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Sakkara Language School

 
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saif



Joined: 21 Oct 2003
Posts: 23
Location: Jizan, KSA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 1:58 pm    Post subject: Sakkara Language School Reply with quote

Saw their post on the international job board that this school needed instructors to come on a two-weeks notice. When trying to send all the necessary information to sakkara_school@msn.com, all my emails come back undelivered. Is there any other channel that I could send my necessary documents? In addition, how creditable is this school? Is it just a language school or do they teach religion also?

Here is the link:

http://www.eslcafe.com/joblist/index.cgi?read=6798


Saif Al-Amreekee
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15863
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saif

I believe that you are already beyond the 2 weeks. As the ad says, they are a private school - taught in English - looks to be K-12. All students in Egypt at this level take religion classes according to their religion.

I have heard little good about this school. They seem to have a very high teacher turnover. Check out the Job Information journal. I believe that there used to some postings there. It would certainly be helpful if we could get some input from current teachers or anyone who had taught there in the last year or so to see if things have improved.

Maybe the return of the emails was an omen?? Smile

VS
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12096
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 6:40 am    Post subject: dodgy Reply with quote

If they can't get their e-mail working what about other aspects of administration ?

That would set the alarm bells ringing for me.
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saif



Joined: 21 Oct 2003
Posts: 23
Location: Jizan, KSA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback. I have a friend who is in Cairo that lives near the school. He is checking it out to give some additional feedback. I have to learn for now on to read between the lines. There is no substitute for wisdom! Thanks again.

Saif
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rana



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2003 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saif,
if you are an Arab-American it may be the case that they dont want you. I had that experience with Sakkara several years back. The salary is low, $600/ month for Overseas hires and many of my friends who worked there complained, but at least it was a paycheck. Many people don't have tecahing credentials, which is the case in many schools here just a BA and some people dont even have that. I would try International School Choueifat, if you really want to come to Cairo. They pay well, the location is a bit far though. In Egypt the best places to teach are AUC and CAC. After that there are some international schools. It really depends on what you are looking for, what you want, and what your needs are. Some things depend on credential and experience, to get the better paying jobs with more stable administration.

BTW, I dont know that the salary is still that high even or that it is still in dollars, the egyptian economy has been hit hard the past 3 years and the vaule of the egyptian pound has gone from 3.44 to 7 to the U$D.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12096
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 4:08 am    Post subject: Arab World Reply with quote

For those interested in the Arab world the best bet is Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE or Oman. At least you will get a decent salary and yoy will then be in a position to visit the non-oil states as a tourist !
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RevolutionTeacher



Joined: 21 Jun 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject: Sakkara Language School Reply with quote

DO NOT WORK HERE!!

The pay is horrible and the staff are extremely rude. It is a family owned school and the son is in charge. He is dumb as nails and attempts to sleep with teachers.

There is no lessons planned, you create everything.

The bathroom has no toilets or closing doors.

They pay you under the table, which means you work illegally.

You never get a work Visa and they hold your diploma as ransom.

Oh, and they beat the students hard.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15863
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have had a lot of teachers pass through this place over the years. Most have used it as a foot in the door in education jobs in Cairo and moved on as soon as they could.

Work visas have always been rare in these school jobs, but this issue has become very cloudy with the "rulers" so I would avoid Egypt jobs that don't provide a legal work visa for awhile. (many have done it for years with no problem, but times are changing)

My second comment would be to never never never let your original education documents leave your sight... ever... in a any country... with any employer.

VS
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MaadiTeacher



Joined: 28 Aug 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all

I worked at Sakkara last year and thought I would share my experiences as the reviews online are from a few years back. They're currently advertising again so anyone thinking of applying might find this useful (sorry in advance for the long post!).

This was my first teaching job. I'd read the mixed reviews online and they do pretty much convey an accurate picture of the school. Essentially, I got what I expected: nothing better, nothing worse.

Firstly, about Egypt itself: I adore Egypt but it is different now since/during the revolution. You will be in Maadi, which is a posh suburb and so rarely gets affected by political events, but generally Cairo isn’t as safe as it was. However, I never felt any less safe than in any other big city. The harassment is worse for sure, and if you’re not familiar with the Middle East in this respect, be wary when talking to men and in how you conduct yourself.

As to the school, to address the application questions: a picture is totally standard for the Middle East. I had a phone interview but it was more of a formality. The foreign teachers last year were a mixture of American, British, Canadian and New Zealand.

The school won’t get you a work visa. It is always promised in the job advert (I believed them!) but they will simply renew your tourist visa. I had no problems, but some of the girls got asked at the airport why they had been in Egypt so long. You get paid cash in hand (Egyptian pounds) - over the course of last year, the value dropped so quickly which meant exchanging money was painful, especially as there’s a general shortage of hard currency in Egypt at the moment. Don’t give them your diploma/degree, otherwise they’ll hold the certificates ransom all year.

However, what is good about the school, on the logistics side, is that they do always pay you on time and don’t mess you around when it comes to salary. All new teachers are paid the same, so the ‘expected salary’ on the application is not really relevant. If you’re just looking to spend what you earn, you can live a comfortable (if not excessive) expat lifestyle on this salary - for example, you can eat out every day, have a cleaner, etc, but probably can’t shop til you drop whenever you feel like it and any travel has to be on a bit of a budget. Accommodation is paid for and is generally fine (again, keeping in mind this is Egypt). Airfare is refunded in January.

The school itself: classes are between 25 and 30 and students are pretty crammed in, which doesn’t create a great working atmosphere, particularly at the start and end of the year when it’s very hot (there’s no air con). There is no technology and the three computers/printers in the staff room work intermittently. Definitely bring your own computer otherwise you’ll be stuck. Egyptian staff are generally friendly (like everywhere, some people work hard, others don't) and it really helps to be able to speak a bit of Arabic as not everyone speaks English. The supervisor system is changing slightly for next year and there should be a foreign returning teacher in charge so that will hopefully improve things.

Otherwise, you’re pretty much left to your own devices. As others have said, the big advantage of this is you get to experiment with various teaching methods and you can teach, to a degree, what you like. I disagree that the workload is tough: you will have lots of break time during the day and I was usually able to do everything in school time, maybe a couple of hours a week at home.

It can be incredibly frustrating at times as things will be sprung on you or changed at the last second, particularly around exams/holiday time. The school is essentially run as a business, and so students are passed every year even when they shouldn’t be. This means you will have students whose English levels range (depending on their age) from elementary to fluent (no exaggeration). There is no streaming or acknowledgement of students who have special needs, and so classroom management can be difficult. The main problem with discipline, however, is a serious lack of consequences. Students will never, ever be expelled (even when some of mine had done things which they should have been expelled for) - the most they get is a day’s suspension. By the time they’re a bit older, students know this and so some simply act up the entire time and there’s no real way of managing it.

Working in Egypt, and specifically at Sakkara, is hard work. Most days felt like an uphill struggle. Added to that the fact that you will (unavoidably) get sick, and the political situation, everything can become quite volatile and over-dramatic. It definitely doesn’t feel like a professional workplace. It’s not all awful though, and it hasn't put me off teaching at all. If you’re looking for the chance to explore Egypt (you can get away with being a shockingly bad teacher if you want to - no one’s ever been sacked…), or want the first step on the teaching/EFL ladder, it’s a great starting point. I wouldn’t do it again for another year, but I definitely don’t regret it either. And, cheesey as it sounds, it’s the students who make it worth it in the end. A few exceptions aside, it’s so rewarding to see them improve over the year. Egypt itself has a quality unlike anywhere else I’ve been - either you feel its magic or you don’t (most people do!) - and it makes you a stronger person when you come out the other side!
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear MT,

Thank you for that thoughtful, balanced, and very detailed post. Very Happy

.
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