Sunday, November 11, 2018

It's a Recruitment Season!

Hey All! Sorry for the long break and thanks to those who still keep up with me.  I'm now in year three teaching in Abu Dhabi.  I'm currently teaching grade 1 and still at my school.  I'm 98% sure that this will be my last year at my current school and I've begun my search for my new home/school.  

This past weekend I attended my first job fair and it was an experience.  There were about 75 schools there and they were looking to fill 700 positions.  I was totally overwhelmed with this experience.  There were so many educators present searching for their ideal school.  Most of the schools that I were interested in either had long lines, no vacancies for my grade level or required PYP experience.  I did manage to secure 2 interviews for that day.  The first interview went well and I was told that I passed the first round.  I'm disappointed that I missed the second interview, I couldn't find the meeting room and there was no representatives present to help me out.  I immediately emailed the head of recruitment of the school to inform them of the situation.  But we'll see how everything goes.  I would love to stay in UAE but if the right school comes along with the right package, I'm leaving.  My ultimate goal is to save money.  Although I managed to save some money at my current school, I know I would be able to save more in different locations.  

But anyway if you're looking to teach overseas, now is the time to start sending out your resumes or sign up with a recruitment agency.  Over the next few months there will be several job fairs where many teachers will be hired on the spot or immediately after.  You can try applying directly to schools or sign up with Teach Away, ISS/Schrole, Search Associates, TIE and many others. Many schools use specific agencies to recruit teachers, however you may still have luck contacting schools directly.  

I'm a member of ISS/Schrole and these are the upcoming job fairs:

Good luck on your job search!

Until next time...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

End of Year Two

Well hello out there!!!!!!!!!  I know, I know, I don't have any excuses 🙅 but I'm here!  Thank you to all of those who follow the blog, I apologize that my posts are so sporadic. 

Last Day of School Happy Dance
I'm now in NJ on summer vacation.  Tomorrow will mark three weeks since I arrived home.  I had another successful year at my school and I am returning for year three.  I originally signed on for two years but decided to extend my stay.  For the 2018-2019 school year, I'm moving on to first grade.  So if you're keeping up with me, I started off in KG1, the following year KG2, now onto grade one.  I'm not looping with my entire class.  My principal gave me the option of taking my entire class or mixing up the classes.  I took the second option, we'll see how it goes.  I'm looking forward to the grade level change.  I'm P-3 certified, so I'll now have experience in each grade, except for grade two.

This has been my mood since July 5th! 😂😂😂😂😂  I don't have any summer travel plans, just enjoying my time off.  Today I ordered some books for professional development that I plan to read before returning to work on August 26th.  Although, this is vacation time I can't seem to turn my mind off from work.  I have so many goals that I want to implement this year.  I think I'm going to dedicate two days out of the week to concentrate on work. 

I'll try to give updates during the rest of the summer.

Until next time!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Parent Teacher Conferences/New Team Member

Hello All!

Well it's not Friday, but in the Middle East, Thursday is the new Friday for me.  We just finished week two of term two and we're already tired.  After being on vacation for 2 1/2 weeks, we returned back to work with Parent/Teacher Conferences the same week.  I'm not sure why we started the term off with conferences, but I hope this is the first and last time doing so.  I was able to meet with 15 out of 22 families.  All were pleased with their child's progress, as was I.

The following week we earned a new member to our KG Team.  My principal asked me to meet the new KG1 teacher at the airport and take her to her new apartment.  I've spoken with the teacher over the past few months via Facebook.  She's was in search of job and I informed her of an open position at my school.  Fast forward a few months later and she's now the newest addition to our school.  She's living in one of the areas I would like to move to next year.  I was glad I was able to get a tour of the place before I request a housing transfer.  The apartments are spacious and it looks like every one has a balcony.  The complex has a pool, basketball court and gym.  I've grown to like where I currently live but I'm open to moving.  The downside to that complex is that it's not a lot of  stores/shops in the area.  I was thinking of returning my rental car at the end of the school year, but I may need to rethink this.  Anyway, I have until April to make a decision about housing.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone!

I truly didn't realize how long its been since my last blog.  I know I say it often, but I'm going to do better with updating this blog.  I don't have many new year resolutions but updating my blogs is one of them.  I say blogs, because I have another teaching blog that I haven't updated since 2015 😞.  But it's a great tool to have for self reflections as well an added resource for my teacher's portfolio.  But enough about that.

I finally traveled over the Christmas break and I absolutely enjoyed myself!  We traveled to Thailand (Bangkok & Phuket).  I had such a great time that I started looking for teaching positions in Thailand.  Lol!  I will definitely visit again.  Traveling was what I needed since I didn't return home for the holiday.  We kept busy so our minds wouldn't be on our families back home.  I can't wait to travel again for Spring Break, I'm thinking of visiting the Philippines.  

On the work side of things...
I had my evaluation a few months back and everything went well.  The Head Boss knows that I'm searching for a new teaching position and asked that I reconsider staying.  She also said that she received so many phone calls/emails from parents about me.  It really feels good to hear positive feedback and have your hard work recognized.  I told her I'm open to staying but I also would like to open myself up for other opportunities.  Some of my current and former parents are already asking me what grade I'm going to be teaching next year.  I don't have the heart to tell them that it's a possibility that I might not be there.  They (parents) either want to move up with their children or move down for the siblings who are starting KG1 next year.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Although I'm looking elsewhere, I'll most likely stay at my current school.  As I've mentioned before, I really like our new principal and would like to be a support to her and the school.  Who knows, I might even put myself out there for a leadership position.  Before I left my school in the States, my principal did talk with me about this.  Maybe it's time I step out on faith and give it a try.

Until Next time......

Before you go, check out a short video of my trip to Thailand

Friday, October 27, 2017

Recruitment Season

Hey All!

I apologize for the long breaks in between posts.  I always have the intention to make a post but I get sidetracked every time.  I'm currently on midterm break, and it's a much needed 4 day weekend.  We have 7 more weeks before term one ends.  I'm excited that I will go on my first trip over Christmas break.  My friend and I are traveling to Thailand.  I'm a little sad I won't be with my family during the holidays but I have yet to travel since moving here.  I want to travel as much as I can, before my time here is up.  

Dear educators who are considering to teach abroad, Recruitment season is upon us. If you are serious I would update that resume and get on it now. There are recruitment fairs and job listings happening. You can secure a job for next school year and finish your current contract. 

A teacher who is teaching abroad and trying to help out.

I've seen this on Facebook a few times, so I thought I would post it here as well.  My school is one of those schools hiring for next school year.  My principal is looking to hire new staff by the end of December.  If you're truly interested in teaching abroad and would like to know more information about my school, please leave a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.  

This is my second year so my contract ends in July.  I'm looking into applying to other schools for the 2018-2019 school year.  I've applied to two school today on ISS, two schools in Dubai and the other in Oman.  My new principal is awesome and I believe she is what the school needs.  Under her leadership, I would consider staying at the school.  But I'm also keeping my options open, wish me luck!  

Until next time!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Let Year Two Begin!

I arrived back in Abu Dhabi a week ago after spending 8 weeks home, in Jersey.  Although, good-byes are never easy, it does feel good to be back.  I'm up and about and I've adjusted to the time zone difference.  The first two days were the hardest, I slept a lot, my body was worn out.  I'm now getting to bed before 1:00 am so this is really good.  

The flight coming back was horrible.  Actually the flight from Philly to Chicago was fine but from Chicago to Abu Dhabi was rough.  The flight wasn't rough due to weather or the mechanics of the plane, but non-stop screaming children.  I usually stay awake as long as I can before getting on a plane so that I can sleep the majority of the flight.  I only had about 3-4 hours of sleep before boarding the plane, so I was ready to take a looooong nap.  But my plan to sleep for the 12 hour and 35 minute flight to Abu Dhabi, didn't go as planned.  I wanted to scream and cry just like those kids.  My eyes were burning, boy was I tired!  Although it seems as if I'm complaining, I'm very grateful to have made it safely to Abu Dhabi.

Since I've been back I managed to obtain my driver's license!  Finally!  The task wasn't hard at all so if you're new to Abu Dhabi and need to get  your UAE license, listen up!  The first thing you need to do is have your home country's licence translated.  I went to MAK for Translation and Business Services, located in Marina Mall.  Once you enter the main entrance of the mall, you walk straight (pass Joe's Crab Shack) until you see the perfume section then make a right.  You will be looking for Paris Gallery.  Enter Paris Gallery and take the escalator down two flights.  Once you come off the escalator go to the right and the office is there.  Just inform the front desk that you need to have your license translated and you will receive a ticket.  As soon as I received my ticket I was called.  The guy who helped me, Mohamed, was very nice and had pretty good English.  

While Mohamed worked on the translation, I went to get my eye exam at Yateem Optician.  Yateem is located on the first floor across from Typo and next to Shake Shack (you need to walk towards the main entrance).  Yateem didn't open until 10 a.m. and the doctor wasn't due to arrive until 10:30, so keep this in mind when you're planning.  While waiting on the doctor, Mohamed called to let me know that my translations was complete.  The doctor arrived at 10:40 and I was called back by 10:45, the exam was 25 dirhams.  I traveled back to MAK to get my copies of the translation then went to another counter for processing.  At this counter the guy explained how to apply online and then I was on my way.  The fee to have my license translated was 120 dirhams.

Once I arrived home I tried applying on line but kept getting an error.  I tried just about the whole day with no luck.  So today I went to the Licensing Department near Mushriff Mall.  You just go to the area across from Customer Service where there's a set up of iPads and complete your application on there, that's if you're unsuccessful in applying online from home.  So now I'm just waiting on my license to be delivered to my home, it should take about 3-4 days.  The application fee was 213 dirhams.

I can't wait to finally be able to drive and really explore Abu Dhabi!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Year One Complete

Hello  All!  I know it's been awhile, but you should know me by now 😉.  The school year ended almost three weeks ago on Thursday, June 22nd.  Since then I've returned home to New Jersey and I'm enjoying my time with family and friends.  I'm elated to say that my first year abroad was a success and I'm looking forward to year #2.

I"m truly grateful to my Creator who carried me through this journey.  I was always told that when you pray for things/situations, you need to be specific.  When I decided to accept my position, I prayed for each and every situation that I would encounter.  My God never failed me and he answered and supplied all my needs!  

I can't say enough about my students and their parents.  I truly had THEE BEST KG1 students and families.  When I think of how much they've grown over those 10 months, I'm simply amazed.  The last week of school, we had Memory Day and I was brought to tears when I begin speaking about one student in particular.  This student started the school year with little to no English.  I think of how scary that had to be for him, he had no one he could communicate with.  All of the students spoke English and majority of the students can speak Arabic as well.  This student could not speak either of those languages.  However, he found a way to communicate with others.  I would explain to my students often that it wasn't easy for him and that we all needed to help him.  And helped they did!  I had some of the most caring, and compassionate kids ever!  I gave this student the award of Most Improved, he definitely deserved it.  And by the way, not only did this student learn English but Arabic as well!

I'm truly going to miss my kids and their parents but I will still get the chance to see them daily.  Especially since I'm moving up to KG2!!!!! 🙌  As of now I will have 5 of my former students again for the 2017-2018 school year.  I would love to have my entire class again but it's out of my hands.  But I'm excited to move up to kindergarten next year.    

I'm praying that year 2 will be just as awesome as year 1.  We will have a new principal that I'm excited to get to know and work with.  Starting a brand new school isn't easy but I do believe the staff at my school did an awesome job with everything we encountered over the year.  We're survivors!  Lol!  But the school is off to a great start and I'm excited to see what it will look like a few years from now.  Oh yeah, I'm 98% sure I'll remain in the UAE for the next two years.  Not sure if I'll remain with my school or transfer.  But I'm pretty sure the UAE is where I'll be.

Well until next time!