Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Teaching in Egypt

Is now summer and every teacher is enjoying one of the perks of the profession, which is being on vacation! This is the perfect time for teachers to look for new jobs and I decided that I wanted to give a few pointers about what to expect while teaching in Egypt.
Teaching is one of those careers that requires patience and  a lot of hard work. It gives us the opportunity to connect and make changes in our students lives. If you are looking for new job in Egypt as a teacher and you are not currently in the country please read these carefully.

  1. Your best chance at getting a good salary is to go with International Schools. Salaries depend on qualifications but do not let the fact that maybe you have only one year of experience deter you from taking a good salary. You are not in the US or the UK anymore and things here are different. 
  2. Negotiate and Expat package. If you are not in Egypt this the best time for you to negotiate accommodations, transportation and salary. Schools are always stingy and tell you no but you have to be firm about it because after it you cannot change anything.A good salary ranges between $2000-$2600 a month. They pay you monthly.
  3. Work permit. This point is very important, must of the schools will either ignore this or tell you that you need to do it yourself. Do NOT let this happen. Mogama is the place where you get visas and believe me it is not apt for foreigners. The place is a nightmare. I know of people that don't renovate their visas just to avoid going there. You do not speak the language and frankly this is not something that is up to you. The school needs to stop being lazy and get this done. Fight it if you have to they are not going to fire you for it. With the new government issues they are actually visiting schools to check this out.
  4.  Education in Egypt is Business. This point made me crazy before I really understood it. Is never about the Education and how the child needs this and that. No, is about mommy and daddy paying money, outrageously amounts of money so therefore they now what is best for their children.  You are never good enough. Egyptian parents are the worst, the child is never wrong. Bad thing is they don't just go to you they go the administration and demand to know what is going on. Then the administration comes back to you and says just re issue the test and give him a a review again with the same test. Education much? I think this is why this country is the way it is, lack of good Education! 
  5. Never give your number to parents. They will ask, they will demand but you have to be strong! You sanity depends on it! It is not a joke. I always say, I don't remember the number or the school policy is not to give it. I don't care what I use at that moment as long as they don't get it. They can be your worst nightmare, calling you at all hours of the night and talking for hours if you let them. You giving your phone number is like tutoring them whenever the parent feels like it. 
  6. Never give 100% They are some great schools here with good administrations... maybe in my dreams. Anyways my point is the more you give to them the more they will exploit you. There is no concept on teamwork on this groups of teachers and everything will fall back on you. Look first how the school works and then follow the example.Working in Egypt is laid back and not fast paced.
  7. Brace yourself for Quizzes and Homework.  The amount of quizzes I had to give in one of the schools made me the most unbearable teacher in the universe. I hate for anyone to tell me what is best for my teaching program when they don't know what they are talking about. Can you believe I had to give 2 quizzes a week per each of my classes I had two grades so make that 4 quizzes a week. One page of homework is not enough they ask you to give them at least 10 pages of homework for first and second graders a day! Madness.
  8. Changing Schools. For those teachers who want to change schools and stay in the country I have some bad news. Do not expect an expat salary. Is very rare that this happens. After you are here they pay you more than Egyptians of course but not the same as if you were back home making the negotiations. This is one of the things that makes me upset because is just plain ridiculous. Did I just loose my English skills because I am living in Egypt??! 
Consider this tips and try to make the best of it as all of us who are here do. Egyptian children can be difficult and spoiled rotten but overall they are very loving children. Prepare yourself for the personal questions the
little ones do not care about personal space this is Egypt. Be sure to plan carefully and explore before making any choices. I hope you find a good school this year!

My students in an outdoor activity

If you have any questions or comments about your experience feel free to comment! Thank you for reading and following me.

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Teaching in Egypt


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1 comment:

  1. You haven't lost your English skills :)) It is rather not pleasent what is going on there in educational system. And theese changes and habbits won't change over night.


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