Advice (and a book on help) to New Teachers

Tonight Jenia and I attended a snazzy welcome party for new ADEC teachers at the Rotana hotel in Al Ain.  We met a few of the many new teachers on hand, and when a young lady named Kim asked for advice on how to make it here and survive the year to return for another, I told her this: “Go with the flow.  Relax.  Don’t worry about the pressure–it just doesn’t matter.  Don’t let them stress you out.”  Yeah, my biggest and best piece of advice is that pathetic.  I mean, the best I can say is “roll with it, baby?”  Pretty much, but I do emphasize the “it just doesn’t matter” part pretty heavily, too.  Generally, we Western teachers have a work ethic and such that will more than get us by here, and if we just apply what we already know and don’t allow administrators to stress us out, we’ll be solid additions to the workforce.  Oh, and, as one veteran teacher told me last year, “Take the tea” whenever it is offered by your Arab co-workers.  Go have a chat, ignore whatever work you might have for a few minutes, and be social.  That helps you build relationships, and those can be helpful (if not critical, in some cases) to succeeding at work.

One other thing that is an incalculably helpful resource–there is a group of expats called Al Ain Life (the ones that staged tonight’s get together) that has put together a truly splendid booklet offering insight into the whole residency process (how to get your electricity switched over to your name, for example), unraveling an extremely and unnecessarily complex part of settling in.  We picked up a hard copy tonight at the event, and it’s wonderful.   Al Ain Life (people we know personally, by the way) are more than happy to share a digital copy with you.  If you’re interested, comment below, and we will sort out a way to get it to you.

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32 thoughts on “Advice (and a book on help) to New Teachers

  1. Yes please!! I would like to see that. Preparing for my future teaching gig there… (albeit 2-3 years in the future after completing my masters) …any information would be great

  2. Hi. Just stumbled upon your blog while trying to get more info on border runs. Great site! If you could send me how to get that book that would be infinitely helpful. We still feel a bit like fish out of water.

    • Hi Dave, hang in there; it does get better. Border runs are as easy as picking a border and going across it and then back. We went out past Bawadi Mall and kept going to the post that direction.

      I’m still waiting for my digital copy of the book myself; I ought to be able to get it to you soon.

  3. Hey,
    I’m currently stalking your blog as I contemplate a switch from teaching English in Korea to the UAE. Could I get a copy of the book if you still have it? 🙂

  4. Hi,
    I hope your still in Al Ain.
    My husband starts work for the new hospital next month with us to follow in December.
    Can I get a copy of the book, it will help me help him! lol
    Thanks!

    • Sure, Lila, but there is an updated copy available now. Some of the red tape rigmarole has changed in the last year. I’ll see if I can obtain it for you. If you don’t hear from me soon, remind me!

  5. Hey I just want to said your blog was very informative. My husband and I are in the process for him to teach in Abu Dhabi. I would love to get a copy of the book.

    Thanks so much.
    Heydi

  6. Hi there, My wife and I are beginning the process of teaching overseas. I would love to pic your brain some more. We are looking at many different locations as well as different Recruiting companies.

    Thanks in advance.

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