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Middle East Vs Far East

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Mrs_CS, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    TOTALLY depends on the school. The top schools are like working in lovely private day schools in the UK. Then it’s a slippery slope downwards... different to the UK in terms of a dodgy comp, where there would be an outright hatred of teachers and everything they stand for, manifesting itself in hugely obnoxious students and parents. Here, in the toughest schools (apologies for the stereotyping) with all Emirati/Arab students, their parents value education and demand (to the teacher) they do well, while the over indulged children refuse to expend an ounce of effort.
    Mr_Frosty and agcb256 like this.
  2. agcb256

    agcb256 New commenter

    Have PMed you - thanks for the honest reply so far.
  3. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    As I teach a lot of Emirati students I feel I I should attempt to offer some balance, even though PGnome3 does say it's a stereotype.

    Most of the local students I teach are incredibly hard working and really want to succeed and do well. There is a tremendous amount of national pride in how the country has developed since unification and they want to be a part of it. As a result probably 70% of students, both boys and girls, want to be engineers of some sort and be involved in either grand construction projects or aviation with Etihad or Emirates.

    I have very few behaviour issues, apart from an occasional little bit too much chat and the boys are a lot less committed to their homework - it gets done but not with as much care and attention. I would hope my school is not the exception and see no reason to think it is - at least in terms of private schools, some parents are demanding but no more so than they were in the UK.

    ADEK/MoE schools are a whole different story though I think. Not all the schools are bad and I know quiet a few ADEK teachers who are happy in their jobs - but there are some really challenging schools out there, some less than ideal school leaderships and many challenging parents.

    I think if you could choose the right school you'd have a brilliant time here but it is a risk.

    And fwiw, I worked in Seoul before becoming a teacher (a long time ago now) and was friends with quite a few Uni lecturers and TEFL teachers and as much as I love life here I'd jump back there in a flash, if I could get an international school in the Seoul Metro area.
    agcb256 and Powergnome3 like this.
  4. Peterpipergirl

    Peterpipergirl New commenter

    Seoul is a great place. My last visit was sixth months ago. It's becoming a bit pricey but you have to love the place. There are great mountains in the suburbs and the coast is just an hour away. The food is brilliant and the nightlife and shopping top notch.

    As for working in the ME, it's still good for saving money and working in, as long as you are in any of the truly international schools, not one of the rent-a-name varieties or an MoE / pretend international school. You need the right personality in the ME. You have to be relaxed, calm, friendly and be prepared to do anything at all times. You have to also look the other way with cheating in exams, even in the British international ones, as the students will cheat and the parents will bribe and complain about you personally if you try to maintain any standards or report it, and I have personally known teachers to lose their jobs when they tried to be proper teachers in this regard.

    Unfortunately, exam boards like OCR don't recognise the problems teachers face in the ME with cheating in their exams so don't do anywhere near enough to combat the problem. Money talks louder than integrity, I guess.
    agcb256 likes this.
  5. salamandes

    salamandes New commenter

    Interesting to see Mr. Frosty's input above. I am in the M.E. too but the local children here are in a minority. The behaviour in my school is fantastic-I have 14 years of experience and can honestly say the children here are the very best I have taught. Focused, determined, polite and helpful they really are going places in the future as Mr. Frosty alludes to when thinking about careers etc.

    I have heard many descriptions of outrageous behaviour in the M.E. but, as always, it pays to pick your school.
    agcb256 and Mr_Frosty like this.
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    China will be good for the next couple of years but will then degrade rapidly. The number of expats leaving Shanghai is becoming a flood and so the number of students in international schools will fall and therefore less teachers employed. The only schools opening up are the new Bilingual schools purely based on profit, expect 200 days or more teaching, Saturday classes, no Christmas holidays, long working days and lower pay. Still no firm information on tax changes for expats and how this will impact teachers and visa regulations actually been followed.

    But I have just been doing some DIY and spent I nice lunch time in IKEA where it is possible to have a nice 1/3 bottle of wine with your meal for 1.50GBP.
    agcb256 likes this.
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, febbers, we shall see! Yes, there are a lot of new schools opening in China and some (rather predictably) will be awful. But as Chinese parents become more education-savvy and picky about schools for their little darlings, so things may improve.
  8. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    A friend went from FE to Kuwait a few years ago, 2 year contract, far far higher wages than he was earning in FE. He left at the end of the first year, when I asked him why he said "how do I motivate a 17 yr old boy to learn History when he drives to school in a Ferrari". My friend returned to his far lower paid job in his far poorer country in FE where the students are so much more motivated to learn. Only one experience, one school, one Ferrari etc but nonetheless valid

    Another experience (OK, we have 2) another friend left his job in Thailand for the big bucks in UAE, he only lasted until Christmas. He said that the school was fine, the kids were generally positive. He left because he found Dubai interminably boring, the shopping malls, flash stuff, glossy 5 star hotel lifestyle was just not to his liking (he lives modestly in Thailand, a long way from Bangkok).

    From everything I've seen & heard I'd prefer to continue teaching in FE rather than ME. However, I do like to travel to Europe on Emirates !
    agcb256 likes this.
  9. agcb256

    agcb256 New commenter

    Thanks very much for your fair, balanced and interesting replies so far.
  10. WatchYourTongue

    WatchYourTongue New commenter

    If people were so concerned about the reputation* of foreign governments regarding human rights abuses, they'd never leave the country or buy goods made overseas.

    *I expect 99% of what people think they 'know' about foreign governments' abuses stems either from a journo desperate for ratings/clicks or some idiot in a pub or on a blog.
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    ToK-tastic makes some good points. I am not sure that I would agree with WatchYourTongue's comments about "some idiot" who writes a blog.
  12. WatchYourTongue

    WatchYourTongue New commenter

    Mr Hippo, I wasn't including all bloggers in my criticism, I only included that because I think (mis)information is more likely to come from online sources - now that our pub industry is being eviscerated.

    While working in the ME for eight years I grew tired of people's (so more often negative than curious) reactions on hearing of my place of abode. Having never stepped foot in the region (or done any more 'research' than reading tabloids and conversing with others who did the same), they were/are convinced it's full of people who would rather chop off your extremities than say a cheery 'Hello'. To me, that just stinks of racism born both of ignorance and believing the messages repeated by the media like a mantra; "Us good, Them bad." ad infinitum.
  13. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter


    I'm not sure 'eviscerated' is the right word to describe the present state of the English pub though I understand your intention. I always found a pub one of the dullest places to spend my time.

    To be honest, there are very few people who have an idea about the workings of any country unless they have lived there and understand the local language. Everything else is presumption and prejudice fed by everything they have ever heard and read. Even when you have had real experiences, it is human nature to retell, and usually exaggerate, those that will entertain and shock rather than the mundane.

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