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Minimum qualification and experience needed for Middle East

 
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DarylM



Joined: 03 Jan 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:59 am    Post subject: Minimum qualification and experience needed for Middle East Reply with quote

Can anyone give me a general guideline on quals and exp needed for each country in the Middle East and the institutions that employ English teachers?

I have a non-English related degree, a PGCE, a TESOL certificate.
I have 1 year English state school teaching experience and 6 years TESOL teaching, mainly school based, some business.

Where should I be aiming for a job that will build on my skills, pay a decent wage and open opportunities for better things?

Which country and what kind of institution?


Last edited by DarylM on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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helenl



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 1182

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With your PGCE you may be looked at by International Schools following the British curriculum. Your other quals won't usually even get your CV looked at by the better employers.
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DarylM



Joined: 03 Jan 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping the post back up after getting positive feedback from a recruiter in Saudi Arabia.

Ok, so the best jobs all go to the people with TESOL M.A.s. and PhDs. What about the rest? It seems to me that there can't be so many women who are both post grad qualified and willing to live with the restrictions in Saudi that the market is swamped.

I'm aware that there are bad agencies and bad employers waiting for the inexperienced and under-qualified everywhere in this job.

Where's the middle ground in the Middle East? Entry level jobs for the almost-well-qualified/experienced? What kind of pay is entry level?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15854
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There really isn't much middle ground. Those with lesser credentials fall into the market of iffy employer and often unscrupulous recruiters. Saudi recruiters tend to give positive feedback if you are breathing. Laughing It is the place with the most issues with bad employers who are casual about credentials.

Helen1 gave you the answer. With your PGCE and experience, you need to look a British Curriculum international schools around the Gulf in the larger cities. Vet them carefully as often the only thing "British" is the name... and the curriculum sort of follows... and some of the teachers might have a British passport. The top international schools pay pretty well. If you are highly experienced, you can about the same pay as the universities.

I'd google them up... apply... and see what kind of offers you get.

VS
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3585
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarylM wrote:
Ok, so the best jobs all go to the people with TESOL M.A.s. and PhDs. What about the rest? It seems to me that there can't be so many women who are both post grad qualified and willing to live with the restrictions in Saudi that the market is swamped.

The majority of my female colleagues (myself included) have at least an MA; some are doctorate holders. We're also a multinational group, respresenting all corners of the world. (EFL instructors aren't always from the major English-speaking, western countries.) Our reasons for living/working in the Kingdom vary. Being a direct hire with an attractive salary and bennies (as well as that all-important iqama) is definitely a huge factor in choosing to live in a restrictive society. But also know that some of the teachers are married to Saudis, while others to men of other nationalities and who have made a life here with their families. I'm single and have settled in since arriving last year. Granted, I'm in Jeddah which is less restrictive than Riyadh.

Anyway, the TEFL ads you see targeting female teachers are mostly from recruiters looking to continuously fill positions that others have vacated. It's like a revolving door---new teachers arrive as others escape. The standards and conditions for these jobs tend to be lower and most of the teachers hired end up coming over on quickie business visit visas. Additionally, I don't think these recruiting companies expect the teachers to stay, so they don't invest in retention incentives. So yes, the better jobs---the direct hire opportunities---go to teachers with the more desirable qualifications, and apparently, the universities aren't experiencing a shortage of candidates to fill those positions. But certainly apply for direct hire spots. No harm in trying.
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DarylM



Joined: 03 Jan 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your interesting and useful replies veiledsentiments and nomadsoul. The demographics of the teaching population explain a lot - much different from here in Korea where the 'English speaking countries' remain king and where men might get themselves an Asian wife but few women marry into the local population, making the teachers more of a homogeneous and transient bunch.

As for the International School situation - that's where I looked first but my qualifications/ experience are old/limited and I know in my heart that I could not compete in that field. On the other hand, I know I'm a very good TESOL teacher, M.A. or not, and prefer to build on that.

It's a hard one. I've checked again the jobs here in Korea and I've found only one job that pays more than I'm earning now, with drawbacks. Even the uni jobs requiring an MA here pay less than I get working in a public school, with beach front accommodation and class hours ranging from 20 on a full week to zero during exams and holidays.

Still I need to feel like I'm progressing and I will no doubt start a TESOL MA this year. The question remains - do I do it here despite being bored and restless, or go for a new experience in Saudi at the risk of it being a disaster? I'm pretty tough - I wonder how bad it can be really.

As I am the sole support for my daughter in uni back in the UK, money is an issue and any job would have to beat the 20k post-tax, free accommodation, annual airfare, bonus and medical insurance I get here. I can also 'save' about two-thirds of my salary here if I'm frugal and I'm assuming the same is true of Saudi.

Sorry for thinking out loud, but I've been backwards and forwards with this over the last six months and have to come to a decision in the next 6 months. Feedback is welcome if you have anything useful to add.

Thanks again for your insights, they are really valuable to me.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3585
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarylM wrote:
Thanks for your interesting and useful replies veiledsentiments and nomadsoul. It's a hard one. I've checked again the jobs here in Korea and I've found only one job that pays more than I'm earning now, with drawbacks. Even the uni jobs requiring an MA here pay less than I get working in a public school, with beach front accommodation and class hours ranging from 20 on a full week to zero during exams and holidays.

Still I need to feel like I'm progressing and I will no doubt start a TESOL MA this year. The question remains - do I do it here despite being bored and restless, or go for a new experience in Saudi at the risk of it being a disaster? I'm pretty tough - I wonder how bad it can be really.

As I am the sole support for my daughter in uni back in the UK, money is an issue and any job would have to beat the 20k post-tax, free accommodation, annual airfare, bonus and medical insurance I get here. I can also 'save' about two-thirds of my salary here if I'm frugal and I'm assuming the same is true of Saudi.

Yes, you'd save plenty in KSA. But if you're going to the Kingdom via a recruiting company, then you'd be taking a huge risk, which isn't a smart move if you have a child to support. The turnover rates for these recruiting outfits are high because the teachers' living/job satisfaction and morale are low. And if they get you a business visit visa, you are essentially working and living in the country illegally. Plus, KSA isn't everyone's cup of tea and might not turn out to be the kind of "new experience" you're looking for.

Despite being bored and restless, you're best to stay where you are and start that MA than to be at the mercy of a crappy Saudi recruiter. Of course, as mentioned before, you could apply to direct hire opportunities in the region and see where that leads you.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15854
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one factor to consider... a KSA recruiter job, actually any low level entry job there, is a risk. Many wash out in the first week to a couple months. If a steady income is crucial in your situation... can you take the risk of moving countries (very expensive) and be unemployed within months?

If your current or an equivalent job there is a dependable, known income for the foreseeable, I would personally think about staying put until your daughter is out of university. (ie... better the devil you know) Meanwhile, get started on that MA and once she is on her own, you can upgrade your credentials and start saving for your future.

VS
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12085
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Winners do not come to the K of SA !
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Yeah, it's nonsense that you need an MA to teach in the ME but the teachers don't make the rules. You've probably got much more useful knowledge about teaching from your PGCE than any MA in TESOL and Applied Linguistics could give you. Ho hum that's the way the world is I'm afraid. I haven't got one and I've had some cracking direct hire jobs in the oil fields, but I'm a bloke. The fact is, even armed with an MA, most teachers end up in the clutches of HAK et al.

Saudi unis don't pay that much anymore. This is maybe 'left field' as the Yanks say but you might wanna have a look at Bonne International jobs for governesses as they pay $6,000 a month and everything is free. What's more, you're in Russia not Saudi. I'd rather deal with 2 Russian kids than 20 Saudi adult children.
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rainbowprof



Joined: 18 Feb 2012
Posts: 133
Location: Penang

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have thought if you can tough out a first year in KSA or Oman (for example), you would then be well on the way to opening doors for better positions in that part of the world, as many of them appear to favour applicants with ME experience. Recruiters in Oman are not as reknown for their unscrupulousness from all that I have read. Also,from the figure you quoted for your current job, I think you'll find there are other jobs in the same location that could offer a bit more. Especially the 'package'. (time off). Is your teaching licence still valid as a certified teacher? I expect that could give you an edge with some employers or for certain jobs. Good luck.
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