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A few questions about teaching in Egypt
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jpyaks



Joined: 28 Jan 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:16 pm    Post subject: A few questions about teaching in Egypt Reply with quote

I have read the Teaching in Egypt- A Primer post as well as a bunch of other posts in this forum, but I still had a few questions.

I am a 23 years old and just graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Islamic Studies right now I am looking to teach English to some degree in Egypt. From what I understand the peak hiring season seems to be late summer to fill vacancies for the upcoming school year. What exactly should I do to prepare for this period to optimize my chances for getting hired in some capacity.

I know that I need to get certified and according to many on this site the CELTA program in Alexandria is the top of the line in that regard however money may be a problem if I decide to go that route, I may not be able to afford the 1500 USD or so plus paying for 4 weeks of living in Egypt on top of whatever it takes to find a job. Would I lose out on significant employment opportunities if I took a reputable course back in the states and then traveled over?

Once I am in Egypt how long should I plan to be there before I can reasonably expect to get a decent offer? Will I even be able to get a decent offer with my lack of teaching English abroad or will that not be a huge deal if I am certified and in country?

I have a decent background in Arabic (MSA) but I would like to expand on this if I take a teaching job will I get enough interaction in a day to day sense to do this or do you think I would need to look into classes and a more structured setting?

Thanks in advance for any help.

JP
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16086
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, the CELTA is given by the British Council in Cairo. That is the one that you want to take if you want to get a decent offer of employment. Your lack of experience and minimal credentials will mean that you will barely make ends meet without some hustle on your part to round up both work and private lessons to supplement your income. It is doable, but be sure to have some money available through an ATM card for emergencies and to get you through the first few months.

Do a search of nstick13 's posts as he was in a similar position to you. I don't believe that he is monitoring the board now, but I will try sending him an email to see if I can find him. (go to search button above and choose "search for author" and choose Egypt branch)

As far as getting practice in your Arabic, you will get as much daily practice and interaction as you want... from your taxi driver to the people in the shops and on the streets. Egyptians are very used to dealing with Arabic learners. Of course, most of them will be using the local dialect, but it should still be a fun experience. Laughing

VS
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nstick13



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

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree and disagree with VS's post.

Largely, as with any job, it's not about what you know but who you know.

The CELTA is invaluable, and many things you take from it will be lifetime ideas and skills you'll apply to any job. Not to mention it definitely improves your writing. It also is recognized worldwide, and is getting me more money in my next job in South Korea (it will pay for itself in the one year I'll be in S. Korea.)

As justcolleen will say, too, there's not a lot of Adult ESL work. With some decent connections, you'll definitely be able to find a private school job at an American school. I made a friend who studied Environmental Sciences at a school in Maine (I think) and was teaching 9th grade geography here. Be prepared for that, as it's more likely than ESL.

The other thing with the private schools is that most are not in the downtown-ish area of Cairo. They're in 6th of October City (Western Suburb), Maadi, (south) or New Cairo (where AUC now is to the West) and even Nasr City/Heliopolis.

You will likely NOT be able to land one of these jobs from abroad without education qualifications, providing the housing perks, higher salary, etc. You still can be paid decent based on some hustle around here though, of course relative to your expenses (student loans, the like). My girlfriend took 6,000 LE as an "assistant" to a class of 8 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders, teaching English and some other classes. They picked her up (on the kids' bus every day) in Dokki and drove her to school in 6th October, and then returned her.

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I'm traveling this week, so I may not quickly reply, but eventually will get back. I can put you in touch with the CELTA people. That will cost 10,000 LE, but they do a top-notch course here. My e-mail is nathan dot stickney at gmail dot com.

Cheers!
NSS
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doner



Joined: 21 Jan 2010
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The CELTA is invaluable worldwide as it enables you to get a low paid dead end job.
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
Location: cyberspace

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.
Joan Lunden, in Healthy Living Magazine
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jpyaks



Joined: 28 Jan 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses everyone. Seems like my best bet is CELTA so I am going to start looking into that to start then I will have to go to from there.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16086
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible to do the CELTA in the US, so you might check around and see if it is cheaper and/or in a location that would be convenient. But, doing it in Cairo gives you time and contacts to start looking for work.

VS
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jpyaks



Joined: 28 Jan 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked the US and the closest to me is NY (I am in D.C.) so I think my best bet is to do it in Cairo so I can start making contacts and getting acclimated. Its also cheaper in Cairo so thats another plus. Thanks for all the help.
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jpyaks



Joined: 28 Jan 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last question which window would be a better time for me to go through CELTA to set me up to get a job fairly quickly, May 23 June 17 or June 27 July 22, or would it be better to have a full hiring season to find a job?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16086
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what you mean by "a full hiring season" nor how that would relate to your dates. I can't see much of a difference... but ask NSS in an email and he may be more helpful on the current situation for new CELTAs in Egypt.

VS
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M.M.



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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:40 pm    Post subject: credentials Reply with quote

As of right now, you can not legally be hired as a classroom teacher without a degree in Education and at least 3 years of classroom teaching experience. Wink
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Yosra



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:48 pm    Post subject: MM's Credential Specifications Reply with quote

Asalamu Alaykom,

I'm in Egypt teaching with years of classroom experience BUT a B.A. in a related field---not teaching. I don't have a teaching degree and neither does the other American teacher at our school. I do have TEFL credidation. Is this accurate info you're giving? If yes, when did this rule change? Can anyone give a website with the info?

Thanks,

Yosra
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M.M.



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

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:05 am    Post subject: credentials Reply with quote

Alaykum Salam wa Ramatulahi wa Barakatuh Yousra,
I just spoke to our Supt. and he said that the "rule" regarding professional credentials comes from the Ministry of Education, but several schools including Narmer and Chouefait do not follow the rule. With the *new* Minister of Education, who knows what will happen in the future. This is the guy who was Minister of Education once before and got rid of 5th grade in all schools a few years back, before I came to Egypt. I don't have any link or reference to give you but you might be able to Google it. You know how things are here..some of it is computerized and databased, most of it is in a binder under someone's desk. Wink
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16086
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that in the past (and likely little changed), the problem was that even if there was a rule, following it seemed optional. (rather like traffic lights)

VS
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justcolleen



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 646
Location: Egypt, baby!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

COLD HARD FACT: If you can speak English, you can be a teacher in Egypt.

I've met washed up bar maids with high school diplomas who are making a nice living TEACHING.

Even Schutz doesn't REQUIRE a teaching degree. Don't believe me? Read their policy manual (as I have).

Sure, a certification is valuable, however if you're getting it so you can bag a teaching job in Egypt, and for that reason alone, save your money.
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