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Buxiban teaching in Taiwan killed me - ready for ME, advice?
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writing_me



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:47 am    Post subject: Buxiban teaching in Taiwan killed me - ready for ME, advice? Reply with quote

Hi everybody

I'd like some advice on finding a job in the ME that will pay well and allow me to save.

I'm a male South African in my mid 20s. I have an Honours in Psychology from the University of Cape Town, and have been living in Taiwan for the past 4 years, teaching English at kindergartens and buxibans (private schools).

This year, I have been studying through the University of South Africa towards obtaining my PGCE (specializing in Teaching Languages and Life Orientation). I wrote 8 exams, did a 10 week Teaching Practice in South Africa, achieved a distinction in most of the courses, and my teaching license should arrive by April 2012, which would enable me to teach at public schools.

I'm absolutely done with Taiwan. The face-saving, the mismanagement, the prioritization of keeping students 'happy' at the expense of actual English learning, etc etc, has driven me crazy. I want to go where the money is good, the teachers are serious about their jobs, there is hopefully some form of ongoing training and development for teachers, the institution is managed well - basically, somewhere professional.

What do you guys think I should do? My plan is to sweat it out in either Dubai or Oman (they are supposedly more 'open-minded', at least by ME standards) for a couple of years to save up for my Masters in Psychology (either Clinical or Educational). So I need to go where the big bucks are.

I also tutored first-year health psychology students, and data analysis students, during my time at the University of Cape Town, for one acacemic year.

I want to leave Taiwan asap, stay with my folks in South Africa for a couple of months, and leave for the ME where I hope to find a job that provides roundtrip airfare, accommodation, and paid holidays. I didn't bust my ass all year long for a ME type buxiban-style setup.

I'd really appreciate some honest advice.

This might bear mentioning: I'm gay. I'm kind of political about my sexual identity, a bit of a Facebook slacktivist if you will, but I'm willing to sell my soul for a bit and keep it under wraps and not rock any boats.
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writing_me



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, my teaching qualification is for Teaching Languages (English, grade 7-9) and Life Orientation (grade 10-12). Life Orientation is a mix of so-called life skills, study skills, political and social awareness, psychology, sociology, physical education, etc.

So I'm basically saying that I'll be a certified high school teacher really soon. I did my Teaching Practice at a school where, according to the principal, 80% of all the learners had a serious emotional, behavioural, or learning disorder - which I experienced first-hand.

I guess I'm saying that I'm ambitious and want to get ahead a little bit in this teaching business and build a nice nest egg before I narrow in on my career in psychology.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Buxiban teaching in Taiwan killed me - ready for ME, adv Reply with quote

writing_me wrote:
I want to go where the money is good, the teachers are serious about their jobs, there is hopefully some form of ongoing training and development for teachers, the institution is managed well - basically, somewhere professional.

Good money is relative, of course, and you will be entry level. You will need to choose the employer very very carefully to achieve your goals, and the best of the schools may not consider you because of your age/experience level. Not sure that ME schools teach such a thing as "Life Orientation." Laughing

writing_me wrote:
This might bear mentioning: I'm gay. I'm kind of political about my sexual identity, a bit of a Facebook slacktivist if you will, but I'm willing to sell my soul for a bit and keep it under wraps and not rock any boats.

Good news/bad news. While there is a large gay community in the Emirates, discretion is essential. You always have to keep in mind that homosexual activity is against the law and can be used against you if you make an enemy. You would need to severely limit any sexual politics and I'd hide that Facebook page somehow.

Once you get up to 5 posts here, you can receive PMs and perhaps someone can tell you more about the situation... that can't be posted here.

VS
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Vancouver Vic



Joined: 18 Aug 2011
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm absolutely done with Taiwan. The face-saving, the mismanagement, the prioritization of keeping students 'happy' at the expense of actual English learning, etc etc, has driven me crazy.


I'm afraid that what you are describing sounds exactly like HCT. Would suggest you read HCT Sucks which has been blocked in the UAE but many of us still manage to read it.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He hasn't mentioned any interest in HCT or in university level teaching... so not sure why you brought this up.

VS
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writing_me



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naw I knew Life Orientation would mean squat to the ME. I expected digs, you're welcome to it. Wink

So I do stand a chance at being an overseas hire then? Do these people hire around April? Or can I only expect to get something around September when (presumably) the academic school year starts in the UAE? Should I opt for public school teaching; can I expect to land a job with some paid vacation?

In Taiwan, you don't get any paid holidays. Typhoon days, when all schools are closed for the days, leave teachers unpaid.

I'm not averse at all to teaching at uni level at all. I have a South African friend in Saudi Arabia who hasn't even finished his law degree and he's working all the time. I'm sure he's not working at proper schools and is facing deportation at every turn, but still, can I expect to start working in April if I start applying around February?

I'm. Just. So. Tired. Of. Taiwan.

I'd do the same thing I'm doing now if it meant actual money and a change of scenery.
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Vancouver Vic



Joined: 18 Aug 2011
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
He hasn't mentioned any interest in HCT or in university level teaching... so not sure why you brought this up.


I mentioned HCT as having similar problems to the place he is trying to get away from. Also you are right he hasn't mentioned HCT but what he has said is he is looking for a job with good money in the ME and HCT is one of the better payers unfortunately. I would have thought that as a teacher he would be looking at all institutions therefore that is why I mentioned it.
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writing_me



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the input, whether you're addressing HTC or any other institutions.

I'd be fine with working for them at this point. Sometimes you have to pick the less rotten apple of the bunch.

I know this is an annoying question, but where do I start? I'm waiting to hear back from some of my friends who are in Abu Dhabi and Dubai but they're taking their sweet time.

Can I get hired to start working around April? Is there a summer vacation?

Or if I am offered a position, will it be a dodgy one, considering they need a replacement teacher at an odd time of the year?

Had a look at the HTC website. It couldn't paint a more bleaker picture, ouch.
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writing_me



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't believe the amount of love that language schools bestow upon CELTAs. I'm starting to think I should have done my CELTA instead of getting and actual teaching degree which specializes in teaching languages.

Realistically, those in the know, how much could I expect to earn with my credentials?

1) 4 years teaching ESL to kindy up to about junior high school students

2) 1 year tutoring health psychology students at a well-known and prestigious university

3) A teaching license to arrive in April; good marks

4) An Honours degree in Psychology

I guess 1 and 3 are more important than the rest.

What can I expect to earn? What would my start-up costs be? I'm broke after a full year of studying and not earning anything for 3 months. I don't have much to keep me going until my first paycheck, so I'd need return airfare.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My basic advice... which may differ from your friends on the ground... but I wouldn't start applying until you have your license officially in hand.

No jobs starting in April in the Gulf... that is the middle of the second semester or term or whatever they call it in the various educational institutions. You would be applying in April for Aug/Sept starts - matching the local school terms.

Look at International Schools - check them carefully for conditions on here and The Google. Check out the Teachaway website... they are always advertising for licensed/certified teachers for the public schools.

I have no idea of the pay structure for your situation. HCT pays well, but you would need at least a CELTA... and normally they require an MA... depends on how desperate they are for teachers.

VS
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Honolulu Lou



Joined: 14 Dec 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi W-M;

If I'm not too much of a Nebie to receive pm's...please write me. I'll be happy to fill you in about jobs, life and "The Scene" ...if you catch my drift...in the Emirates.
I'm a 10-year veteran of Abu Dhabi.


Have you considered Oman?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need 5 posts to send PMs

VS
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writing_me



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a woman called Mimi that sent me a very informative, helpful post, but then it disappeared within the same day that I received it.

Thanks to the poster that's willing to exchange some info via PM. I'll definitely get back to you soon.
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writing_me



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys

Still in the same position. Applying with teachingaway and Dynamic Personnel, a South African based company that seems to have many satisfied customers.

It was suggested to me that I set my minimum salary expectations at UAE 7700. That seems to low for me. Can I bargain for a higher salary? I told them that I would expect a minimum salary of 9300 (the figures are not rounded off as we were discussing pay in the South African currency).

What do you guys think?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2974
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that lukewarm salary is indicative of an entry-level teacher. You don't have much in terms of experience since getting your teaching license, and employers may not fully consider your pre-license experience.

Be aware that successfully negotiating for higher salary and benefits isn't common. Besides, what do you have to offer in exchange for a better starting salary? What's special about your qualifications and experience? If minimal to average, then you really can't expect the employer to budge on their offer.
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