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Sakkara salary-beating a dead horse?

 
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jonnyidaho



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: Sakkara salary-beating a dead horse? Reply with quote

I've searched this forum trying to find what kind of salary to request at Sakkara without much luck. Is 6000 LE reasonable for someone with a BA, TEFL, and 1 year experience? Should I aim high and risk scaring them off? I'm not keen on getting locked into a contract and realizing two months into it that I need to be making more money (doing this once was enough for me). Conversely, I don't want to make such a high request that I never hear back from them!

Do salary questions in this forum tend to go unanswered for professional reasons, shyness, or what? Smile

jonnyidaho
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omar_



Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

6000LE? That's actually VERY GOOD! That's pretty much the good standard for native English speakers with experience. Actually, people who have Master's are supposed to make a little more than that. You said you only had a Bachelor's...

6000 is great while living in Egypt. If you are planning to something with that money in some other country than that's a different story. Actually if you're planning on that, Egypt is not the place for you then.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16021
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most comments on Sakkara have complained of the low salary in the past. I suspect that they tell you what the pay will be and you take it or leave it.

Unless you have a high degree and/or extensive related experience, I doubt that you have too much negotiation leeway.

VS
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 674
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto on VS's comment about Sakkara salary (and most schools, for that matter) given your experience and qualifications. I recall someone posting on here from Sakkara claiming to have received in the ballpark of 3000 (my friend got that much in 2000)...perhaps even a bit lower.

Ok, I'm no Choueifat stooge!!! Laughing But they did pay us in dollars and our salaries were written in dollars. That meant that as the poor EGyptian pound floated, our salaries increased (without TOO much increase in the cost of goods). I think we all started around 5200 LE/month and buy the end of the contract, we taking in equivalent to almost 8000. I think 6000 LE/month would be a nice salary....considering you'll be paying your own rent (at least sharing) this would work. Be prepared to except less in smaller language schools and adult ESL work.
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jonnyidaho



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:12 am    Post subject: salary speak Reply with quote

Omar- thanks for the reply. I am presently only looking to live rather comfortably in Cairo during my time there, with no plans for saving or other activities. If 6000 LE is the "good standard" for native speakers with experience, then I feel like I should aim for this given that I am a native speaker with experience (albeit one that has yet to land in Egypt. ha!)

As stated earlier, I am sitting on only a BA.

VS, your prior posts have leant me a great deal of insight, thank you. I now, however, find you asserting that you suspect that Sakkara "tells you what the pay will be and you take it or leave it".

I started this thread reagarding what to request from Sakkara because they ask the inquiring teacher to state his/her expected salary. The language of their ad on this site asks me to state what I would like/expect to earn. Perhaps ultimately they will tell me what they will pay but the stage that I am at with them (namely, the application stage), specifically mentions that one include his/her expected salary in the cover letter.

Given that you are so quick to tell new posters to check past threads/postings, I would hope that you are already aware of what kind of "negotion leeway" I have given my (twice) aforementioned qualifications.

Perhaps you could humor me and throw out a ballpark figure?

stoth1972, 5200 LE is a nice starting wage but it's a far cry from the 1600USD you mentioned earlier in this forum. 8000 LE is close but that's probably quite a long shot for someone with my qualifications.

Perhaps I should restate my original question: What should someone with a BA, TEFL, and 1 year experience, ask for in their first contact with Sakkara?
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TravellingT



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:22 pm    Post subject: salaries at Sakkara Reply with quote

the normal salary at Sakkara is 3100LE and no more. That doen't matter what level of experience you have. I had a Bachelors degree, TEFL and over 3 years experience. The good part about Sakkara is that they pay airfare (reimbursed at mid-year for half and the other half upon completion), housing (shared), and you get 2 weeks paid vacation at the end of your contract. AND you are always paid on time which is nice.

You can try to negotiate but if you expect to get 6000LE to be a teacher there you're wasting your time. It will never happen. I'd suggest Choueifat as they get paid in dollars (approx. 1400USD a month and then LE for the remainder of their salary) and they will hire foreigners without B. Ed.

If you aren't looking to save money or to travel abroad then you can easily travel around Egypt on the Sakkara salary. Get yourself a few private on the side if you want soem extra cash - the kids are always in need of them there.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16021
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:51 pm    Post subject: Re: salary speak Reply with quote

jonnyidaho wrote:
VS, your prior posts have leant me a great deal of insight, thank you. I now, however, find you asserting that you suspect that Sakkara "tells you what the pay will be and you take it or leave it".


Well, if you read my previous posts, you would know that I never recommend negotiation as I don't know of any who were able to do it and actually get a higher salary. (unless they have exceptional credentials) What you put on your application is normally irrelevent... and that is true at pretty much all educational institutions in the ME.

They will offer you what they are paying the rest of the teachers... As I recall, the number has been mentioned numerous times on threads here...

Just as the other posters have confirmed. I would never just throw out a number to 'humor' someone. It would giving dishonest information.

VS
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jonnyidaho



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TravellingT, Ouch! 3100 LE sounds quite low to me. I suppose I'll put Sakkara on the backburner for now. Although if you think 3100 affords one a fair amount of comfort then I'll take it.

VS, fair enough. thanks again. Very Happy
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omar_



Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonnyidaho wrote:
TravellingT, Ouch! 3100 LE sounds quite low to me. I suppose I'll put Sakkara on the backburner for now. Although if you think 3100 affords one a fair amount of comfort then I'll take it.

VS, fair enough. thanks again. Very Happy


johnny, i think I misunderstood. I thought they already offered you 6000 LE, which again would've been pretty good.

I wouldn't make such a high request, without waiting to hear an offer. When will you hear what they are offering?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16021
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Jonny

I believe that Sakkara is near Maadi... so I'd keep them on your list - interview and whatever... it would be a job. Commuting any distance in Cairo is such a NIGHTMARE!! Shocked

VS
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 674
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jonny, like I said, ISC paid in dollar equiv. That means that 5200 was based on the pound to dollar exchange at that time. While I took home $1600/month equivalent, my friends at Sakkara took home$800 equivalent. This might change, though many schools like Choueifat and Sakkara do not have a history of negotiating. I had worked for Choueifat 1 year prior to taking my contract, so it's quite possible that i earned a small bit more than my colleagues...but not much, I'm sure.

My friend who worked at Sakkara at the time i was there said she was asked what she expected in a salary before they made that offer, and it was a lot more than what they offered. (We actually met on this very forum before we both left for Egypt!)

I think VS is right-most places in the MIddle East don't do a lot of negotiating, and if they do, the variation between your salary and a colleague's will be slight. I think 6000 LE is a reasonable amount of money to expect in Cairo for teaching in an international school, but perhaps a bit high for someone teaching in a language school.

One last thing: I've mentioned the visa thing with Sakkara before. My friend said her passport had a stamp in it that said "in progress" but she never received her residency/work visa. Everytime she left the country, she had to pay a fine to extend her visitor's visa (probably around $20). Like I said, this makes travelling around Egypt a little less glitzy: no hotels at the local rate, and the airfare is 3 times the cost of a domestic ticket for a resident or local.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16021
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was interested to note in the last Sakkara advert here on Dave's that they emphasized that they provided the proper visas. I wonder if they are being honest... and have changed their ways because of the discussion of this problem here.

VS
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TravellingT



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer your last post VS - Sakkara does infact go through the Visa process (I did receive mine albeit very late in the year) but whether you will be one of the lucky few who manage to get it or not is up to the gods at the Mugamma.

It is a bit of a pain in the butt not having it especially traveling in-country...
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xnihil73



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Cairo

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the last few years, I think Sakkara has been getting visas for their teachers. But if your wife is here on a work visa, you won't need to worry about travel costs, since you can be here on hers.

One thing that people don't mention vis a vis ISC and Sakkara is that, while ISC pays ALOT more, their curriculum and methodology is REALLY bad. I hear they give standardized tests and almost every teaching moment is already mapped out. This give's it a very good reputation here in test-loving Egypt, but the kids don't get much of an education, in my opinion.

Sakkara has a lot of problems, but aside from the ministry requirements, the teachers have a lot of leeway to teach in the way they see fit.

My friend, who worked there (and then went on to a better paying job at an international school) loved teaching there. She also felt that the administration really cared about the students.

I guess the bottom line is, if you need (or want) the extra money, get the best paying job you can. But I wouldn't feel too bad about working there. Its a nice, very human place.

And everything said on here about salary is pretty accurate. Expect about 3000+ regardless of qualifications.
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 674
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
One thing that people don't mention vis a vis ISC and Sakkara is that, while ISC pays ALOT more, their curriculum and methodology is REALLY bad. I hear they give standardized tests and almost every teaching moment is already mapped out. This give's it a very good reputation here in test-loving Egypt, but the kids don't get much of an education, in my opinion.


Mapped out is correct. You do not get out of teaching the material they want covered on the day or during the week they want it covered. Ideally, you use their system of teaching (or seem to use their system of teaching). I taught KG2, Grade 2 and Grade 3. I always managed to find time to tie an extra art lesson into the curriculum. The exams are highly structured and as mentioned by the previous poster, very appealing to Egyptian parents. It is not well-rounded, in my opinion (you might find time to squeeze in a creative writing exercise since so little//none of the curriculum is dedicated to this). I would not, however, say that it isn't an education. The maths and science standards are through the roof. Parents love that their kids excel in these two areas. Lots of these kids go on to AUC and some American/British unis and major in things like Engineering and Pre-Med. Not many of them are liberal arts grads, that's for sure. I would personally not choose this education for my own children, but lots of parents in the Middle East think it's the best, despite you telling them it's a burnout for their kids. It's a business that appeals to the Middle Eastern approach towards education. The saddest part is children with learning challenges who's parents refuse to take them out (and the school rarely kicks kids out). It's also sad for kids who are intelligent, but not great test takers.

Saying all of that, if you're class is running well and parents are not complaining, you typically won't be hounded (left alone for the most part). That seems to satisfy most administrators. This is a good job for someone without much experience-good to learn classroom management skills (TRUE TEST OF THAT THE HIGHER THE GRADE LEVEL) with little focus on lesson planning. This is also a good job for the 'teacher' who does not enjoy lesson planning. Generally, I would say this is not for the seasoned veteran, but I certainly encountered a good few qualified teachers who took learning the SABIS system as a challenge. For me, the challenge was trying to make the classes fun and valuable for kids, whilst still covering the material. It's quite easy to go through the motions in any curriculum and this is no exception. You'll see lots of people doing the former while you're there. You'll also see colleagues who care, and put in the extra effort.

It's not always robotic: At the secondary level, you might find that you're asked to help design the curriculum for a new course, depending on your experience and the needs for that year. It happened while I was there.

PS Take stickers, stamps, borders for your pinboards, etc. if you'll be teaching those up to grade 4 (maybe 5-borders always come in handy and the school sometimes has them, but not always). You might also try going to the teacher's supply shop before leaving home and picking up small items that can add to your class (a spiral book of daily writing ideas). The form letters that you stick on a the wall are a life saver if you have poor handwriting. I think you're expected to decorate the pinboard through middle school, but don't quote me on that.
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