Things To Consider Before You Teach In The Middle East
Dec 24, 2011 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (T 2838 Views
Going to teach in the Middle East can be an amazing and rewarding experience. You'll get to experience new and exciting cultures, make friends with people you might never otherwise meet, and you also get to take advantage of the travel opportunities. Before you quit your job and pack up your home, however, consider these three things.
Are You Prepared For The Cultural Differences?
There are a number of differences between Western cultures and Middle Eastern cultures. In many countries, women shouldn't offer to shake hands with a man and instead should wait for the man to offer his own hand. Both men and women need to dress conservatively and public displays of affection are almost always frowned upon. Women should also take care to understand whether the country they're in requires them to cover their hair with a scarf. Some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, even restrict a woman's right to drive, something that could take some getting used to for a Western woman. However, in much of the region, if you're respectful and courteous to those around you, you'll be treated the same in return.
Who Do You Want To Instruct?
Who do you want to teach in the Middle East? Do you want to instruct children in a traditional school setting? Or are you happier with teaching business people in a workplace school? You'll need to approach different groups of students with different teaching methods and even vocabulary. Business people usually won't need to worry about words like colors and instead will want you to help them learn business words and phrases concerning computers, numbers, and other business terminology. If you want to instruct professionals rather than children, you'll likely also need to include business customs and traditions in your classroom instruction.
Where Do You Want To Teach In The Middle East?
If you're interested in moving to teach in the Middle East, you'll need to think about where you want to go. Do you want to move to Abu Dhabi to teach? Or is Kuwait your first choice? Do you want a rural or urban setting? Lastly, are you looking for a long-term job or do you just want to teach in the Middle East on a short-term basis to experience another culture? No matter what you decide, make sure that you think about these things before you sign up. If you're unsure if you're going to enjoy being overseas, consider signing up for just a short-term job. You can always try to extend your stay if you find out that you really enjoy the position.
Moving to teach in the Middle East can be a unique experience that you might not find anywhere else. Before taking the plunge though, make sure you're thinking the entire process through. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy living your life in a new country and will come home with memories that will last you a lifetime.