Singapore American School has a beautiful campus, excellent facilities, and extensive educational resources. But our greatest asset has always been our teachers! Let’s take a look at this group of experienced and enthusiastic educators, whose efforts impact our students so profoundly.
Teacher Numbers and Nationalities
Like our students, our 395 teachers are a diverse group, holding 21 different passports. Nearly three-quarters come from North America, with other significant groups coming from Australia, China, the United Kingdom, Singapore, New Zealand, and Spain. Smaller numbers come from South Africa, France, Japan, the Philippines, Brazil, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Peru, and Venezuela.
Our teachers join us at different points in their careers, but most have already gained significant professional experience. In August 2019, our 31 newly hired teachers had on average 10 years of experience teaching elsewhere, and over two-thirds 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 8.4 years. Over 84% of our current teachers have been here longer than two years, and more than a third have been here ten years or longer. These are impressive statistics that illustrate the stability and dedication of our faculty.
Most of our teachers have academic qualifications beyond a bachelor’s degree, with 80% holding at least one master’s degree, including 18 with doctorates. SAS encourages professional development, and we are proud of our many teachers who have earned higher degrees and qualifications while teaching here.
Our teachers have an average age of 45 years, which has remained quite consistent over the last decade. Our teaching staff this year is 64% female and 36% male, which we may compare with 77% female for K–12 teachers in the US, according to 2017 US Education Department data. We feel that having both male and female teachers benefits our students by giving them a variety of role models, life experiences, and teaching styles. 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 100 applications for each of this year’s teaching vacancies.
Our 2019–20 student-teacher ratio has dropped to 10.2:1, 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. Class size is another useful indicator of the personal attention each student can expect. With rare exceptions, class size at SAS is limited to sixteen students in our early learning center and twenty-two students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Beyond the classroom, each SAS teacher sponsors or leads at least one co-curricular activity at school. 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.