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Curious about UGRU at UAE University
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Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 68
Location: Limbo

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Those days of extreme frustration have been over for the past 2 years. Thanks to Maxine, our curriculum person, and her committee we have a framework that covers not only English, but the other departments at UGRU (BTW, I am not on the committee and have nothing to do with curriculum development...I'm not worthy to work with such a team Very Happy ). Therefore, what students learn in their English classes connects to what they are doing in Math, Arabic and IT. The tests are in line with the goals and objectives of the course and the material is getting there too. Students now have a separate writing class from their integrated skills class which has been a success even though it was only implemented this year. The CEPA exams have indeed improved the quality of the students as well as the new "three strikes-you're out" rule (can't fail the same level 3 times). The new TOEFL and soon to be IELTS requirements to enter the university after Level 3 have also helped to raise the quality of our students (or I should say the students we do pass to the faculties of the university). It's an exciting time to be here.... this year we've even seen people who had left UGRU come back-they seem very happy with their decision.
Jeesh, I sound like a nerd.
Tefllifer, I thought you were one of our new teachers. They are the ones doing all the complaining this year. The biggest complaint was about their brand-new luxurious apartment building (I swear the places there look like lobbies of 5 star hotels). They don't pay for electricity, have their own swimming pool and gym and a supermarket--it's quite a complex.... but, there's been too much dust and things like that because of the construction... I can't talk about it any more because I'm going to cry. Whatever Wink
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest complaint was about their brand-new luxurious apartment building (I swear the places there look like lobbies of 5 star hotels).

Gnocchiman, will teachers starting in September also get to leave in these luxury apartments? Please say yes.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11
Location: UAE

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:40 am    Post subject: new housing for teachers? Reply with quote

I'm glad to hear about the housing possibilities for new teachers. During the years I worked at UGRU, I did not have two complete weeks without either plumbing or electrical problems in my flat. They tore apart two bathrooms several times each and replaced the shower hoses at least 40 times, all to no avail. Half fix one problem, cause two new ones. I often took a bath out of a bucket, especially whenever one shower was broken (again) and the other gave out either very hot or very cold water (multiple visits by incompetent maintenance proved fruitless). At one gathering I mentioned this to a colleague, who shared that he had had to take bucket showers on a number of occasions, as well. I made more than a dozen trips to try to change my housing, but was unsuccessful, unlike others. But I was able to secure a water pump for my persistence. That helped somewhat, but the problems never ended. Ever sprouting rivers in bathrooms, leaking water heaters, leaking bedroom ceilings during rainstorms, etc. I don't think it was possible to buy cheaper quality and shorter lasting parts. Try going through that before 8:00 classes on a regular basis. Having said all this, I do know that others were more fortunate than I was with regards to housing problems.
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Joined: 04 Apr 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 8:58 am    Post subject: ugru Reply with quote

The director of ugru, like most lecturers in universities, has no formal teacher training nor any qualifications in the field of education. He has a team of people around him who agree to most things he suggests in order to keep their jobs.( quite understandable) He relies on advisors imported from the USA at great expense for guidance on educational matters. Such advisors obviously know little or nothing about the culture or the needs of the students and try to use US based systems in a situation where they may not provide the best answers. If you are prepared to be told what to do, how to do it, when to do it and threatened with a warning letter in your file if you don't do it, then ugru is the place for you but leave your initiative at home, it won't be appreciated.
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Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings all,

I've now had five people ask me if I was the GnocchiMan... so I had to come see what's happening. Dang it, s/he DOES sound like me!!! Shocked !! 'cept I've been at UGRU 5 yrs, not 3. So, while the challenge to unmask the GnocchiMan goes on, and after some in-depth analysis of his/her posts, I have narrowed it down, and, bro, I would almost drop a clue as to your name... Twisted Evil

Anyhow, besides checking out my GnocchiMan alter ego, I'm writing to say that work conditions at UGRU are what you make of them:

plenty of opportunities to shine if you want to - BRING your initiative!

and you will be treated like a professional if you behave like a professional;

and it matters not one dry fig whether the director holds a degree in education, since it is management skills s/he needs for the position (and it's also possible for educators in management to make incredible messes...);

and housing issues can be a bit of a pain: retain composure and play the persistence card..;

and advisors are actually approachable and seem to carry a fair deal of common sense in their recommendations and are ready to accept feedback as a way to improve the 'next step' - I only hope they'll have the endurance needed to stick around (BTW, what US systems are they imposing? Not true);

and on the campus I work (Islamic Institute North Wing, Chapter 390 of Secret Society 12b Razz ) there's no whining new teachers;

and the 'luxurious' apartments are no better than the housing I was allocated (lucked out, I guess);

and GnocchiMan is most certainly worthy of working with management if he wants to and so is any UGRU teacher who works towards it - absolutely a great bunch of colleagues... even those who go on forever on minutiae at meetings Laughing ;

and tefllifer is also right IMO when he says constant change is one of the challenges UGRU faces, and it is also true that now these changes seem to be heading into some sort of common direction;

Malfrazy sounds like s/he's not been given the due recognition and celebration his/her genius deserves: get over it!;

and since several other admin people have been mentioned, I'll take this opp to recommend my favourite one for the Nobel Peace Prize: three cheers for the Razor!!!

and I've given myself a quiet year this year so I'm a bit out of the loop so to speak, but I would have no hesitation in saying "take the job if UGRU offers one to you"... you can always leave if it isn't to your liking.

Regards to all,

The real Gnocchi, Man Razz
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Truth Hurts

Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 115
Location: Truthville

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I know OOGGROOO is not hiring right now but will they be looking for quick fixes in July/August when or if anyone who accepted pulls out at the last minute....

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Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11
Location: UAE

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 12:10 pm    Post subject: some caveats to prossett's post Reply with quote

1. In reality, "Bring your initiative" can easily lead to a teacher receiving a warning memo in his or her pigeon hole. It's happened.

2. The accuracy of "You will be treated like a professional if you behave like a professional" depends largely on who is dishing out the treatment. Real-life experiences at UGRU would indicate this sentence to be full of holes. It subsumes that one group actually practices professional behavior moreso than the other. A better sentence might read: Although you behave professionally, don't be surprised if you're treated unprofessionally.

3. As for the Nobel Peace Prize nomination, that fits right up there with the "Sharon is a Man of Peace" award. You've met Dr. Jekyll, many others have met Mr. Hyde.

As for the kind of educational environment at UAEU, a 'D' student on the women's campus can easily call her boyfriend on a campus payphone but an 'A' student standing a meter away can be kicked out for the semester for using a mobile phone to call her father to pick her up. That's the way things are without the whitewash.

Other than that, the colleagues can indeed be a great bunch of people to work with...
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