Monday, 28 July 2014

The Best TEFL Jobs in Russia

Updated 12 September 2014

Here's the information for Russia for The Best TEFL Jobs in the World. You might also want to look at Europe for non-EU passport holders and The Best TEFL Jobs With Worldwide Employers.  

If you know of any other good ones, please let me know by emailing me at naturegirl321@yahoo.com

Private tutoring or governessing is really the only way to make good money teaching English here. Sometimes you might be paid to go on vacation with them. $75 dollars an hour or £40-£50 is about average now.
  1. Bonne International: Tutoring and governess positions. They give you paid sick days and holidays. They will likely have fewer jobs in the summer save for the heavy travel / live-in somewhere in Europe then back to Moscow in the fall. They require qualifications and experience with kids as well as people over 25 because of responsibility issues. If you tell them what you are looking for, they will match you the best they can.
  2. British Business Language Centre: You're only paid about $25 an hour and you can get higher rates from schools in Moscow, however, this school doesn't complain when you refuse to teach a class because you have a private student at that time. 
  3. Duke and Duchess International: On their website they say that they have positions inChina, France, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, however, I've found that most of the jobs are for Russia.   
  4. Great British Nannies: Nannying positions mainly in Russia. Jobs pay around £800 a week. 
  5. Guvernior: Guvernior often has part-time tutoring that averages $60-$75 for 60 minutes. Pick up a couple clients like this during the week and you will be fine.

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Friday, 25 July 2014

$100 discount on the University of Toronto's online course until July 31st!

Offer ends midnight July 31th, 2014!
 
The discount has been extended to the end of July. The University of Toronto is offering $100 off for a limited time only. Use the promotion code "JULY 150" for the 150-hour TEFL certification course or "JULY 120" for the 120-hour TEFL certification course to get $100 off.

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Thursday, 24 July 2014

7 Reasons to Use Extensive Reading in Your ESL Classes

In many EFL and ESL classes reading is often a short activity that rarely lasts the entire class period or longer. Things are starting to change and there's a push for extensive reading. Studies have shown that it has been tied to students' academic success. Graded readers are often used to help promote extensive reading. Below you can find 7 reasons why you should use ER (extensive reading) in your classroom.
  1. It exposes students to the classics using grammar and vocabulary they can understand. Shakespeare and Dickens is hard enough for native speakers. Graded readers are abridged versions that allow the students to read classics without compromising understanding.
  2. Reading increases vocabulary and the more reading students do, the more vocabulary they'll learn.
  3. It provides good examples of writing, such as paragraphs, transitions, and more.
  4. It motivates and encourages students. They're able to see an increase in their English language learning because they have read an entire book in English.
  5. ER increases English comprehension. The more imput they have, the more output they'll produce.
  6. It encourages students to read. Technology is taking over our lives and reading is getting pushed to the back burner. Using ER in class shows students that there's still a place for reading in our lives.
  7. ER is fun! Reading is often seen as a hobby and it's a nice break from normal class activities.
Recommended Links

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Best TEFL Jobs in Romania

Here's the information for Romania for The Best TEFL Jobs in the World. You might also want to look at Europe for non-EU passport holders and The Best TEFL Jobs With Worldwide Employers.    

If you know of any other good ones, please let me know by emailing me at naturegirl321@yahoo.com

Here's a tongue in cheek review of the TEFL market in Romania and Bulgaria by Alex Case at TEFLtastic. 
  1. Key English: Run by Mike Waters, an Irish expat who's lived in Romania for a number of years.

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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Online vs On-site TEFL courses

The main problem with online certs is that there is no practice teaching component, but things are starting to change. Cambridge has recently come out with the online CELTA. You do most of the work online, and then have an on-site component composed of observation and teaching practice. Not all TEFL courses are created the same. Take a look at how to choose a TEFL course for more info.

TEFL Course Basics
The following information has been taken from Wall Street Institute.
  • At least 120 hours over 4 weeks or more
  • At least 6 hours teaching practice with real students
  • Trainers should have a degree, a TEFL cert (preferrably a diploma), and at least 8 years teaching experience in 2 different countries.
  • Exams should be oral, written, and teaching
  • The curriculum should cover: grammar, methods, phonetics, classroom management, activities, use at least 3 different textbooks, practice with audio and visual aids, introduce international exams or Business English.

On-site Courses
The advantages of taking an on-site course are that you can take a course in the country you're interested in teaching in. By doing this, you can learn a little about the area and jobs available. In addition, your trainers will probably have experience in that country. Moreover by taking an on-site course you can interact with your fellow trainees.

The drawbacks are the time and expense. Not everyone has a month or so to take off work and study. In addition to the cost of the course, you're going to have to take into account lost wages. Then there's the whole matter of actually getting there, as well as food and accomodation.

Online Courses
The biggest advantage is the convenience. You can literally study anywhere in the world. You can work at your own pace too. These courses are often cheaper than on-site courses. Some popular online courses are the CCELT (100 hours) and the University of Toronto (100, 120, and 150 hours).

The drawback is the fact that it's online. Many employers view online courses as being a step down from on-site courses. This holds true for online masters degrees as well. Since it's online it's often perceived as being easier. Additionally, many online courses don't have a practical teaching component. It's like getting your license without ever having driven a car before.

So Which is Best?
Honestly, most people agree that an onsite course is the best, however, not everyone is able to take onsite courses. With that being said an online course is better than no TEFL cert at all. As mentioned above CELTA now has an online course. Since they also have a practical teaching component their online course is just as good as their on-site one.

Want to Take an Online Course?
Many employers will give you a raise if you have a TEFL cert and sometimes an online course is the only option. If you go that route, make sure they have a practical teaching section. They should also have 120 hours with 6 hours of teaching practice.

They should also offer lots of support and tutor feedback if you need it, in the form of email, skype, or phone calls. At the beginning of the course they should give you a clear syllabus to let you know what direction the course will take. Make sure they use a good online format.

Free Courses
If you don't have the money for a course at the moment, check out these free options. 


In Summary
You really should get a cert and on-site ones are the best, followed by online ones with a teaching component, and finally online ones without a teaching component. It's only fair to your students that they have a teacher who knows what they're talking about. If you can't get a TEFL cert there are other ways to learn about teaching. Try reading is a TEFL cert necessary? to find out more

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Hot Topic: What To Do When Schools Hold Your Documents Hostage

From store.yankodesign.com
More common in some countries than others (Saudi anyone?) is when an employer holds a teacher's documents hostage. Some say that it’s to protect the teacher since their documents are in safe keeping. Others say it’s to protect the school since if they have your documents you can’t pull a runner. Whatever the case, more often than not it is illegal. This is especially this case when it’s your passport.

Passports are government property. Schools have to right to hold them. If a school wants documentation tell them you will give them a notarised copy. If you still have trouble, tell your school that you have to report them to your embassy. If that doesn’t make them give you your passport back then make good on your threat.

Other documents that they typically hold are your diplomas and certificates. Some places do need these at the beginning when your visa is being processed. They are just verifying that they are true and may have to show them at the immigration office. You usually get them back after the visa process is fined and you have your resident card. Other places aren’t too nice. Sure, they’ll tell you that you’ll get your documents back as soon as your paperwork is processed, but then they’ll refuse to give them to you. They’ll state it’s their policy to keep teachers documents until they leave the school. This is dishonest (since they said they’ll give them back) and deceptive (since they knew you’d agree to hand them over if they promised to give them back).

If this happens, pull the illegal card and say they have no right to have your documents. They are yours, not theirs. If that doesn’t work, say that you will report them to your embassy. In all honesty, the embassy probably won’t be able to help you, but the threat alone may be enough to get your documents back. If that doesn’t work call every place you know who may be able to help: the Labour Office, foreigner offices, or immigration. Another idea is to get the press involved. Tell them that you will call the newspapers and let them know what they’re doing. Getting other people involved is usually the extreme. More often than not threats of getting people involved are all that’s need. However, if push comes to shove and you need your docs back, do everything you can do get them. However, you have to realise that once you have them back you might not have a job anymore though. You will have to make a choice and choose what’s more important to you.

The lesson to be learnt is that you shouldn’t hand over originals. If they want originals, bring the originals and copies of the originals. If they won’t accept your copies, have them make their own copies, with you standing over the copy machine. If that’s not good enough, give them notarised copies of originals. If they say that they need the originals say that you cannot give them your original documents. Say that you will go to immigration with them and present your documents. If they keep asking for your originals, then you have to choose whether to hand them over or not. Copies seem to work in most situations. Always keep in mind that whenever you hand your original documents over you run the risk of not getting them back or getting them back in poor condition, such as folded, stamped, ripped, or written on.

If you're going to teach overseas, it's worth researching what you're getting yourself into. There's a lot of fun and excitement, but there are also issues that you need to know about. Here are some good resources for anyone looking at teaching English abroad

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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Friday, 11 July 2014

Hot Topic: Schools Should Not Require Office Hours

Office hours aka "desk warming time" is a hot topic amongst TEFL teachers. Many TEFL teachers don't use office hours productively either and can be often found lurking on Facebook, Waygook, Dave's ESL Cafe, Raoul's China Saloon, Ajarn, or any of the other websites for TEFL teachers around the world. Some teachers would rather accept a lower paying job rather than desk warm.

From lbcommuter.com
ESLCafeLatte sums it up nicely here. "4. Duties- Asking faculty to do things for "free", that is to come in for events or tasks or meetings beyond their contracted hours, is to diminish the worth of a highly educated instructor pool. It is petty and demeaning, again, rather like Walmart. Beyond that, demanding that faculty "log in" when they arrive and leave is an anathema in academe. Teaching hours and a reasonable commitment to office hours are all that professors and instructors ought to be accountable for. These are posted on office doors, web-sites, and on the syllabus. Students and the administration can reach any employee by cell-phone or email, just like the rest of the world does.?

What Other Teachers Think
mashkif also has something to say about it. "Faculty members of a higher education institution are not regular service-sector workers whose productivity and value are measured by the amount of time they sojourn at a desk or behind a counter. Other than interfacing with their students (formally in the class or in individual conferences during office hours) and attending departmental/institutional engagements, there is absolutely no reason for faculty to sit behind their desks for a specified period of time. Period.

By insisting on mandatory working hours, you are basically making faculty justify their salaries. But you are also creating a workforce that is resentful and disloyal. Mandatory working hours are NOT the norm in higher education. And the reason they're not the standard is that every half-decent institution recognizes that it would be counterproductive to make them such. By forcing such a ridiculous practice on faculty, you end up with people who despise you and your institution, and who are unhappy with their jobs."

My take on office hours
There seem to be two reasons for office hours and I disagree with both of them.

Reason 1. Students, staff, and admin have to be able to reach you.
Rebuttal: Let's wake up and smell the coffee, very little of that communication has to take place in person. I'm going to go out an a limb here and say that most people do not want to meet with you in person because they feel that their English level isn't good enough and they'll be afraid to make mistakes. Most of the communication I have had with students, staff, and admin has been through technology: emails, texts, kakaotalk, and phone calls. Very rarely will someone come to my office unless I tell them they have to.

Reason 2: You have to be able to plan your classes.
Rebuttal: I can't even believe that in this day and age people think this is a logic argument. Depending on your office evironment it might be next to impossible to get any work done. When I worked in an open plan office with over a dozen teachers, the teachers' room was always buzzing. It was a great atmosphere for socialising, but pretty hard to get an serious work done. If you have a shared office or your own office, it'll be quieter and you can get work done. However, if you're like many teachers, when you're not in class you need a bit of downtime. I can also work at home if I need to. That's not an issue.

Summary
Having a few office hours a week seem to be ok. By few I mean 2-3. However, so many schools require a heck of a lot more. They'll say that you only have to teach 15-20 hours a week, but neglect to tell you that you-ll be spending up to 20 hours a week desk warming, erm, I mean doing office hours.

Office hours can be useful. I know plenty of people who have used their time wisely and gotten a master degree, TEFL diploma, studied a language, or done something worthwhile with their time. Most teachers don't do this though.

Other places use "office hours" as an excuse for you to be their slave. They'll have you proofread and edit gibberish until you pull your hair out, give placement tests to students, meet with admin, etc. The problem with this is that office hours aren't meant for this. Office hours are meant for you to do what you have to do, whether that be plan classes, grade, create tests, or meet with your students.

Bottom line: if schools are going to require office hours, they shouldn't require too many nor should they fill up your office hours with things they want you to do. There are much better ways schools can motivate teachers. Though on the other hand, teaching English abroad requires a lot of give and take.

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Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Best TEFL Jobs in Latvia

Here's the information for Latvia for The Best TEFL Jobs in the World. You might also want to look at Europe for non-EU passport holders and The Best TEFL Jobs With Worldwide Employers

If you know of any other good ones, please let me know by emailing me at naturegirl321@yahoo.com
  1. International House: Some IH schools are good and some aren't so good. Satva is supposed to be a good one.
  2. LinguaFranca

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Monday, 7 July 2014

Why There Are So Many Jaded Teachers

Newbies often wear rose coloured glasses when they think about teaching English abroad. While it is a good career, it does have its difficulties. Many TEFL certification courses tell you that by teaching English you can see the world. While that is true, there's also things they don't tell you which lead to teachers becoming jaded.

Lack of Prestige
So yea! Congrats, you've taught English in ABC country for a year or two and then go home to visit your family. While you've been gone they've gotten jobs as engineers, designers, nurses, marketing directors, etc, and you're "just an English teacher".

Another possibility is that you decide to teach English for a year or two and then go back home in order to look for a job. If you've learnt a language while you're gone then that will help you out when you interview. However, most people don't. When you go to interviews and the interviewer asks you what you've done for the past couple of years you're going to have to explain that you taught English. Unfortunately, while there are many serious teachers out there many employers think of English teachers as backpackers who are trying to escape the real world.

Lack of Stability
One moment the place where you're working at is great, the next it's horrible. New admin, budget cuts, caps on how long you can stay at your job all create instability. Need an example? Take a look at HCT in the UAE. Once known as one of the best places to work at in the UAE, out of the blue they started getting rid of people right and left and only giving them a month to find another job.

Even if your place doesn't have these issues it's pretty rare to sign a contract that lasts more than 3 years. The majority of them are only a year longer, maybe two, three years if you're lucky. Still, three years is nothing compared to jobs back home that don't have an ending date.

Lack of Money
Granted in some places such as Korea, the Middle East, and Africa, teachers can earn decent money and have good benefits. However, compared to other jobs back home it's not that much. Compared to international school teachers, it's a lot less and compared to what expats make in other careers, it's a pittance.

Many teachers may not get those good jobs in Korea, the Middle East, or Africa and instead are happy with $500 a month in China, because they're told that it's twice as much as the local salary. Comparing what a foreigner needs and what a local needs is illogical. While living in real China and earning $500 a month might seem ok for a bit, the novelty quickly wears off.

Lack of Advancement
Some teachers move up the TEFL ladder and get jobs as DOSes, teacher trainers, or consultants, many teachers remain simple teachers for the majority of their careers. Even if you do get the chance to advance your career, chances are you will always have to answer to a local employer who may have a lot less experience and qualifications than you do.


Lack of Serious Co-Workers
As you advance your career and move on to better jobs, you'll find that you'll work with more serious teachers. However, at the beginning of your career, you may find teachers who are more worried about what drink they'll have at the pub or where they'll take their date on the weekend.

Even if you do get a job at a good university or school, you'll probably still run into some odd teachers. Due to the ease to get a job and the laid back lifestyle, TEFL attracts some very weird people.

The Novelty Wears Off
All of the above leads to the rose coloured glasses slowly coming off. Living in a foreign country, not knowing the language, the culture, and always being seen as a foreigner tends to wear off. Sure, some people adjust, learn the language, marry locals, even become citizens, yet the majority of them will still be seen as outsiders and never fit in completely.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy teaching, but I've experienced all of the above and can see why some teachers get out of teacher or stay and simply become hardened, jaded teachers. TEFLing can be great if you land a good job, people have lived well, saved money, bought houses outright and retired young. If you do it correctly it can be very lucrative.

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Saturday, 5 July 2014

Poll Results June 2014: Student evals are . . .

June's poll was "Student evals are . . ." Here are the results.
    From rmsbunderblog.wordpress.com
  • Fair: 7.69% with 1 vote
  • Unfair: 7.69% with 1 vote
  • Subjective: 61.54% with 8 votes
  • Objective: 0% with 0 votes
  • Useful for rehiring: 15.38% with 2 votes
  • Not useful for rehiring: 7.69% with 1 vote
It seems that most people agree that student evals are subjective. Here are some more articles I've written about student evals


Be sure to vote in this month's poll: How long have you been at your current job?

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Friday, 4 July 2014

9 Days Left to Save $100 on the University of Toronto's online TEFL cert

Offer ends midnight July 13th, 2014!

The University of Toronto is offering $100 off for a limited time only. Use the promotion code "JULY 150" for the 150-hour TEFL certification course or "JULY 120" for the 120-hour TEFL certification course to get $100 off.

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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Soon to be an ex-expat? Shift your stuff without losing your mind!

The following post is from a guest blogger from Val Hamer. You can find her on Faraway Hammer and @farawayhammer on Twitter.

Making the decision to go 'home' invariably sparks practical and emotional challenges that can turn the leaving process into a stressful, and sometimes unpleasant, experience.

This is the time when you should be making final farewells, scheduling quick visits to those places you somehow overlooked, and indulging in feeding frenzies on favourite foods. Instead, for many folk the weeks before departure turn into a headache as they face the task of shedding unwanted possessions.

The good news is it's easy to find online resources that cover the generalities, such as a checklist of practical things to accomplish before you finally get on the plane. The bad news is they tend to reduce everything to a handy one liner.

Cancel your phone contract – an easy check.
Sell your belongings – not so much.

Fifteen years of living abroad in various places has opened my eyes to the living nightmare shifting your stuff can become. It can drain your time, emotional health and faith in people faster than you can say Craigslist, leading to wild fantasies where you seriously consider simply burning the lot if it.

But it doesn't have to be like that. I promise.

And to prove it I've thrown together all the tips and tricks gleaned from the blood, sweat and many, many tears of those who have gone before you. This unique and specific guide details how preparing yourself for the task as early as possible may just save your sanity, as well as your precious time.

Tip 1: Prepare to meet or interact with a variety of 'interesting' people. 

If I was into labelling people I'd probably note them as crazies, timewasters, ditherers, hagglers, cheapskates and vultures, and break it down further like this:

Crazies – online contact may mention an item you have available, but the main focus of their correspondence is to be your friend. Why? Just why? Best ignored from the start.

Timewasters – set your own limits on how many times you are prepared to rearrange meeting to handover stuff. Unless you want to still be trying to 'make it work' while on the bus to the airport.

Ditherers – easily identified by the cautious, curious or questioning comments they make on your Facebook sales album. They always have to check something out first, but rarely follow through. Be aware that they may deter serious buyers, who mistakenly believe an item is spoken for. Don't be afraid to delete any pointless or off-topic comments if it is possible to do so.

Hagglers – while there's nothing wrong with chancing your hand true hagglers never even consider paying full price for second hand stuff. If you are not comfortable with this process establish a (mental) firm 'reserve price' on all items, and stick to your guns.

Cheapskates – different from the hagglers as they're not into shopping as sport, they just don't want to spend. The solution is the same – know what your bottom line is.

Vultures – they love nothing more than to note your departure date then sit back and wait. Expect an insultingly lowball offer at the very last moment. (If you choose to add comments such as 'buy it now or I will throw it into the garbage' doesn't help, so avoid that!)

Tip 2: Start the stuff shifting process early, like REALLY early. 

Early means as soon as you get any inkling that maybe signing up again doesn't appeal, even if that date is still many months away. In fact, that would be perfect timing. If you do decide to stay longer you will have gotten through the initial sort out process, and rid yourself of some surplus items you never use anymore.

Take a notebook, pen and a stern eye to your apartment, (plus office/storage areas if applicable.) Make a note of everything you don't plan to send home or throw away: categorising each item as first, second, third or fourth tier.

How you label them may differ, but for me 1st tier stuff is pretty much essential, (bed, computer chair, hoover), 2nd tier things add value to your life (oven, TV), 3rd tier covers rarely used items, (bread maker, mini-vac) and 4th tier encompasses stuff you never use/wear or don't like, as well as books you've read, jigsaws you've done, DVDs you've watched etc.

Fourth tier items are pretty easy to part with, and this gets you into the swing of de-cluttering at the very least. However, depending on your individual situation, there's often no real need to hold on to much outside of the 1st tier. Plenty of 'want' perhaps, but that's different. Be ruthless!

Tip 3: Spread the word 

There are loads of options available to let the world know you are offloading your goodies. Not all will suit your personality or circumstances, but using as many as possible will obviously help to make those sales happen. Pick and choose from the following:
  • Craigslist:* - make sure you use the correct categories where possible. Also, check out the site rules to avoid being flagged for posting too often. (*I strongly recommend you create a brand new Gmail account solely for websites like this. Otherwise, you risk attracting spammy emails months later from NSFW ad. clones.) 
  • Dave's ESLCafe (Buy and sell) – not as active as it once was, but worth a try. 
  • Colleagues - (by email or a poster at work). If your replacement has been chosen/is a domestic hire, they may be interested in taking some of the bigger items. 
  • Your apartment building – bigger complexes require you have notices stamped before they are posted to bulletin boards. Check with the 'security guards'. 
  • There are lots of Korean language Internet sites dedicated to buying/selling used goods. Get help to access them if your language skills are not up to it. 
  • Facebook – ever popular and easy to manage. Use the search option to find specific buy/sell boards (kids stuff/tech items and so on), as well as local groups – some of which probably have a buy/sell offshoot. 
Bonus tips
  • - Wherever or however you advertise make sure you clearly state your location, delivery options, and prices (inc. terms like 'firm' or o.b.o). - Decide on prices before you advertise. Be clear and be realistic. Do some research to see what others are charging and what the item would cost new. The old adage that something is only worth hat someone will pay for it remains true. Sell in job lots, give discounts for larger spends, etc. 
  • - Avoid time wasters by asking for a good faith deposit on large ticket items. 
  • - Measure things carefully so you can present all the info at one time. Saves people having to ask. 
  • - Get all your bottles in a row. Seeking out the costs of a call taxi or delivery man from point A to B gives buyers all the info they need for transportation costs. 
  • - Don't skimp n the truth. If the bread maker takes up a lot of space and only produces a small loaf over a period of 5 hours make it clear (along with the benefits of course.) People who travel to buy something that is disappointing … 
  • - Sell in good faith. If you know the hoover cuts out every second time you use it but can be fixed by a swift kick then reduce the price and make the quirk a unique selling point! 
  • - Keep a record of what has been posted, both where and when. This will prove invaluable when you want to update ads/lists as things sell. And you do want to do that, for reasons beyond common courtesy. Potential buyers of other things could easily be put off by see-ing others request items that appear to be still up for grabs, only to find out that they are actually long gone. 
Tip 4: Definite leaving date = plan to reduce waste 

It makes sense to use up the (non-exotic/sellable) food items you have, BEFORE you sell your utensils/pots and pans/oven. Ideally, the last few weeks you are around will be spent meeting people for meals/racing to fill in paperwork and grades/sight-seeing or revisiting special haunts. Plan to have nothing but the very basics for breakfast without a stove left for your last month.

If you generally bulk buy household items such as toilet paper it's worth remembering that local shops often sell such things in smaller quantities. A handy option for the last week or so in your apartment. Moving on is never easy, but by starting early and being prepared it really is possible to reduce the stress that selling things tends to bring. If you have some useful tips or funny experiences to share on this topic please do leave a comment.

My bio 
I'm a British born global nomad with a passion for words, good coffee and life.

I blog at http://www.farawayhammerwriting.com
I Tweet @farawayhammer

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Sample Contract for Vinnell Arabia

I've been thinking about teaching in the Middle East for years and years. Saudi has actually been my first choice. I know I could handle the boredom. An anonymous source just sent me this contract. Hope it helps some of you. If you're thinking about moving to Saudi, you should read Living and Working in the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia and How to Succeed in the Gulf: Living and Working in an Arab Culture.

Please be aware that Vinnell Arabia has reached a contract ending date, effective December 31, 2014. Working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia going into its 39th consecutive year, Vinnell Arabia will be up for re-bid, but most likely will be extended as it has at the end of every 5 year period for the life of the contract. It usually gets extended for a year while they prepare the re-bid. We feel obligated to let you know this. We also feel obligated to tell you that we don't expect any interruptions. 

Vinnell Arabia would like to offer you a position as a Instructor, English Language Training on the SANG contract in Riyadh Saudi Arabia This is a one year contract renewable at the end of the first year. The following outlines the benefits and compensation.

Company Provided Non-Exempt Employee Benefits/Living Arrangements 
The following is a summary of living accommodations and benefits that are normally provided to Vinnell Arabia employees supporting the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program, located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Processing/General Information: Employment contracts are for one year (renewable annually). Positions are normally single status, unaccompanied and are primarily based in Riyadh with small satellite locations in Jeddah and the Eastern Province. Employer paid expenses include a physical exam, passport and passport photos, visa services, police records check and other expenses pertaining to deployment processing. No federal or state taxes are withheld, FICA is taken. The Company provides round trip transportation from your point of hire to KSA and return in accordance with the terms of the employment agreement; local transportation at work site is provided according to program requirements. You are authorized to ship 110 lbs unaccompanied baggage, professionally packed and shipped to jobsite (weight allowance includes packing materials).

Housing and Amenities on the Camp Vinnell Arabia Compound: Housing is provided to all employees at no cost on the Camp Vinnell compound. Internal security/force protection is provided by physical security devices and a trained US security force. However, you need to be aware that Saudi Arabia remains a dangerous part of the world due to the threat of terrorist attacks against Americans. The accommodations on the Camp Vinnell Compound are composed of two bedroom apartments. You can expect a private bedroom and bathroom with shared common living area and kitchen facilities with one other person. Telephone is provided (local calls are free, long-distance and overseas calls are at employee’s expense). Free e-mail and internet access is provided (a personal computer is the responsibility of the employee). Selection of free cable TV channels is available. If you desire a personal TV in your room, you may provide that at your expense. Some individuals purchase a TV from personnel departing the contract or acquire one in Riyadh. The operating systems for television are NTSC, PAL and SECAM, so multi-system TVs are essential. Residential compound recreation facilities include a recreation center, a basketball court, weight training facilities and exercise machines, reading and video libraries, two tennis courts, intramural sports programs, mini-mart (snacks/toiletries/sundries), swimming pool, racquetball court. Various 9 and 18 hole grass golf courses are located in the immediate vicinity of Riyadh.

Personal Computers: Each resident will have access to the internet using a Wi-Fi signal that reaches every room, or through a LAN cable connection available in the outlet in each residential room. All Notebooks come with Wi-Fi connectivity, however if any desktop computer requires Wi-Fi connectivity, a USB Wireless adapter is available for issue as needed. A username and password will be required to use the internet and that would be issued to the user once they in-process. Meals: The Company provides a dining facility on the residential compound. All employees will receive a monthly food allowance. As stated above, each apartment also has a kitchen.

Vehicles and Miscellaneous Services: Employees have access to vehicles, on an “as available” basis, at no cost to them for personal and recreational use during after duty hours in accordance with organizational assignments. Vehicles are normally shared by two or more individuals. There is a barber on the Vinnell Arabia office compound (hair cuts are about SR30 - about $8.00). Mail service utilizes the APO system and allows for 1st class mail up to 13 oz. shipping and receiving of packages is available on the office compound. Inbound packages must be sent to Baltimore, MD to our freight forwarder and the employee pays for shipping packages outbound to their point of destination. Priority Mail from the US Postal Service as well as Federal Express, UPS and DHL are available on the office compound. Any number of shipping companies can be used on the compound or the economy. Working Hours/Vacation/Holidays: The workweek is 45 hours: 5 nine-hour workdays, Sunday – Thursday; 198 hours of vacation are provided per 12-month period (21.67 working days each employment contract/year). A vacation travel allowance is currently provided in the amount of $3816 annually, paid at $318/month. There are 9 paid Saudi Arabian holidays.

Health Coverage: The company will provide employees with medical insurance while in KSA; elective medical insurance plans are available for employees and their dependents outside of KSA. Elective medical plans are outlined in the Benefits Handout.

Life Insurance: Employer paid Life Insurance is provided at one times an employee’s annual base salary or $50,000, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of $100,000. Additional Life Insurance is available with an employee paid premium with details outlined in the Benefits Handout.

Sick Leave: Sick leave is administered and must be approved by the company doctor: 90 days per employment year; 1st 30 days = 100% salary; next 60 days = 75% salary.

Salary, Financial Services and Taxes: Salaries: paid monthly, direct deposit to any federally insured U.S. bank/credit union, or via a check in U.S. dollars at jobsite. Check cashing/currency exchange is available on the office compound.Saudi Service award: One-half of one months ending salary and allowances is paid to you or on your behalf, times the number of years you were on the contract, payable in accordance with the employment agreement terms as a one-time lump sum payment upon successful completion of employment in the Kingdom, for the first five years; one month’s salary and benefits for each year thereafter.

Taxes: Up to $97,300 is exempt from federal income taxes providing you meet the requirements of Section 911 of the U.S. Tax Code. The above accommodations, benefits and services are subject to change at the job site location based upon the political/security situation or changes to specific requirements at the time of arrival. Job Site Management makes final determination on any changes to services described above.

Position: Instructor, English Language Training
Monthly Salary 3,180
Monthly Vac Tvl 318 
Subsistence 321
Subtotal 3,819 
Foreign Svc 12 % 382 
Monthly Total 4,201

Annual Salary 38,160 
Annual Vac/Tvl 3,816
Subsistence 3,852
Subtotal 45,828
Foreign Svc 12 % 4,579
Saudi Est Award 1,910
Completion Award 1,526
Annual Total 53,843 

Do you have a current passport and if so, when does it expire? Should you accept this offer, what would be your availability date? I would ask that you please respond to the offer within the next 48 hours. Thank you.

Best regards,


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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Quitting a Teaching Job

Updated 2 February 2015

Sometimes things don't turn out according to plan and you come to a point when you want to quit your job. Forbes has written about the top 5 reasons employees quit in 2013: stability, compensation, respect, health benefits, and work-life balance. However, before quitting, there are a couple things you should consider. Research says that between 40-50% of teachers will leave the classroom within their first 5 years of teaching.


Things to Think About
If you've just started your job, give it a chance and wait a bit. It can take time to get used to a new boss, new country, and new way of doing things. If you're near the end of your contract, it might be worth your while to finish the contract, especially if you get a completion bonuses, airfare, or other perks.

You might want to talk to your co-workers or boss and tell them how you're feeling. They might be able to give you suggestions on how to get used to the school or help you with any problems you might have.

Time to Leave?
However, sometimes circumstances make it impossible to finish a contract. You might have a family emergency back home or your boss might have broken a lot of promises. If this is the case, you need to do some research before quitting.

If you plan on staying in country and want to get another job, find out what kind of paperwork you need in order to transfer your visa. You might need a release letter in order to get another job. You should also get a certificate of employment. It's not a reference letter per se, but it will state your name, job title, and dates you have worked. It should be on official letterhead and signed by your boss.

Legalities
Find out how many days in advance you need to give notice. Check your contract. Most employers state that you have to give 30 days notice. Make sure you give written notice. Make two copies, which both you and your boss sign. Keep one copy and give the other to your boss.

Ask about housing as well. You should be able to stay in the housing until you leave. Some employers will try to make you leave early or will move the new teacher in with you. Let them know that that's not acceptable.

Get what's due to you as far as benefits and money go. Some places will give you half your airfare if you stay at least 6 months. Others will pay you for unused vacation days. Each place is different, so check your contract.


Moving On
Lastly, don't bad mouth the school. It can be easy to rant and rave and say how horrible your boss was. Don't do it. Whether at an interview or on a forum, be careful what you say. Keep it simple and say something like you and your boss didn't agree on things or promises weren't kept. There's no need to go into detail.

Remember, if you quit it's not the end of the world. Most employers are good, but there are some unscrupulous ones out there. If you didn't do a lot of research before accepting this job, try to do more when you accept your next job. If you did lots of research but things simply didn't go according to plan that's ok, it happens to everyone. Remember to keep your chin up and next time you should be able to find a better job.

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