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Ex UK Police Officer seeking advice on ESL in Middle East

 
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panatelladavid



Joined: 10 Jun 2017
Posts: 14
Location: Wuxi

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:30 pm    Post subject: Ex UK Police Officer seeking advice on ESL in Middle East Reply with quote

Hi,

Some opinions and/or advice would be helpful.

Last year I resigned from a 14 year UK Police career to pursue teaching ESL.
I’m currently teaching at an Adult Training Centre in China.
I’m Trinity TESOL Certified.


For a variety of reasons I’d like to teach in the Middle East.
Given my professional background, I’d like opinions on whether I should focus my applications towards any specific types of institution (e.g. military/uniformed services etc)?
Furthermore, could my professional background be of any advantage?

Any opinions/advice would be greatly appreciated.

David
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hash



Joined: 17 Dec 2014
Posts: 447
Location: Wadi Jinn

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To obtain good professional advice, you’re going to have to be a little more forthcoming with personal details:
1- why exactly did you leave your previous career (especially after 14 years? In the US, you’d be 6 years away from a life-long pension with benefits)

2- why did you choose EFL as a new career

3- Why China? and, very important 4- why now the Middle East?

I will say a couple of things:

1- the fact you’re looking to change locations AFTER ONLY 1 YEAR in China, is not a good sign. It points to all kinds of missteps, misgivings, misunderstandings and misinformation (on your part).

2- the Middle East, in particular the Gulf (where all the best ESL jobs have traditionally been located) is not what it used to be as far as high salaries. The “golden years” have long since passed. (I would actually say this is a world-wide phenomenon, not limited to the Middle East – Check posts on this board for a “feel” of what’s going on in the profession.)

3- If you left your previous post because you saw how little your efforts counted in the war “against crime”, how little societal and govt. backing you got in your struggles, how “unreasonable” and untenuous the whole thing had become (and so on), you’re going to find, for the most part, a similar situation in the ESL profession in the Middle East.

Rumours to the contrary, an ESL career in the Middle East has never been a kind of catharsis for career and life disappointments of any kind.

As thousands have found out, such personal problems tend to be magnified and exacerbated under the cruel, pitiless Arabian sun.

Good Luck.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11384
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

panatelladavid wrote:
For a variety of reasons I’d like to teach in the Middle East.

Given my professional background, I’d like opinions on whether I should focus my applications towards any specific types of institution (e.g. military/uniformed services etc)?

Furthermore, could my professional background be of any advantage?

It would be best if you gave the reasons why you want to teach EFL in KSA. Otherwise, it's hard to say if you should focus only on defense positions or teach in KSA at all. But if military gigs are your sole target, you'll notice that having a UK passport limits you. You can only apply for those positions you're qualified for. Plus, prior military experience generally isn't a requirement.

Additionally, as hash pointed out, salaries aren't as stellar as they were years ago. Be realistic about your expectations (whatever they are).
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panatelladavid



Joined: 10 Jun 2017
Posts: 14
Location: Wuxi

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi mate,

Thanks for your detailed response. Much appreciated.

1. Because of pension reform, I had another 22 years to go. It’s worth highlighting that I did my Trinity TESOL in 2003 and always had ambitions to teach ESL. Furthermore, I’d achieved all I wanted to achieve in policing.
2. For all the obvious reasons in terms of personal development and a new found love for teaching. Also, and simply put, I wanted cultural change and to work ‘overseas’.
1. I always intended on using EF in China as a springboard. My transition has been really smooth, beneficial and enjoyable.
2. I’m truly not expecting a 6 figure salary but one better than what I can achieve in China. Plus, the region really appeals to me. Always has done. I appreciate that it's a vast and diverse ‘region’ to which I am naïve. Hence the posting.
3. I really don't have any naïve or romantic misconceptions. I’m more than willing to graft.

Any further guidance based on the above would again be appreciated.

Many thanks guys : )
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11384
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

panatelladavid wrote:
For all the obvious reasons in terms of personal development and a new found love for teaching.
....
I’m truly not expecting a 6 figure salary but one better than what I can achieve in China.

You have one year's experience in China but didn't mention your education. I'll assume you have a BA unrelated to TEFL. That puts you at the bottom for jobs in KSA where you'd likely only appeal to sketchy Saudi for-profit companies. Your earnings (when paid) would be lukewarm and you'd probably lose your love for teaching. (For example, see the recent thread, Avoid King Saud First Year Common.)

Frankly, China seems to offer better opportunities than KSA.
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hash



Joined: 17 Dec 2014
Posts: 447
Location: Wadi Jinn

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your responses have not been convincing. As a long-time member of faculty hiring committees, let me tell you what I found missing:

1- As Nomad Soul pointed out, there’s no mention of your undergraduate degree. This is a startling omission for someone applying for an academic position.

2- I wouldn’t push your police background too far. Police in the Middle East occupy a very different societal status than they do in Britain. Mention it, yes….but don’t make it a focal point.

3- You’re mum about your “family” and dependent status. This is an issue that plays an important role in the hiring process. (and in the “advising” process too)

4- No mention about your “future” in the field. If ESL is going to be a “career”, you seriously have to start thinking of getting an MA in the field (on campus, not “ at distance”). With what you have (assuming you do have a BA), you’ll always be at the bottom of the barrel as far as employment.

5. Not a peep, not even a rustle, about your students, your classes, your approaches, your familiarity with technology in education and so on. For me as a recruiter, this has always been a priority. How committed really is this applicant to the field?

Your approach has to be: what can I do for this employer rather than what can this employer/job do for me? So far, you’re heavy on the latter and non-existent in the former. Just so you know that’s how you’re coming across…especially for an applicant weak in qualifications and experience.

Not looking for a reply or explanation here, actually. After all, you’re not really applying through me.


.
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psychedelicacy



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 179
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried to send this OP a private message, as someone who previously worked in the Middle East (Saudi and Qatar) but now has a very well-paid and enjoyable position in China. However, unfortunately this site is now virtually unusable and I cannot send said PM.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1609
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:14 am    Post subject: hmm Reply with quote

There are employers who like ex-military type people: BAe in KSA, dyncorps for the odd teaching job in a war zone for megabucks and RAFO (Omani airforce).

You might be better off in China the way things are going. I'm a Gulf/North Africa vet (oil and gas gigs).

You can pm me if this website works for a change.
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