Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

To teach or not to teach?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Middle East Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ellie2012



Joined: 01 Apr 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:16 am    Post subject: To teach or not to teach? Reply with quote

Hello everyone!

Thanks for reading. I am interested in moving over to the Middle East and trying to decide whether to pursue a career in ELT over there or another sector. I'd like some insight on where to consider and how to approach my searches.

About me:
- 24 years old, female
- CELTA and 1 year full time teaching experience in Australia to Arabic speaking students (Saudis and some other nationalities)
- BA in Intl Relations, Masters in Sociology (unrelated to Ed., I realise)
- I have lived in 9 countries, well experienced with visa issues and bureaucracy

I've gauged that I might find it quite hard to find teaching work in the UAE unless I become a licensed teacher in my home country, but that would be my top choice destination. I'm also interested in KSA, Qatar and potentially Oman.

I also realise that I have limited experience, as most recruiters seem to ask for at least 2 years for teaching positions in many Gulf locations.

My main reason for moving over there is personal. I am Muslim and would like to be in an Islamic society. I also have basic knowledge of Arabic, but I read in another threat that this could actually make me less appealing as a candidate?

I have read through a lot of threads. I'd like to know if:

a.) it would be possible to find a good position with 1 year teaching experience in my countries of choice? By good, I mean sensible working hours, comfortable accommodation (clean being a priority), no messy visa situation

b.) I should engage with recruiters or focus more on direct hire possibilities? If anyone has any suggestions of employers, I'd love to hear them.

I enjoy teaching, but I'd be equally happy to pursue a career in the education or NGO sector in another capacity. I'm trying to focus these search efforts.

Thank you in advance.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pikgitina



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 372
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The technical colleges that are run by the Ministry of Manpower in Oman might consider you. They are located in Muscat, Musannah, Shinas, Ibra, Ibri, Nizwa and Salalah.

They don't do direct hire as far as I know. You need to look for recruiters like TATI, CECNE and Bahwan. Do a search on the Oman forum.

Nizwa University? Hmmm...possibly. They pay better than the colleges as far as I know.

Then there are also the Oman Medical College and the Military College, both in Oman. I am not sure about their requirements.

Good luck! Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pikgitina



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 372
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only mention places in Oman as I really think it is the easiest country for someone with little experience and few related qualifications to start.

The places that will consider you in Saudi Arabia will most likely be dire and are almost certainly best avoided.

I lived in Nizwa more than ten years ago and loved it. Like you, I was just starting to work my way up to being considered by the better employers.

It takes money and time (and many other things Laughing) to get the right qualifications and experience!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ellie2012



Joined: 01 Apr 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks kindly for the suggestions. I hadn't given much thought to working in Oman but after your message it does sound appealing. I'm not too fussed about salary for the time being, but Oman is definitely worth consideration. I have read that accommodation offered is usually quite spacious and clean.

I'll research your employer suggestions further. Thank you again!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4855
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your unrelated MA + one year of experience are your biggest obstacles to the better jobs in the region; employers have a pool of very qualified job candidates to choose from---those with related MAs and several years of university teaching experience.

Qatar has few employers and thus, fewer options for work. Also, a related MA and several years of experience are required. Your qualifications aren't enough for a direct-hire teaching position in Saudi Arabia; however, contracting companies would be interested in you. Just research them thoroughly since many tend to be sketchy. Not having a related degree could be an issue for Oman; there was a thread a while ago about this subject, "Related Degree Rules" (http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=97940). You'd have to check out current job postings from Oman to see if that's the case as well as how much teaching experience is generally required.

Since you're interested in teaching and education as a career, have you considered going back to university for a related degree?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My main reason for moving over there is personal. I am Muslim and would like to be in an Islamic society. I also have basic knowledge of Arabic, but I read in another thread that this could actually make me less appealing as a candidate?


I am sure you are aware that there are many different forms of Islamic societies. The Omani seem to be quite tolerant. Other countries may not be so accepting if you happen to be from the "wrong" sect.

You don't have to mention Arabic, since you are there to teach English. I don't really think it would make you less appealing. Perhaps if your native language were Arabic, some recruiters might question your ability to maintain English as the means of communication in the classroom. Having some knowledge of Arabic could help with certain points of grammar. However, it really does not matter what I think, but what the recruiter thinks, so just don't bring it unless it comes up as a direct question.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ellie2012



Joined: 01 Apr 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nomad Soul, thanks for your insight. I do realise now that I may need to, at the very least, get a few more years experience before I can be considered for desirable positions in my countries of choice. I was employed very quickly and easily in Australia and just wondered if maybe it would be possible in the Gulf as well.

I have thought about pursuing an additional relevant degree, but on the other hand I'm also open to other career paths and therefore not sure if I should make that investment. I don't have the capital at the moment to do another masters degree (getting pricey in Europe these days) and I'm not sure if I'm ready to make the commitment for a PhD. I'm considering the possibility, though.

Do you have any tips on ways to suss out whether contracting companies are sketchy or not? I've taken note of many on the various threads but sometimes it's hard to gauge the reality. I will continue to read others' opinions.

Gulezar, thanks for clarifying any implications associated with my knowledge of Arabic. I also didn't think it would be a problem! As for 'different forms' of Islamic societies, I'm contented by the thought of being closer to the birthplace of Islam. I have many friends from the region and I'm not worried about each society's customs at this point.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4855
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ellie2012 wrote:
Do you have any tips on ways to suss out whether contracting companies are sketchy or not? I've taken note of many on the various threads but sometimes it's hard to gauge the reality. I will continue to read others' opinions.

I can see why it's often hard to gauge reality about Saudi contracting companies because some posters simply say "avoid" but don't go into detail as to why, or they nitpick at petty issues because the culture plus the job and living situation weren't what they'd expected. Another issue is that female teachers' experiences can be quite different from the male perspective due to gender segregation and the fact that there are more diverse opportunities for men. Yet, very few women post on the Saudi forum.

On the other hand, there are some credible posts but they're generally not favorable toward the contracting company (and rightfully so). That said, if Saudi Arabia is your best bet for a teaching position and you're interested in teaching there, then look at jobs at Princess Noura University, the world's largest women's university, in Riyadh. The usual suspects ICEAT and EdEx hire teachers for PNU, but there may be other contracting companies at PNU that aren't as lousy. There are threads on PNU on the Saudi forum; you might check them out and post your own question about which are the better companies that recruit for them. (Better could mean "tolerable" to "okay.")
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 335
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. I wrote this before I noticed what you said about getting more experience, but I still think my post has some merits.

I understand that you would very much like to experience firsthand the values you share with people from this region. Before I gave you my general advice as a possible sounding board for you to bounce ideas off of, I would like to respectfully mention my thoughts on another matter that is closely related and might help you make a decision. I am a complete novice regarding Islam, but I hope I can covey to you my opinion without disrespecting you or anyone who reads this post.

During my time teaching in Kuwait, The UAE, Oman, and KSA, I have met many western teachers that are Muslim. I got to know a few of them quite well. In fact, my best friend that I have known for four years is an American convert. We spoke often about the challenges he faced and the misconceptions he had when he first moved here to, in his words, “embrace a deeper form of Islam”. He felt he couldn’t do this as well in the United States. He wasn’t interested in teaching on any level and saw the job as a way to get over to KSA and pay the bills while studying Islam. Nothing wrong with that – we all have our reasons. He has a law degree from UCLA and stopped studying for the bar because he felt a calling to better enhance his understanding on how to be a good Muslim. What can be a better place to do that in than KSA – the birthplace of Islam?

After three years he went back home because he had the answer only he could have obtain by going through the experience. I would like to add that, in general, most of the people I spoke with - including Saudi nationals - about this topic have the same basic opinions. He told me it doesn’t matter where you are from, or where you hang your hat because you will always carry your faith wherever you go. He went to extra classes ran by a highly respected Imam, he took Arabic classes twice a week for three years, and tried to visit as many places and speak with as many people as he could in order to gain more insight. He was a man truly searching to find himself. He was even able to completely perform the Haji twice. He worked very hard. I was a bystander with a front row seat to his journey and I saw him slowly – very slowly - start to change. Towards the end of his journey, he said that he was very disappointed with most of the Saudis he came into contact with and the “systems” that are in place here. He said that he had an elevated view about the people in KSA because he felt that any group of people who can experience Islam more directly by living in KSA (and being so close to the two holy cities) should be morally better and display more authentic Islamic values than any other group of people who are also Muslim. He found out the basic truth that people are people – no matter which country you visit and try to understand. I guess the expression, “Home is in your heart” is a saying for a reason.

It is my humble opinion that you should go to South Korea, Taiwan, or Japan and get 2-3 years of additional experience. A related masters would do wonders as well. You stated that your main reason for moving over to a GCC country is personal because you want to study and further embrace Islam. Sorry, that part was an inference I made based on your post. It sounds like a life-long goal, so think of the overall experience of getting over to this region as a way to sacrifice something (your time and hard work) to be in a positive position to work in KSA with a good company/school/university as a direct hire.

This is the reason: You would have a job that is better. It would be better because you would have earned the required experience/education to make more money, live in a nicer place, and work in a more teacher-friendly environment and have more control over your time in KSA. I feel you would be in the best possible situation to be able to study Islam because you won’t have to worry if your contractor will pay you this month, or that they are telling you to move to another apartment late at night and at the last minute. Some of the worst places to work for are the only ones you would be able to get a contract with TODAY. You’re 24. Youth is the most sought after, but never acquired commodity in the world. You’re very fortunate. It really is the journey, and not the destination that counts in life. I hope your journey finds you peace.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 860

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:49 am    Post subject: Re: To teach or not to teach? Reply with quote

ellie2012 wrote:


About me:
- 24 years old, female
- CELTA and 1 year full time teaching experience in Australia to Arabic speaking students (Saudis and some other nationalities)
- BA in Intl Relations, Masters in Sociology (unrelated to Ed., I realise)
- I have lived in 9 countries, well experienced with visa issues and bureaucracy



That may be so, but even the crap employers require usually 3 years experience in teaching in different countries. It sounds to me like you would not make it in on an Iqama (unless your American), however that hasn't kept other teachers from coming in on temporary 3 month employment visas. Keep in mind a 3 month temporary employment visa is not a business or work visa.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 898
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: To teach or not to teach? Reply with quote

[quote="plumpy nut"]
ellie2012 wrote:


That may be so, but even the crap employers require usually 3 years experience in teaching in different countries. It sounds to me like you would not make it in on an Iqama (unless your American), however that hasn't kept other teachers from coming in on temporary 3 month employment visas. Keep in mind a 3 month temporary employment visa is not a business or work visa.


The OP does say that she's a Muslim wishing to live in an Islamic state. She may well still believe that Muslims in such places are honourable and honest and would NEVER employ people illegally...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4855
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: To teach or not to teach? Reply with quote

ellie2012 wrote:
My main reason for moving over there is personal. I am Muslim and would like to be in an Islamic society.

As for 'different forms' of Islamic societies, I'm contented by the thought of being closer to the birthplace of Islam. I have many friends from the region and I'm not worried about each society's customs at this point.

MuscatGary wrote:
The OP does say that she's a Muslim wishing to live in an Islamic state. She may well still believe that Muslims in such places are honourable and honest and would NEVER employ people illegally...

MuscatGary:

"She may well still believe..." You're basing your comment on what part of the OP's posts---that this is what she believes in the first place? Or are you solely making off-the-cuff assumptions about her because she's a Muslim who, like many other teachers of her faith, simply wants to move to a country where she can better practice her religious beliefs and earn a decent living. Rolling Eyes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 898
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: To teach or not to teach? Reply with quote

[quote="nomad soul"]
ellie2012 wrote:
MuscatGary:

"She may well still believe..." You're basing your comment on what part of the OP's posts---that this is what she believes in the first place? Or are you solely making off-the-cuff assumptions about her because she's a Muslim who, like many other teachers of her faith, simply wants to move to a country where she can better practice her religious beliefs and earn a decent living. Rolling Eyes


I've met many Muslims in the ME who have moved here (mainly from the USA) believing that the Muslims here and the society here is somehow closer to the Islamist ideal and therefore a better place to 'practice their religious beliefs'. The fact is that almost all of the Muslim males I have met in Kuwait and Oman drink alcohol excessively, use prostitutes frequently and have girlfriends as well as wives. There are also increasing numbers of abaya clad Muslim females drinking pints in the bars in Muscat, a good thing in my humble opinion. I have several Muslim friends who routinely pretend to their families that they are going to the mosque but really just hang out at the bar for a few hours and then go home. Many of them also indulge in illegal practices such as applying for housemaid visas which they then sell on via the black market. My point was related to the previous posters comment about working illegally presumably in order to 'earn a decent living.' The OP may be different but the Muslim teflers from abroad that I've met have all had this rose-tinted vision of the ME Islamic utopia and have been quite disturbed when the truth reveals itself. One has done a runner recently entirely due to this problem and the resulting distress caused by the cognitive dissonance this creates.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4855
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary:

Human nature, being what it is... Hypocrisy exists in every religion and culture; however, it doesn't exist in every person.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16125
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As NS says, hypocrisy is sadly common in humans.

Yes, I've met many Muslims from the West who were sadly disillusioned by the culture in various Muslim countries. BUT, it is still much easier for them to practice their religion than it is back in a country like the US. I think it is a good decision for most of them to discover both what is best... and worst... to be found.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Middle East Forum All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC