6 Crucial Things To Know Before Moving To Teach In The Middle East
Teaching is one of the well known opportunity-laden professions that is usually not affected by economic ups and downs. Teaching is often pursued because a person has the passion for disseminating knowledge and can act as a guide to the future generations. When it comes to teaching abroad in the middle east, there are a lot of things that one should consider before moving.
Nowadays, the Middle East is becoming a hotspot for international teachers to find their dream jobs. Thus, several international schools have opened up and this has led to the rise of teaching jobs in places like Bahrain, Dubai, etc.
If you are thinking of joining one of the schools in the Middle East, here are some points that you should know:
Do you have what it takes?
Before moving to a new place to start your teaching job, you should understand if this is what you wanted all along. It is always a good thing to understand what type of teacher you are before accepting a position in a new school.
In the Middle East, there are different types of schools catering to various students. But the ones that usually accept expats for teaching positions are International Schools, Embassy Schools, and schools that have their teaching medium in English.
International Schools are generally those which were founded for the children of expats working in the Middle East and allow other students too. Embassy Schools are specifically for the children of the diplomats working there.
So if you are one of the teachers who find it easy to work with any kind of students irrespective of the language and cultural differences, then you can work anywhere. Otherwise, you look for opportunities in international schools or the Embassy School related to your region.
Understand if the salary supports your basic needs
The most important thing that you should know before accepting a job in a new place, is if the salary is enough to support your basic needs. The cost of living is different for different countries. Though the Middle East is known for providing the best salaries for international teachers, it is good to check out what are the benefits that you will get apart from the salary.
Check out if you are entitled to any housing, medical or travel benefits. These three things will be the most important when it comes to having a good lifestyle. If you cannot travel to your native place once a year due to the high cost of travelling and spending most of your salary on house rent, then it would be a bad decision to move there. Usually, most of the good schools and colleges will take care of these expenses.
Is the living conditions of the place up to your expectations?
Are you someone who loves to go on a trip once a month or two? Or are you someone who enjoys a good nightlife? You must remember that though the Middle East is fast becoming developed and places like Dubai have a modern outlook, the differences will be there. It is a common thing that the living conditions are different in different places and this is the same when it comes to the Middle East.
You must do a bit of research to see if the place will support the lifestyle that you actually enjoy. It is not that you will spend all your time teaching. You must think of how you will spend the weekends and the vacation period when you are not going to your native place. The transportation in places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi are great but in most other places in the Middle East, it is not that great. So you have to take that into account. It will be better if you rent a car or check out with your employer if the same is provided.
Know what kind of students you have to teach
Knowing your students is the essential part of your job. If you do not understand your students well enough, then it is going to be a hard job for you. You have to understand that these students have been brought up in a culture different from yours and will need you to have a lot of patience at first. In Middle Eastern countries, the students give more focus on the personal relations with teachers than their tasks. So punctuality is not more important than how you interact with them. You must be careful about your interactions and not enforce strict punctuality and Western philosophies.
Can you handle the weather conditions and culture shock?
The weather may or may not be a concern to you depending on the place that you are originally from, but if you are not from the Middle East, then you might at first be on the receiving end of culture shock. Though non-Muslim expats are given more freedom in certain areas, you need to be aware that there are some social limitations that you are expected to maintain. Do ask the school to guide you through these cultural differences so that you can be aware of not committing any social mistake whether in the school or outside.
Understand the rules and regulations of the country
It should be clearly understood that while you are living in a foreign country, you are subjected to all the laws and jurisdiction of that country. As a teacher, it is expected of you to be accepting of the cultural and religious restrictions that are there in the region. You will have to dress moderately to schools. If you are a lady teacher, you need to be careful not to wear clothes that reveal your legs and hands too much.
If you follow the cultural guidelines and take the above points into consideration, you will find that teaching in the Middle East is an incredible experience. And remember, you should always have a neutral view of everything and not be the centre of controversies.
Author Bio: Hasib is a professional writer working with the prominent job portal Naukrigulf.com. As a career coach, he helps professionals in making decisions related to career and job opportunities. He is an avid reader and lives for two things — football and food. If he is not involved in any of those, you can find him contemplating existential issues. Follow him @ twitter, Google+, LinkedIn