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Is it really that easy to get a job in the middle east?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by the hippo, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Er, yes, it is pretty easy. I have taught in Saudi, Egypt, the UAE and Qatar, so maybe I know what I am talking about. If you are a Maths teacher, then you will probably get a smaller red carpet and a non-vintage bottle of champers. (The really good stuff is reserved for Chemistry and Physics teachers, of course.)
    What are we all waiting for? A good question. I am waiting for you to read some of the appalling reviews for ME schools in the International Schools' Review, rio_D. Then maybe you won't be quite so enthusiastic. By the way, "accommodation" really ought to have a double M and you won't like your accommodation very much if the mosque's loudspeakers are right outside your bedroom window.
    So welcome to the exciting world of international education, rio_D, or "Marhaba", as they say in this part of the world.
     
  2. Thanks for the advice, reality check and spell check, the hippo.

    A few more questions have now come to mind....
    How easy is it to get to a good international school in the ME?

    What would the best strategy to secure this kind of position be with my two year teaching experience in a secondary school?

    a) Start in a 'not so good' international school and build up international experience
    or
    b) Stay in the UK and build a better CV

    Your advice is much appreciated

     
  3. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    Stay in the UK and build up your experience. Overseas they expect you to be more independent and capable of dealing with a wide range of situations. A work mate has 6 years at primary level and the better schools are falling over themselves for him.
    Further, taking a chance on an overseas school if you are employed on a full time contract in the UK, is not something I would recommend. All those perks sound great but returning to England after an unhappy experience, may leave you jobless, with a damaged CV and without the ability to claim benefits as you cannot do that for 6 months on your return.
     
  4. Thanks for the post happygreenfrog
    Can you give examples of dealing with a wide range of situations?
    I am on a full time contract in the UK and I do understand it is a risk but am I sure to recieve an unhappy experience?

    Thanks for your advice
     
  5. rednelly84

    rednelly84 New commenter

    I personally would not give up a FT contract in the UK. You'd be mad to.
    That said, if you are still keen on the idea of teaching in the ME, I suggest you do (a lot) more of what you are doing now...keep asking questions and do your research thoroughly.
    Schools in the UAE (where I have been for 18 months) are not as regulated as they are back in the UK if that's fair to say. Curriculums, standards, packages, lifestyles etc vary greatly.
    Last year I used teachanywhere, (I would NOT recommend them), and thought I had secured a great job in an "international school" on a good package. What a load of s***. I now work for a much better company and have a massively improved package. So in my case, I took the first year, got through it, sought out contacts in other schools and put it all down to experience.
    Good luck [​IMG]

     
  6. squeakyhaggis

    squeakyhaggis New commenter

    Don't know about the Middle East, but it was that easy to get a job in China. In fact, I didn't even bother with the agency. I saw an advert, sent my CV and here I am.
    I did give up a full time permanent post in the UK and it is the best thing I've ever done. Admittedly, I should have done a lot more research than I did before I signed up, but I was very lucky and landed somewhere great. The only problem is, I don't think I would ever want to go back to teaching in the UK. That's in spite of having considerably bigger class sizes than at home.
     
  7. Thank you for the insight rednelly84 and squeakyhaggis

    Okay maybe I need to add another piece of information to the equation ...

    I am born in the UK and am of the islamic faith. Therefore in terms of the lifestyle adjustment I am not too concerned. Packages and standards are of a greater interest. In other words what am I looking for? What should I avoid? Also what would the first steps be after researching thoroughly...

    rednelly84 I appreciate your honesty, is it possible to elaborate on why your first "international school" was such a dissapointment?
     
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Not so long ago, some idle, brainless and foolish person started a thread all about The International Schools' Review. Opinion was very much divided. Some posters argued that the ISR is simply a load of a out-of-date, venomous, bitter and exaggerated hogwash, while other posters have argued that it was indeed very helpful to be able to read some frank, honest and accurate reviews of different international schools, all written by teachers who have actually taught in these establishments. I am afraid that you will just have to read the reviews for yourself, rio_D, and then make up your own mind. Perhaps it is worth mentioning that there are many international schools in the Middle East and quite a lot of them have dreadful reviews in the ISR.
     
  9. Thanks Ian60 for the post

    I do not have any post 16 experience and it is not likely that this will change in the near future. My school has a very small sixth form and there are almost more potential A' level Mathematics teachers then students.

    Im currently still in two minds. The forum is helpful but there are mixed messages in many threads. Part of me feels I will never know if it is for me until I personally make the move. I am still young and brave with very little responsibilities in my personal life.

    What is the worse that can happen....?
     
  10. Hi Rio,

    Go for it!

    The worst thing you can do is sit there in never never land.

    Maths teacher? The world is your oyster!

    Get applying - what harm can it do?

    Best wishes,

    Wolfie
     
  11. Finally some genuine positivity [​IMG]


     
  12. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Maybe not the worst, but let me put it this way. The kids in some schools/countries are nicer to teach than in others. This doesn't matter to everyone, but I like teaching nice kids.
     
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some "genuine" positivity, rio_D? Well, of course it is easy to be positive when it really does not make any difference to you and you do not even know the person you are writing to. I would have thought that some honesty and accurate information would have been more useful to you than "positivity". Anyway, if it will make you happy, here it is: GO FOR IT! YEAH, MAN!
     
  14. thanks the hippo

    anyone else got any other advice?
     
  15. A few years ago 20% of international schools were average and better. 80% were money making career dives. I reckon that has changed - the schools are getting better because more good quality teachers want to teach abroad. Good staff are working in poor schools and there are less 'subject fillers' in the good schools.
    But, I am still with the Hippo; you can't pick and choose anymore. Hippo is at a good school in Qatar and I am at a better one ([​IMG]) in Cairo.
    There are 3 or 4 schools in Cairo that I would work in - there are 15+, that I wouldn't.
    Good luck with your move.
    ps - Hi5 dude - yeah!

     
    jonathanbradford likes this.
  16. I work in Abu Dhabi and love it here. I work in a really nice international school with over 65 different nationalities. The kids are well behaved but a bit lazy at times. The staff have good fun. I'm local hire so I live in acccommodation provided by my husband (right opposite a loud mosque!). The staff accommodation is in town and is made up of a small one bed apartment. The staff grumble about it not being that great - I've not seen it so I don't know. The guys don't seem as bothered as the girls. My school is an IB school and they work you pretty hard, but the paper work is less onerous than the UK system.
    The best way to get a post at a good international school is to go via Search Associates. they arrange a job fair which you will get invited to if your references are good and you have 2 years' experience. Or you can send your CV directly to schools - do it now though as they are now looking.
    my school is www.***.ae Raha International if you want to check it out. Other good British schools are the Aldar Academies schools - Al Yasmina, Al Muna, Al Bateen. Also Brighton College is good and pays better than most. Stay clear from GEMS academies - I've heard they treat teachers badly. Unless you want a challenge stay away from the local schools. ADEC are looking for teachers to go into the local schools to improve standards and I've heard the kids are feral! The oldest and most establishd school is British Al Khubairat - but it's pretty tough to get a job there.
    Good luck and don't listen to the negative comments. Working in international schools is an enriching experience and the only reason you might not go back is because you don't want to. I also worked in Bangkok and that was amazing too.
    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions :)
    Sarah (Head of Languages at ***)
     
  17. rednelly84

    rednelly84 New commenter

    The school was basically mis-sold to me. I was under the impression the intake was of an international flavour teaching a full UK curriculum. What I got was a 99% EAL class of locals and the curriculum consisted of death by worksheet. In fact, the school intake as a whole, was almost all locals. This school are still advertising as an international school even after I stated that as my main reason for leaving to both my HT and the agency.
    I would agree with Foney and say there are only a handful of schools I would work in in AD now I have experienced it.
     
  18. Moral to the story - do your research! I work in a great school in AD. You just have to ask the right questions. IB schools are normally fairly safe as they have to be accredited, whereas anyone can open a britsh school, just by downloading the curriculum from the internet! Saying that there are some great British schools too.
     
  19. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I think that I mentioned that I am currently teaching at a school in Qatar. I have not made (and will not make) any comments about whether or not it is a "good" school.
     
  20. rednelly84

    rednelly84 New commenter

    I did. Six months worth of searching and asking questions. Unless you know someone in the know, it will be more difficult to make a judgement.

    Moral to the story - you won't necessarily know if you've made a good judgement till you get there.
     

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