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Teaching in the cayman islands

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by emocall, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. emocall

    emocall New commenter

    i am thinking of applying through the cayman island government to teach in the cayman islands.
    I have heard both negative and positive comments about teaching there.
    I would love some feedback on whether it is worth applying.
    Also is it possible for my husband to get a job there. He is not a teacher.
    Thanks
     
  2. bchuckle

    bchuckle New commenter

    It all depends on whether you're applying to Government or Private schools and how much financial commitment you have in the UK.

    The cost of living is very high - rent for a couple around $1200-15000 a month, power bills anything upwards of $250-400 a month and food just crazy prices, before you even think about entertainment and travel.

    Cars are amazingly expensive - $4000 might get you a car that's 10 years old or so.

    Flights to other places are also crazy expensive - around US$500 to Miami, which is only an hour away. No such thing as a budget route.

    You can expect to earn around $3500-40000 a month as a teacher. One salary would make it very difficult to not struggle

    Nothing will prepare you for working in a Government School. Even if you've worked in the worst inner city UK School. It's just just the behaviour, but the sense of entitlement and a lack of any kind of real empathy or humanity from a lot of the kids. Professional Development is non existent and you won't develop as a teacher, apart from grow a very thick skin.

    The Private Schools are totally different - full of expat and middle class Caymanian kids who are okay. I know people who burrow down and are happy there.

    Cayman is an odd place. Small, intolerant. Forget the Caymankind marketing. Caymanians all hate you and wish you'd go home. Sometimes they'll be honest and tell you that. Sometimes, they'll just look down their nose at you in the supermarket.

    What skills does your husband have? To get a work permit, his potential employer will have to prove that a Caymanian doesn't have the skills to do his job in a very basic way - not that a Caymanian could be better, just that they would be able to do the bare bones of the job. The majority of jobs availabke are those that Caymanians don't want to do - mainly in the service and hospitality industries - working in bars and hotels or restaurants. At the top end, if he's a Lawyer or a Banker he might be employable, but the middle easy ground is occupied by Caymanians who know an easy life when they see one.

    I couldn't name one competent Principal on the island in any school. That's sad to say, but it's totally true. A new guy has just taken over at one of the High Schools, but I can't see him staying too long. The Principal at the other Govt High School is just unreal. Words fail me when I even think about her. And as for the Principal at the FE place, well.

    At the end of the day, if you like the sea and beaches and you aren't too worried about changing the world and you have plenty of disposable income, then Cayman is the place for you. Lots of people I know are like that. They compromise their true feelings for the sea and the sun
     
  3. lindagray2

    lindagray2 New commenter

    Sounds like nothing has changed since I left.
    Glad I did.
    I now earn a fraction what I earnt in Cayman - but the children I teach are, for the most part, delightful and I am far happier.
    I did manage off my mortgage, before the age of 40, with the help of my Cayman wages and pension but my emotional wellbeing suffered while I was there.
     
  4. bchuckle

    bchuckle New commenter

    I hear you, lindagray2.

    I'm also very glad I left. It never changes and never will.

    You're exactly right about wellbeing. If you're not tough or you don't really care, it'll break you.

    It's all just a shame, but there's too much to fix and expats should avoid at all costs.
     
  5. pompeii

    pompeii New commenter

    Cost of living is exhorbitant - have a look on one of those cost of living site to check prices.
    On the whole I have to unfortunately agree with most of what has been said here! However, everyone is different and you may find you enjoy it - some teachers do!
     
  6. bchuckle

    bchuckle New commenter

    I agree that some people adapt and love it. I can think of plenty of people who have been in the Govt system for years, but they long gave up trying to change anything - you just focus on you and your evenings and weekends.

    There's no doubt that things have gone backwards in the last couple of years and I hear that crime is certainly on the rise. With an election coming next year, there will be more uncertainty. It's likely a new Minister will come in and undo everything that has been set up over the last three years (which isn't much, to be fair).

    At the end of the day, there are nicer places and better standards of living to be had. I got bored really quickly of the same restaurants and bars and people, but I never got bored of the beach. There are some decent people in the system if you can find them, but there are less than there were, as people have and do leave and the replacements for UK teachers have tended to be from Jamaica where, generally, teachers have a less progressive and open approach to teaching.
     
  7. liannajg

    liannajg New commenter

    emocall I'd be interested to hear what you found out and what you decided! I am in a similar position...
     
  8. beans83

    beans83 New commenter

    Hi I have been offered a job in a special needs unit. I have until Thursday (2dsys time) to make my decision. I'm very confused and feel I shouldn't take the job after reading this thread. I am a 32 year old Irish female.
    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  9. 576

    576 Established commenter

    SEN unit! I think there's only the one.
    Teaching in Cayman was no picnic. But I don't regret it. I met amazing friends, experienced life in a completely different place. I'm now in another country - without taking that leap to go to Cayman I may never have got this experience. It won't be easy but it's not all bad.
     
  10. beans83

    beans83 New commenter

    Thanks for the reply. What do you mean it won't be easy? Did you manage to save money there? Do you need a car or could you manage without one? Sorry for all the questions.
     
  11. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I mean some ex-pats think anywhere is better than home. There's still observations, performance management and on top of thatexpats are caribbeaneafelthat white expa
    Sorry, on phone.
    Caribbean teachers feel that white expat teachers are promoted more easily ( I agree) which can cause issues.
    Also many caymanians don't value education which means many playup inclass.
    Yes I saved but judging from whtsompost arlrwages are still at thelevelthey wW lesago. You definitely need acar.
     
  12. russellchild3

    russellchild3 New commenter

    It is everything they say a broken system, terrible managers not worth it.
     

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