Spring has finally sprung – and the timing is definitely right. Nothing could feel better than finishing off an inspiring Winter Olympics with sunshine and budding flowers-except surpassing a world record and winning 14 gold medals on your home turf, of course. (Go Canada!) Although we’ve put away our red shirts and Canadian flags here at Teach Away, we’re making sure not to forget the spirit of global friendship that the Olympics symbolize.
For wannabe Olympians out there, this month the Teach Away Telegram has a Culture Shock Quiz to bring out your competitive spirit and an article about a really cool “winter” sport that’s all the craze right now in the UAE! And if you didn’t think it possible to beat 14 Canadian gold medals, have we got a number for you: We now have 600 new teaching opportunities for Kindergarten teachers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (for a grand total of 900 jobs we need to fill in the UAE), so read on….!
-The Teach Away Team
In this issue:
Although its name might cause some confusion, it’s unlikely that the unique sport of sand skiing, popular in the United Arab Emirates, will ever get added to the Winter Olympics – not that it doesn’t test one’s skill – it does!
Imagine yourself strapped to a board (similar to one you’d use for snowboarding) staring down a 300-metre drop of, not snow, but sand. One can only imagine the dexterity and balance necessary to remain upright on slopes where, instead of a solid surface of packed white snow, you are met with the soft and supple grounds of infinite grains of sand.
Abu Dhabi, which boasts year long sunny days and hot temperatures, is—surprisingly—the place to go for ski enthusiasts. You may not find yourself flying down a mountain of white or gliding across a sea of blue, but instead you’ll be awed as you soar over slopes of gold. Although considered one of the largest sand dunes in the world, gentler dunes are an option for skiiers who’d prefer to take it easy. Daredevils on the other hand can choose to ski off the 300 metre-high dunes of Liwa, only about an hour’s drive from Abu Dhabi.
Even those who might find the gentler dunes a little too rough around the edges will take pleasure in tagging along on this great desert adventure. A climb to the top of the sand dunes at just the right time of day will promise a magnificent view of the sunrise or sunset. Making sure to get there at the right time will also help avoid the extreme conditions of the mid-day sun, and will make for a much more pleasant experience.
Even the most adventurous sport enthusiasts should come prepared for extreme temperatures and harsh UV rays. It is recommended that all participants wear light-coloured clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and layers of sunblock.
While living in a country with 365 days of summer, create your own version of the “Winter” Olympics by taking part in Abu Dhabi’s sand skiing craze!
by Laurie Williams
The first few days in Korea after orientation are crazy. Until you’re settled and can get on the internet to find the EPIK people near you, you’re on your own in a new world with just one co-teacher. But fear not! Roll with it; say yes to (almost) everything; and you’ll discover everyone wants to help you. Furthermore, most people (myself included) don’t lead the classroom during the first week so there’s plenty of time to settle in to your new life.
My apartment is small – but really fancy. I don’t know anyone in England with in-floor heating and a walk-in shower! I thought I was perhaps a “lucky one” until I saw the other apartments my EPIK friends have in our little city of Yeongcheon. It turns out we’re all pretty lucky here. There are at least ten other foreigners in Yeongcheon, so we meet up all the time.
My school is a lovely all-girls’ high school called Sun-Hwa. Be prepared to receive many gifts from teachers at your school. Even if it’s obvious that you cannot stand rice cakes, you’ll get them in abundance. Even your students will give you many gifts. They will also scream if you’re near, and prepare for glass to shatter if you give them a handshake. It can be a rough life, all this constant adoration!
Test your knowledge and see if you can match the following scenarios with the appropriate phase of Culture Shock. (We know you have February’s Teach Away Telegram but… try not to cheat!)
Phases of Culture Shock: 1. Honeymoon 2. Rejection 3. Adjustment 4. Acceptance 5. Reverse Culture Shock
__ I guess I can understand why local people do it that way, but something still feels a little off.
__ Why do people here do that?!? I’d give anything to be back home where things are “normal.”
__ Everything here is so cool and different! I just love the people, the customs, and the lifestyle!
__ Why do people at home do that?!? I’d give anything to go back to my ‘home away from home’ where things are “normal.”
__ I definitely understand the reasoning behind why they do that here. Wow, that really does make a lot of sense.
Culture Shock isn’t to be taken lightly. Most people are so excited at the prospect of living and working abroad that they tend to brush off the reality that it will hit, and are therefore unprepared for the emotional effects. A few things to keep in mind:
Enjoy Life: Even though you’ll be having the time of your life during the Honeymoon Phase, keep in mind that it will be short-lived. Have a blast, enjoy life, but also be aware that this euphoric state of mind can only last so long. Amongst all the meeting of new people, exploring, wining and dining, don’t forget to leave some time for yourself: get an adequate amount of sleep, eat healthily, be active, and drink lots of water!
**Always remember that you are an ambassador to your home country, and continue to act in a way that you would want locals to think of the people from home.
Find a Hobby: The Rejection Phase will be the hardest to get through, but keep in mind that “this too will pass.” Now’s the time to take it easy and find yourself a hobby – like scrapbooking your great adventure abroad. Try to avoid easy outs such as binge eating, over-consumption of alcohol, or serial dating. Make sure to maintain communication with important people back home, but don’t spend 24/7 living vicariously through friends on Facebook. Remember, you are having the experience of a lifetime – don’t throw precious hours away in front of the computer.
**Teach Away’s Top Tip: Never make the big decision to break a contract when you find yourself in the middle of the Rejection Phase. You may live to regret a decision made during a very typical stage of Culture Shock.
Learn about your surroundings: To ensure a smooth and relatively painless Adjustment Phase, make it easier on yourself by making an effort to truly learn about the culture that surrounds you. Now that you’re feeling more open and accepting, join some local language classes (if you haven’t already), volunteer at community festivals, play local sports, or join community classes such as kimono-wearing or tea ceremony lessons in Japan, and traditional drumming or kimchee-making lessons in Korea. **Beginning April 2010, the Teach Away Telegram will highlight one local tradition or national hobby in one of the countries we work with – to help you get more involved in your community!
Make the most of your time: Depending on how long previous phases have lasted (timing will vary based on the individual and the experience), you may or may not reach the Acceptance Phase. If you are lucky enough to have come full circle, enjoy the remainder of the time in your host country and make yourself some memories to last a lifetime! Now’s a good time to prepare yourself for those mixed feelings you might have once you’ve set foot on home soil. As excited as you think you may be to go home, don’t deny the reality of the last stage of Culture Shock.
Get Involved: Unless you went against our advice during the Rejection Phase and left early, Reverse Culture Shock is unavoidable. Make your homecoming as pleasant as possible by sharing photos and details of your trip with friends and family – but don’t overload them with too much information about this place far, far away. You can’t go wrong seeking out your new interest at home: Rent Korean films, meet Middle Eastern students for language exchange, volunteer at your local Japanese community centre, or take Thai cooking classes. You’ll also learn that looking at your country through the eyes of a tourist can take away the ‘back home blues’. Reminding yourself of the positive aspects of your home country while simultaneously not losing touch with the country you grew to love will definitely allow you to have a much easier time during this last phase of Culture Shock.
Culture Shock Quiz Answers: A – 3, B – 2, C – 1, D – 5, E – 4
Just in case you think you may have read it incorrectly, we’ll say it again: We have 600 new teaching opportunities for female Kindergarten teachers beginning in August 2010 in Abu Dhabi.
If you are a licensed teacher with certification in Early Childhood Education and some experience teaching little ones (Pre-K or K preferred), then we’ve got the job for you! Unlike positions at the elementary or secondary level in Abu Dhabi, teachers who fill these positions will find themselves in a mixed-gender classroom with a local Emirati teacher to share lesson planning and teaching responsibilities – so even new graduates may apply!
Just in case you think you may have read it incorrectly, we’ll say it again: We have 600 new teaching opportunities for female Kindergarten teachers beginning in August 2010 in Abu Dhabi. If you are a licensed teacher with certification in Early Childhood Education and some experience teaching little ones (Pre-K or K preferred), then we’ve got the job for you! Unlike positions at the elementary or secondary level in Abu Dhabi, teachers who fill these positions will find themselves in a mixed-gender classroom with a local Emirati teacher to share lesson planning and teaching responsibilities – so even new graduates may apply!
Female Kindergarten teachers with at least 5 years of teaching under your belts and some experience in an administrative or supervisory role (as department head or vice-principal, for example) may find yourselves more interested in Kindergarten Advisor positions. These leadership roles require an experienced teacher whose duties will include training, guiding, and acting as mentor to up to 12 Kindergarten teachers.
Lucrative public school teaching positions now open for Commonwealth teachers in tropical Brunei. Located on the island of Borneo, the city of Brunei boasts a relaxed and quiet lifestyle and is considered a paradise for teachers who are ready for a slower pace of life. If you meet the criteria in one of the following two categories, apply online now:
♦ Native English Speaker from a Commonwealth country
♦ Teaching license
♦ 3 consecutive years of full time teaching experience at the elementary level
♦ Some experience teaching Kindergarten
♦ Under 52 years of age
♦ Supply teaching and short term contracts (under 1 year) are not considered full time for these positions
♦ Native English Speaker from Commonwealth country
♦ Teaching License
♦ 3 consecutive years of full time experience teaching English at the secondary level
♦ At least 1 year of experience teaching ESL within a mainstream curriculum
♦ Under 55 years of age
♦ Supply teaching and short term contracts (under 1 year) are not considered full time for these positions
Are you from Canada, Australia, Ireland, the UK, or New Zealand? Do you possess a Masters degree in TESOL (or equivalent)? If you hold a DELTA, a Trinity Diploma or have completed a Masters in TESOL or Linguistics, you may want to consider applying for 1 of 3 ELT positions currently available at schools run by the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Brunei. Teachers must have at least 3 years of consecutive full time experience teaching ESL/EFL/ELT at the appropriate level. There are currently 2 openings for primary ELTs and 1 opening for a secondary ELT position. Working within a more conservative environment of a Muslim school will prove to be a unique and enlightening learning opportunity for culturally-sensitive teachers.