Phil 4:6,7

I was beginning to get anxious about this whole process, even though I told myself not to.  Then my husband reminded me of the bible scripture Philippians 4:6,7, “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God, and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers…” This reminder helped me.  I began to think about all the things I would potentially miss out on if I did get the job.  My husband would not be staying with me and that will be the most difficult part.  So instead of being anxious because I am not a very patient person, I will instead enjoy my time with him, and spend more time with my family.  I will take pleasure in the small things that I will miss, or that I won’t if I don’t get the job.  In the meantime, I won’t be anxious or I may miss out on all the wonderful ways I could potentially spend the next 8 months here in the states for a very long time.

Happy New Year

As the new year rolls in, I’m thinking about what life will be like so far away from my family.  I also reflect on how much I want to talk and tell people all about my journey, but I don’t because if I don’t get it I won’t have to relive it over and over again while telling people and what’s worst than failing, everyone knowing about it. Also because sometimes you just want people to be happy about your decisions but they aren’t always and then you have to hear all the reasons why your decision is not a good one. (We all do it)

My family has a tradition of cooking breakfast together every first day of the year and this year it was held at my house rather than my moms because of how much our family has grown and I have the most space. As my family laughed, ate and watched a movie together, I thought about the possibility of me not being in the same country with them next year.  That will be hard.

I actually think I have a really good chance of getting the job this time. I’m learning a lot from my TEFL classes I’m taking online.  The information will help me with my interview questions, I hope.  I’ve read a few blogs and visited a few discussion boards and got some insight on the type of questions I will be asked during my face to face interview. Plus I still remember some from last time.

So as I wait for my interview dates for ADEC and the yes or no for the face to face with Qatar and Kuwait, I will continue to read about living and working in these countries, the good and the bad. I will continue preparing my paperwork and learning through my TEFL course. I will continue praying for God’s will.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

And the waiting begins

I received an email the other day informing me that I have been shortlisted for a possible in person interview with the Qatar Foundations. The interview would be held in Atlanta on Feb 8 and 9.  I should receive notice sometime in the beginning of January confirming or denying.  I have done some reading about Qatar for expats on several websites.  The stories have had some similarities and some differences.  One of the main similarities have been, the discrimination on the Asian expats and the disrespect that the Qatari show them.  Many articles were great.  The one bad article I read was very bad and many people commented in agreement.  The resounding message was “if you’re thinking about moving to Qatar, DON’T”.  Yikes.  I’m a little worried. Hopefully the other two will come thru for me.

I’ve begun my TEFL course.  So far, so good.  I finished 1 unit in 2 days but then couldn’t go any further until my reflection journals are marked.  I guess that means admin has to review them and approve me moving forward.  Being as though it is Christmas and New Year’s break, I doubt I will be able to move forward within the next few days but I hope that is not the case.

Qatar

Yesterday I was scheduled to have a prescreen interview to teach in Qatar.  I received the phone call at the scheduled time and to my surprise the woman on the other end said that Michael (the gentleman who prescreened me for Kuwait) was so impressed with me that he highly recommended me.  With that being said she didn’t feel the need to interview me again, instead she wanted to put my information directly into to Qatar Foundations.  She told me all about the benefits that come with an offer from QF and they are wonderful benefits.  In fact, it is one of Teach Away’s best overseas job benefits package.  An offer there would include such benefits as, paid and furnished accommodation for myself and my family, employer paid utilities, paid tuition for my boys to attend the school I would be teaching or up to 15,000 allowance for them to attend another school, 2,000 shipping allowance, paid health insurance, and more.  The best part of that conversation was that I would only have to wait 1-2 business days to find out if they are interested in interviewing me or not.  If they are, I would have to fly to Atlanta in the beginning of February just like for Kuwait.  I just hope that if both places want to interview me, they would occur on the same day or within a day of each other, so I won’t have to pay for two flights to Atlanta with no promises.  I really hope they both do, because the more choices, the better my chances this go round.

Tomorrow I will be attending a Webinar with Univ of Toronto for the TEFL program.  I am going to get that TEFL certification, so that I can increase my knowledge base in this area whether I get a job through teach away or not.  I’m a life long learner, what can I say.  Time to do some research on life in Kuwait and Qatar.

Kuwait

Today I had an over the phone prescreen interview for a teaching position in a private school in Kuwait.  It went well.  The interviewer Michael Brough will be sending my information to the hiring principal in Kuwait.  The school is called American United School. Their process is a little different than that of ADEC.  If the hiring Principal is interested in me, he/she will call and I will be set up to interview with him/her in Atlanta.  If I am asked to interview, than they are really interested, so it makes the trip to Atlanta worth it, according to Michael.  I should hear yea or nay, sometime in January. We shall see.  I have an over the phone prescreening interview for a position in Doha Qatar on Monday.  The more, the merry.

Three times a charm or three strikes and you’re out

It’s been a while since my last blog. I don’t know what happened with the oversees job in Kuwait City.  They never got back to me, so TeachAway told me to assume that I wasn’t selected for the job.  So sad.  I thought that interview went really well and I was sure that I would be going to teach over there but that wasn’t in the cards either at the time.

A lot has occurred since then.  I went back to school and received my Masters in Education with a Reading Specialist Certification.  I taught across three grades, K, 1st and 5th.  I resigned my position from Mastery Charter School.  I am now working as a Professional Development Consultant/Literacy Coach and an Adjunct Professor, teaching Adults in the Early Childhood Education concentration.  But one thing has not changed, I want to work oversees.

So here I am, once again, applying to teach oversees.  This makes attempt #3 and either three times a charm (as my husband says) or it’s three strikes you’re out like in baseball.

Sunday, December 13, 2015, I applied for several oversees teaching positions through TeachAway.  The positions were in public and private schools in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.  These countries cover lodging for you and your family as well as medical, and flights there and flights home during summer break. The pay is great and you don’t have to pay taxes.

There are several reasons why I want to get hired: I want to go before my kids leave the nest, so that they can be exposed to another culture, something I never had.  I have lived my whole life in Philadelphia and I wish I had the opportunity to travel and live abroad while I was a child.  Every good parent wants better for their children. My husband and I have goals in mind.  One includes making vacation and home one, once the kids leave home, and opening a restaurant. He loves to cook.  He is starting culinary arts school but we really don’t have a way to pay for it.  The pay oversees is such that I could save a chunk every month towards our goals, pay for his schooling, pay regular expenses and live comfortably. The middle east is also a huge travel hub.  It is smack dead in the middle of the world.  My kids and I could travel all over from there, see the world and I love to travel. Also I’m ready for a change and to meet new people.

Anyway, on Monday, December 14, 2015, I received a call from a TeachAway representative that she wanted to conduct a prescreening interview with me.  Today I passed the prescreen interview and now I will have to gather all my paperwork and ‘wait’ to hear when my in person interview with ADEC will be, just like before.  So here we go again.  I am not optimistic this time because I already been through this process and had my heart broke.  So for now, I will keep my heart guarded and try not to make the same mistakes.

Today I also received an email inviting me to a prescreen interview for the position in Kuwait.  That interview is scheduled for Thursday.  And let the games begin…

 

 

And that is why it’s good to have options

My mother always said never put all your eggs  in the same basket.

I didn’t have to wait long to get the dreaded but not surprising news from ADEC. I was not offered a position with Abu Dhabi.  And although it was my original destination of choice it would seem that it was not in the cards for me to go there right now.  I knew I did not do well on my interview and I can’t turn back the hands of time so I’ve accepted that it was not meant to be. I guess I could be bitter with the way that interview day went but it won’t change the outcome.

And then there were one…

That is why it is always good to have options. I received an email from the representatives for Kuwait and my application is still being reviewed. However my friend also received an email about Kuwait and she was not selected. So fingers crossed; I should be hearing an answer soon!

The Kuwait City interview

Today is a brand new day and I’m leaving the horrible memory of my ADEC interview behind. My interview for Kuwait City is today and I am more determined than ever to rock this interview. That’s why options are important so that when you fail at one you have a back up. My interview is at 11:30am. I arrive at the Doubletree on Broadway a little after 11:00am. I wait for about 10minutes before I am allowed to go upstairs to the room to meet with the agency rep. The rep and I have had a few email conversations so it is nice to finally meet her face to face. She’s young, pretty and Irish. She’s also very pleasant. I tell her about yesterday’s horror and she’s very sympathetic. She gives me few tips and takes me to the room where the hiring rep for KCC is. The atmosphere is less stressful. Less waiting is always less stressful. I interview with with one person and I’m me the whole time. It would have been better to have pictures of my classroom to show. I found a few on my Ipad and showed them. I also show pictures of my students writing samples and progression. I think she’s impressed. I know I did well and I only have to wait 2 weeks to hear yes or no. I was allowed to ask questions and wasn’t rush unlike the day before.

I noticed that the questions on both interviews were more grade specific than anticipated. I expected the questions to be more generalized.

Different questions asked at this interview:

What sort of technology have you used in class?

Have you ever used a smart board? (I have not but I’m a quick learner)

I felt so much more ready for this interview mostly because I was ready for the questions this time.

I’m thinking working in Kuwait would probably be better for me and my family: more benefits, accommodations fully furnished and near the sea, shipping allowance, relocation allowance, paid tuition for both my sons, utilities covered by the school, American curriculum with all American staff, transportation to and from the job.

UPDATE

Yesterday I received an email saying my application was still under review with KCC and I would hear something within 2 weeks. Unfortunately my coworker met a different fate. She received an email stating she was not selected. It is weird how these things happen. She thought she’d done really good and so did I. So you know what I will be doing…………………WAITING!

 

The Abu Dhabi interview

After 6.5 hours of waiting I finally had my interview. I did not do well. I think I was so mentally and physically exhausted that I could not even explain how I teach letters. I have interviewed enough people in my job as an Academy Director to know that when an interviewer asks you the same question several times its because you are not answering it correctly.  Secondly I was sent possible interview questions and I rehearsed the answers but they didn’t ask those questions. Lastly when I left I could of sworn I heard the interviewers laughing. Of course I assumed they were laughing at me. Once I got back to the friends aunts apartment in Brooklyn, I was hungry and depressed. I called my family and talked to them before i laid down but I couldn’t sleep because the right answers haunted me all night long. Failure is a terrible feeling for which I’ve only felt a few times in my adult life.  Once when I tried to get a job as a border patrol I passed all the interviews and the physical but because I was honest about something I once did I didn’t get  the job and I was devastated. Just like I was the night of the interview. But I knew I had to snap out of it because I had my Kuwait City interview the next day. Here is a list of the interview questions I can recall being asked for Abu Dhabi:

What are the ages of the Kindergartens you teach? (Btw Abu Dhabis Kindergarteners start at age 3)

What does three years writing look like?

How would you get their drawings to turn into writing?

How do you manage behaviors?

What do you think will be one of your hardest challenges coming to AD?

How would you show parents their children’s work?

What would we hear and see in your classroom?

What reading curriculum do you follow?

The set up of the interview was: in a hotel room, in front of two ADEC reps, sitting in the lobby waiting for your turn, no food, no cushion seats, but you do meet interesting people from all over who want to teach in another country just like you.

So even though I feel like my chance to teach in AD is over I felt it important to mention that they say I won’t hear anything til some time in April after all other interviews across the U.S and Canada have concluded and then all the info is taken back to AD. And so the waiting continues………….

Someone else’s Gum

Sitting in Starbucks at the window across from the Le Parker Meridian 56th street Manhattan thinking one of the worst things that can happen to a person is touching the under side of a counter and realizing your fingers are touching somebody else’s gum! 

So today’s the day of my Abu Dhabi interview. I’m here in New York. I hate New York. You always have to wait in New York.  I made it to the Le Parker Meridian by 8:45 am where my interview will be held along with many others. Only to find out that yes my interview is at 2 pm and that the system made a mistake directing me to be here by 9. Apparently 8:45 was the time for the am interviews and I didn’t have to be here until the afternoon. Then I’m next in line to hand the Teach Away rep my paperwork and he asks me to wait until later so that he can get all the am applicants paperwork first. SERIOUSLY!  So I’m struck sitting here and doing what WAITING… for 5 hours. All be it to say This Is Not A Good Sign. 

There are like 15 women to 1 man here. At 9 am we went to a room on the 34th floor to hear a short orientation from 4 people who reside in AD.  There is a woman here who lives in AUSTRALIA. I wonder why she’s applying to teach in the U.A.E. She said she wants a change. Ok.  By the way why do people insist on pulling the door when it very clearly says PUSH?

So the other teacher that works with me was not invited to interview with ADEC after her phone interview.  Neither was I the first time I applied 1.5 yrs ago. However she will be interviewing for Kuwait City as will I tomorrow here in New york at the Doubletree n Manhattan.  We are residing with her Aunt in Brooklyn. Her aunt was very nice to allow me to stay because both hotels that I’m interviewing at charge over 200 per night. Ridiculous. The parking at the Le Parker is 53.00 so I took 2 trains into town. The ride in was not too bad. If you don’t mind underground subways and rats. Lol. I slept ok in a foreign bed after I almost went crazy from the noisy neighbors and Aunty gave me earplugs. I would like to give the person that invented earplugs a hug. I don’t like sleeping in NY. 

And you want to know what’s worst than touching someone else’s gum…..WAITING!