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Any information on Muscat College?

 
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KathyK



Joined: 13 Aug 2004
Posts: 19
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:57 pm    Post subject: Any information on Muscat College? Reply with quote

I'm just starting to look into applying for jobs in the Middle East and have been following the job ads closely. I just saw an ad yesterday for Muscat College. I don't see any threads anywhere on this site discussing this college. Does anyone have any information about this school? Is it a good potential employer or one of the schools you want to avoid?

Kathy
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16086
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KathyK

No one has responded, so I will at least share the little that I know about them. The college is based on a British style system. I taught at one of the other private colleges that was based on an American system. Our students who failed out of the English program because of not being able to reach a high enough level of English usually went over there and entered at the top of their scale!! I think they may be more trade school oriented rather than academic. (just assuming this because of the low levels of English they seemed to accept - so I could be wrong.)

I have never heard any complaints from the teachers or seen anything here. I suspect that they are much like the other private colleges - lower in pay than SQU - but OK places to teach. They normally have a mix of nationalities teaching in a smallish English Department - Asians, other Arabs, and even an Omani perhaps, along with a few Westerners. Most of the private colleges also have a split shift where you have to come in a couple of late afternoons and teach a class.

I would say that it would be worth applying there. At least it is in the capital area. But, not knowing your experience or your goals or expectations, it is hard to say for sure. Smile Sorry that my information couldn't be more specific

VS
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KathyK



Joined: 13 Aug 2004
Posts: 19
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS,

Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I'm looking for a position that I would like to keep for several years so would rather hold out and apply for schools with better students. These boards are really fantastic! With this kind of insider information at my disposal, I don't feel as afraid as I would were I going in blind.

Thanks again.

Kathy
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Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi KathyK

Much depends on what you mean by 'better' students. Many of the Omani students do tend to be low level - a result of secondary school English classes not yet being as good as they could or should be. But, I found them a pleasure to teach for the most part. I taught there for almost 6 years and had very few students that I wouldn't be happy to have in a class again.

Have you considered applying to SQU?

VS
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KathyK



Joined: 13 Aug 2004
Posts: 19
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS,

Yes, SQU seems to be one of the schools that emerges from these postings as one of the good ones. When do they recruit? I'm looking for a position that would begin in fall 2005 and it seems that the schools' web sites are still advertising for this year.

Kathy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KathyK

My goodness, you do plan ahead!! You may be way too organized for the Middle East. Smile

But seriously, the time to apply for jobs in the Gulf is just after the first of the year. Then you get to practice the art of patience for a few months because they won't finalize hiring until probably April or May.

I could probably recommend some other places if you tell me more about your education and experience. If you would rather not post information on the board, send me a PM.

VS
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KathyK



Joined: 13 Aug 2004
Posts: 19
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS,

I really do appreciate your willingness to offer me insights into this process. Since you asked I will give you the thumbnail sketch of my background and that can help you to know the kinds of schools that I might apply to.

I have a Ph.D in English/Comparative Literature.
I have a certificate in TESL (although only the 40-hour online variety).
I have two years experience teaching conversational English in Japan (before I started grad school).
I have eight years of experience (four as a grad TA and four as a bona fide Assistant Professor of English) teaching literature and composition at American colleges and universities. Some of that experience can be parlayed into ESL experience as I've taught freshman composition courses designed specifically for ESL students and I've also sat on several ESL committees at the universities. I've only taught in California and New York so most of my students do not speak English as their first language and even if the courses aren't ostensibly ESL courses, these issues do come up regularly and I've learned how to deal with them. I would say that teaching composition to ESL students has become a real strength of mine.

Why do I want to leave my tenure-track job in the U.S. and teach abroad again? Well, I'm living and working in New York City and I have to teach two jobs just to make enough money to rent someone's 250-square-foot basement apartment! At this rate I'm never going to save up enough money for a down payment on a co-op apartment AND I have virtually no free time to enjoy New York City because all I do is plan lessons, teach lessons, and then read student papers. With teaching two jobs I'm burning out on reading student papers far faster than I should be if I want to stay in this career until I retire (and I do!). I majored in foreign language as an undergrad and went into Comparative Literature because I had the intention of eventually teaching abroad. Well, an eight-year marriage ended that idea. I started thinking more like a couple and less like a person (which I would argue is the right thing to do). That marriage is now over and my own desires are starting to come out again. I've been thinking quite a lot about teaching abroad again. I have a very good friend who I met while I was in the Ph.D program and she in the M.A. in TESOL at the same university. She's been teaching in the UAE for three years now and loves it (at Zayed U). I spent some time with her when she was visiting in July and I picked her brain for hours. Based on all my needs and desires, it seems like the Middle East could be a really good place for me for the next five to ten years.

Because I hope to stay for a long stretch I really want to make a wise choice in school. I don't mind low-level students though. I've taught for a couple years at a community college and I am good at working with students who are developing basic skills. What I'm not good at...well, what I simply lack the patience for is students who act out in class and are disruptive. I'd really like to avoid that if at all possible. I even considered focusing entirely on Japan because I wouldn't have that problem there. My feeling though is that I already lived there and I'm ready to try something new.

Well, before this turns into a novel, I'll stop and eagerly wait for whatever comments you might have. Once again, I really appreciate your willingness to share your experience and insights with me.

Kathy
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Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KathyK

Check out your PMs above. I've got a couple good ideas for you. Smile

VS
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