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Pre-MA teaching experience really not valued?
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ChloeJoe



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 12
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:50 am    Post subject: Pre-MA teaching experience really not valued? Reply with quote

Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum and have very much been enjoying reading through all of your posts about teaching in SA. (And scot47, I love the 'Magic Kingdom' phrase. Smile

I was really concerned, however, to read comments about pre-MA teaching not counting towards job requirement counts. Is this really always the case? That's pretty disheartening.

A little about me: I'm 27 now...when I was 23 I went to Prague to teach English for a year, only to decide I wanted to make a career of it. On advice of a seasoned TESOLer, I spent another year there to gain experience and then I went back to the USA to get my MA (Applied Ling, TESOL emphasis). I'm finished with it now and am looking for my next stint abroad. I've been looking at jobs and congratulating myself on not being a total newbie..until now...

The job in Prague was a real position--I taught 10 90-minute classes per semester at a university in Prague and got myself a few private students. I was given a textbook but I created most of my own materials. I think I came in on the last 'glory days' of accepting BA holders.

The above information is on my resume, so all this is to say, am I basically still going to be considered as having no experience? I was hoping to get a moderately well-paying job so I can pay down my behemoth $90,000 in student loans (BA, MA, and online MBA because I'd like to teach Business English again one day).

Apologies for the long post, but I've seen other responders want newbie posters to be more informative with their situations. Could someone give me advice on how my experience will stack up in Saudi Arabia? I was looking at PNU (bureaucracy and 'enthusiastic' students I have certainly experienced and do not fear...much). Or should I be looking at other places in the Gulf? I've been thinking about Asia too but it seems I could save more in the ME.

Thanks so much in advance. Smile [/i]


Last edited by ChloeJoe on Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15960
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not that pre-MA experience is ignored completely. It may help you get a job, but if an advertised positions says MA + 2 or 3 years of experience, they mean AFTER the MA. Will they hire you? Maybe or maybe not. The more desirable the job, the less likely they will accept the pre MA stuff. (because there will be more competition that CAN meet the requirement)

Private students don't count. (I wouldn't even mention them unless they happened to be Arabic speakers) On any application you want to emphasize that you were teaching at university level... Academic English (preferably)... reading and writing being Arabic speakers weak skills. If you can tell them that, your two years might get your CV considered.

But your pay will be lower than someone who meets the criteria exactly.

It kind of makes sense... and actually US universities use the same type of pay scales.

So, send out applications and see what happens. Come back and check out the employers that make any offers.

VS
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SENTINEL33



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 112
Location: Bahrain

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:25 am    Post subject: Re: Pre-MA teaching experience really not valued? Reply with quote

I was really concerned, however, to read comments about pre-MA teaching not counting towards job requirement counts. Is this really always the case? That's pretty disheartening.....

I was hoping to get a moderately well-paying job so I can pay down my behemoth $90,000 in student loans (BA, MA, and online MBA because I'd like to teach Business English again one day).

=====================================

Unfortunately for you, you are a prime candidate for one of the military ESL jobs in KSA (KSA=Saudi Arabia). Why? Let me count the ways:

1. They (the military) aren't in the least concerned about "when" you obtained your experience. In other words, your time in Prague would probably "count". (The military aren't restrained by academic rules and regulations as is the case with universities). They just want you to have an MA in TESOL or some such. Couldn't care less about when or where (or even how).

2. It's going to take several years to work down that massive student loan you have. You can actually cut that down to 2 years (if you are determined enough) with one of the military jobs. Anyplace else, you're looking at 5 or more years. (Some of these jobs not only give you a salary, but provide you with clothing and 3 meals a day.....basically, you're "in the military" except you don't have to salute except around contract renewal time....then, anything goes).

3. You're the right age to put up with the daily grind of one of these jobs. Better do it now while you still can. Once you start approaching 40, it's a different kettle of fish.

4. You could probably get hired almost immediately and be in KSA within a couple of months.......why wait till Sept? Plus, they take care of "everything"....in other words, the paperwork you have to be involved with is kept at a minimum.

As I said above, this is unfortunate for you because these jobs are quite "brutal", I would say. When I think back at what I put up with during my time with them........but I could do it then....I certainly couldn't do it now.

Remember that these jobs are not "academic" except very remotely. You'd likely be doing DLI materials (check google if you don't know what that is).

But if you're really out to get rid of that debt, I strongly recommend this way out.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3850
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChloeJoe wrote:
Apologies for the long post, but I've seen other responders want newbie posters to be more informative with their situations. Could someone give me advice on how my experience will stack up in Saudi Arabia?

Try King Abdulaziz Uni's English Language Institute; they tend to hire native-speakers with a relevant MA and minimal teaching experience. Unlike PNU, which uses contracting companies for most of their staffing needs, KAU does its own recruiting and hiring, which is ideal.

SENTINEL33 wrote:
ChloeJoe wrote:
I was looking at PNU (bureaucracy and 'enthusiastic' students I have certainly experienced and do not fear...much).

Unfortunately for you, you are a prime candidate for one of the military ESL jobs in KSA (KSA=Saudi Arabia).

The OP is female; Saudi military TEFL jobs aren't open to her.
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SENTINEL33



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 112
Location: Bahrain

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:39 am    Post subject: Re: Pre-MA teaching experience really not valued? Reply with quote

ChloeJoe wrote:

Apologies for the long post, but I've seen other responders want newbie posters to be more informative with their situations.


NS: The OP is female; Saudi military TEFL jobs aren't open to her.
===================

Ooops. Well, maybe she knows someone more appropriate to these jobs she can forward my comments to.

Although I'm curious how one is supposed to know the OP is female. Did I miss something?

Also it's funny (but typical) of an OP that states

"Apologies for the long post.....but [everyone wants newbie posters to be more informative...]

....and then fails to include the most important part of her "situation".
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3850
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject: Re: Pre-MA teaching experience really not valued? Reply with quote

SENTINEL33 wrote:
Ooops. Well, maybe she knows someone more appropriate to these jobs she can forward my comments to.

Although I'm curious how one is supposed to know the OP is female. Did I miss something?

She mentioned that she was looking at PNU; Princess Noura University is a women's university.
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sicklyman



Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 449

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

not sure many guys would go for that username either... esp guys who want to work in Saudi Wink
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3850
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChloeJoe wrote:
I was hoping to get a moderately well-paying job so I can pay down my behemoth $90,000 in student loans (BA, MA, and online MBA because I'd like to teach Business English again one day).

That's a lot of student loan debt for someone aged 27---I feel for you. I hope you didn't get the online MBA for the sole purpose of teaching biz English; it's not a very lucrative ESP domain unless you have an extensive network of loyal clients as well as work experience in the corporate world.
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ChloeJoe



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 12
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the tips, VS and nomad soul! Yes, after reading the boards I was coming around to accepting the idea. It's just nice to have further advice on the matter. And nomad soul, I'll definitely check out Abdulazziz.

Sentinel, I also appreciate the information...and am happy to provide you with the amusement of a newbie poster posting a newbie post... Wink I'm sure you'll continue to see it.

Yes, the loan amount is large, but at least I've been seeing it coming. For a while now, I've been thinking about paying some of them off via jobs in the ME. I'll keep looking, but I may need to do a couple of years in Asia first.

The MBA is partially for Business English, and it's a long-term career move. I followed the advice of several seasoned TESOLers who teach Business English now. It's another resume enhancement. However, I am done racking up debt now and am focused on finding a good job! I really appreciate all advice!
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D. Merit



Joined: 02 May 2008
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChloeJoe wrote:
I am done racking up debt now and am focused on finding a good job!



No, you're focussed on finding a well paid job. Frequently a very different thing from a 'good' job in ME TESOL. Wink

Good luck.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12166
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

US$90,000 in debt ? And you are going to pay that off in a job earning less than $4,000 a month ? Wow !
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ChloeJoe



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 12
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merit: Haha..well at the moment I could go either way.

Scot: Yep. I've decided to consider it a challenge. I'm single, frugal and a workaholic. The more someone says something will be hard, the more I want to try it. Wink

Bring it on.
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cultofpersonality



Joined: 12 Jan 2012
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She's gotta start from somewhere, lol

90,000 dollars...Americans really have to spend a lot on education! I thought we had it bad in the UK...obviously not!

Some places care about pre-MA experience and some don't.
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SENTINEL33



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 112
Location: Bahrain

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cultofpersonality wrote:


90,000 dollars...Americans really have to spend a lot on education! I thought we had it bad in the UK...obviously not!

"For example, the average published price of tuition and fees at a four-year public college is $8,660, but the average net price — what the average family really pays — is just $2,910."

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/college-costs/college-costs-faqs

Even today, you can easily obtain a BA degree in the USA for around $10,000, certainly for $20,000. (TOTAL, not per year) You just have to plan and be realistic.

For example, you can go to a 2-year "community college" and live at home and pay almost nothing (in most states). You can then transfer to a 4 year state college (in hour home state) close to home and also continue living at home. You have to forget owning a car or going "on vacations". (like I did). You also have to forget going to "name" schools. (Will a BA from Bryn Mawr really count for much in the long run?.......No, it won't.) ( It would only matter if you were a "debutante" and had a formal "cotillion" ball somewhere as part of your upbringing).)

So you're up to $20.000 (max.) with your BA.

There are many places you can get an MA in TESOL/Linguistics in a year, 2 max.......most likely there will be TA jobs available on campus for EFL teachers, so you could do that.

My point is - no matter what - no MA is going to cost $70,000 for a total of $90,000 as is the case with the OP for a measly BA and MA. That's completely irrational.

Somewhere along the OP's "planning", something went horribly wrong. It was either unrealistic expectations or no planning at all or, most likely, a combination. Whatever, the result is totally goofy. And the solution is coming to KSA?

Well, bon chance, habeebtee. I think you're going to really need it.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15960
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She has a BA and an MA and an MBA.

Lots of us change horses in the middle of the stream and end up taking more than 4 years to finish the first one. Few HS grads are practical enough to do it the way you recommend - the whole idea for most of them is leave home and have the full experience. (and have a car, iPhone, and all the other frills Cool)

My MA was free under a Fellowship, but when I returned to the US, I was considering a second MA from the University of Maryland in 2002... until I added up the numbers and found that it would cost me $25K plus books. At my age, that wasn't financially feasible.

Sadly, I don't think our poster's experience is unusual financially speaking.

VS
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