope you have enjoyed learning more about them. Please send comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles to We look forward to hearing from you.