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MISR American College, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Helicopter Parents Reply with quote

Yes, it's going to be an entirely different ball game having parents that are not in jail! A colleague left the inner city for "greener pastures" and landed a good job in the city where I grew up (middle/upper middle suburbs). Great pay, wonderful resources, even a piano in her classroom. What she wasn't prepared for was the helicopter parents--the ones that hover and insist that their child is an angel (EEK) and that the teacher is doing everything wrong. The green grass became less and less appealing through time. I do have a few involved parents, and value their input. I don't always use it, but I value it nontheless. Laughing
I think every entity has it's ups and downs. I also work part time at the zoo here in STL (security), and never could have imagined the politics and insanity there, of all places. Getting paid for walking around one of the top zoos in the nation though--I can't complain and just ignore what doesn't concern me. Rolling Eyes
One thing that does concern me is having a 2 year contract. If there is a family emergency here at home, and I need to come back to care for my parents (they're gonna need it eventually), then all of this goes out the window. Family comes first. I will cross that bridge when I get to it, and will definitely discuss this with HR when I visit. Has anyone here experienced something like this when teaching abroad? I don't want the personal details, just how the school handled your contract issues.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Middle East is family oriented and although they wouldn't be thrilled, they would understand. Such things are so unpredictable, but contracts can always be broken.

VS
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mishmumkin



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MM,

I went home for my grandmother's funeral w/o issue. Like VS said, it is family oriented. Should something arise they are typically quite accommodating.
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ILOVEEGYPT



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:22 pm    Post subject: school inquiry Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

Has anyone heard anything about St Fatimas Language School. They advertised on TES and i am wondering if they are worth giving a call or not. Also CIS in obour they are also adv for KS1 teachers.

thanks
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cseeley24



Joined: 20 Aug 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Egypt

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:07 pm    Post subject: run away Reply with quote

Hi. I have been in egypt for the past 6 years and do not recommend this school to anyone. The admin sucks, the kids are treated poorly and the education is not up to standards. My children used to attend their school( we are american and i am a teacher at another school) Stay away!!!!
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mishmumkin



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject: Re: run away Reply with quote

cseeley24 wrote:
Hi. I have been in egypt for the past 6 years and do not recommend this school to anyone. The admin sucks, the kids are treated poorly and the education is not up to standards. My children used to attend their school( we are american and i am a teacher at another school) Stay away!!!!


It just goes to show you how experiences can differ. I have a friend who's been with them for a good while now and is quite happy. Places that are good for teachers are not always a hit with parents and visa versa.
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Molson



Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 137
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure if MM still visits this forum, but I would be curious about an update on this school. They contacted me about a job position, but I am unsure if it is a good school with suitable conditions...
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:23 pm    Post subject: Misr American College Reply with quote

I have completed a full year of teaching at MAC and welcome any questions! While I was uncertain at first (to say the least), I have read reviews of other schools and can honestly say that while this place is far from perfect, it's a good place to work (once you know what "normal" is in a new place). Please PM me with any questions!!
M.M. Very Happy
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Molson



Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 137
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't PM, and you couldn't reply due to the 25 post limit.

Well I am curious about the housing, the students, and the school:

Are the students hard to motivate like the sticky on this forum says?

Is the housing allowance enough for a 3 bedroom place?

What are the school facilities like? Air conditioned classes? Clean school? Extra curricular?

What is the administration like?

Do they pay for airfare for your spouse as well?

Is that area of Cairo really polluted? I've lived in Seoul which is pretty bad, and I've been to Beijing which is the worst I've ever seen. How bad is the air quality?

Is it easy to get from your apartment to school? How do you get back and forth?

How are foreigners treated? Do you have children dependents? Curious about my daughter.


That's it for now.
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:05 pm    Post subject: Misr American College Reply with quote

Molson wrote:
I can't PM, and you couldn't reply due to the 25 post limit.

Well I am curious about the housing, the students, and the school:

Are the students hard to motivate like the sticky on this forum says?
I teach 3rd grade and have no problem motivating my kids. I haven't heard of any other complaints. Teachers generally know what motivates kids and what doesn't.

Is the housing allowance enough for a 3 bedroom place?
I don't know what allowance you were quoted. I don't think you will find a 3 bedroom place in Maadi for what they offer. My husband and I have a 2br flat with 3 receptions and a decent size kitchen and we pay 2,000 LE a month (he's Egyptian, so it helped bring the price down from 2,500). We're looking to move and can't find anything decent cheaper than this. Plan on cleaning whatever you do find. The dust here is endless!!

What are the school facilities like? Air conditioned classes? Clean school? Extra curricular?
Classrooms are air conditioned, hallways are not. The school is generally clean and the nannies (cleaning staff) are hardworking and kind. Extracurricular? There is a Drama Club that the kids enjoy but are sick of by the time the end of year performance rolls around. They also have ballet classes, but are not too fond of their teacher for one reason or another. The school does have sports teams but I think they are for older grades-I can't say I'm certain about this.

What is the administration like?
The director is kind and rather uninvolved in the day to day grind, as he should be. The Superintendent comes a few times a year. The Director of Academic Affairs is wonderful, and I say this quite honestly. The Director of Student Affairs is also wonderful. Both are supportive and honest from my experience. HR can be a headache-things here don't happen as quickly as we're used to in America-but in time, everything gets done. It took me a long time to let go of my Western standards of how things should be done, and to learn to "roll with the flow". Once I learned to roll, I was fine. Until then, I was a frustrated mess. Confused

Do they pay for airfare for your spouse as well?
I don't know, but should they? I wouldn't expect them too, unless your spouse is teaching at the school. My husband was already here.

Is that area of Cairo really polluted? I've lived in Seoul which is pretty bad, and I've been to Beijing which is the worst I've ever seen. How bad is the air quality?
Yes, it's polluted. I guess I'm used to it now but at first I was seeing doctors for nose and throat issues due to the dusty, polluted air. There is trash on the streets, but they are cleaned by men who LITERALLY sweep the streets with brooms. It takes a lot of getting used to. The stray animal population is hard to get used to, too...but at least the cats keep the rats away!!

Is it easy to get from your apartment to school? How do you get back and forth?
I live close enough to walk, but most foreigners take a taxi. It's cheap, but you have to have an open mind of what constitutes a decent car, lol. If you're stuck on airbags and seatbelts, hire a driver. If not, you'll be fine. This took FOREVER for me to grasp, but in Maadi, the traffic is rather slow, so it's...ok. I've been in cars where I thought the steering wheel was an accessory, and I just smiled and laughed at how well the driver managed.

How are foreigners treated? Do you have children dependents? Curious about my daughter.
While I am American, my husband is Egyptian. We are both Muslim. We don't have children as we lost our first daughter when I was 7 months pregnant this past March. Crying or Very sad I have been treated wonderfully, and won't accept any less. I see foreigners wearing clothes that simply are not appropriate here and wonder why they don't respect the cultural norms and values. I don't speak Arabic fluently and have not had a problem getting around in grocery stores, malls or taxis. Generally, foreigners pay more than Egyptians for most museums, etc. Taxis can be a hassle but once you know what an acceptable fare is, you're fine.
How old is your daughter? If she is school age, you have options. If she is day care/nursery age, you still have options but need to keep an open mind and know that you won't find what we're accustomed to back home as far as quality of care and education level or training of staff (I spent a few months searching for a suitable nursery for our baby and had to change my ideals a bit...).

That's it for now.

While I taught in the states for 8 years, this was a totally new experience for me. Not the kids-kids are the same anywhere I think. The "other stuff" took me a little while to get used to. So many foreigners have a superority (sp) complex over the Egyptians, and to me, it's time for them to pack up and go home. If they want Western standards, then they need to teach in the West. This is Egypt, and things are done differently here. Not good or bad, just different. That's the key thing you need to keep in mind. Wink
While I wasn't sure at first about MAC, I can say that I am happy there now and would continue to teach there even after the second year of my contract is up. When we lost our baby, the staff was so wonderful, caring and supportive. I couldn't have asked for more. The teachers really take care of one another-foreign and Egyptian. We are indeed like a family. Wink
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So sorry to hear of the lose of your daughter. I hope that you are now well... insha'Allah.

As to those complaining Westerners... and I do know what you mean... they need to learn to say "ma'alish" and mean it.

Thank you for the informative update.

VS
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nstick13



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 104
Location: The Ohio State University

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to seem some others showing up on the Egypt forum. It was just me and VS for a bit, it felt like. Not that I'm complaining.

If I may, I'd like to take this a different direction for a minute.

What types of qualifications does one need for a school of this type? As some know, and others don't, I'm just embarking on this terrific international education experience, and am curious what my initial prospects will be like.

Thanks to all for the comments already, and in advance for those to come. I hope we can meet up when I arrive!

Cheers!
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mishmumkin



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nstick13 wrote:
Nice to seem some others showing up on the Egypt forum. It was just me and VS for a bit, it felt like. Not that I'm complaining.

If I may, I'd like to take this a different direction for a minute.

What types of qualifications does one need for a school of this type? As some know, and others don't, I'm just embarking on this terrific international education experience, and am curious what my initial prospects will be like.

Thanks to all for the comments already, and in advance for those to come. I hope we can meet up when I arrive!

Cheers!


You'd need to be a qualified teacher. I don't know that one would have to have an American qualification, though.

-Your sister Buckeye
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mishmumkin wrote:
-Your sister Buckeye

Ah... how sweet to see the two of you bonding. Cool

You might want to check out nstick's other posts mish... he's heading to the BC to get a CELTA.

VS
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can honestly say that I think the good, more reputable schools are changing the way they do things and are no longer hiring people without a degree in education. Could be that the work visa requirements are changing, too. I could be wrong, but from what I'm witnessing, it seems to be heading in a different direction.
I've been doing some reading on International Schools Review dot com and have read HORROR stories of many of the "good" and "reputable" schools. I highly suggest doing some research prior to signing anything.
I know this doesn't directly answer your question, but would you want your own child to go to a school that wasn't full of qualified, certified teachers? In my eyes, you shouldn't want any less for someone else's child than you would for your own child. Just my two cents (piasters, if you will, lol).
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