Saturday, April 27, 2013

Interview News

I got an email yesterday stating that May 16th is my definite interview day. Very exciting. I proceeded to then book my train ticket to Toronto. Next week I will buy a suit to wear (I know, I'm sad because I don't own a suit). I will also have to get my hair and eyebrows done. First impressions are so important and I really want to make a good one.
I'm just wanting for my passport and finishing my interview research. So excited! Thanks to everyone for reading and praying.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Interview Prep

     I decided to just take my passport pictures like that, they actually turned out better than the last ones so I am happy.  I took my application to the office and they told me that I will get my passport by May 13.  That is perfect because I will have it just in time for the interview.  In the meantime I am collecting more documents to send to my Teachanywhere rep:

  • ADEC Application
  • ADEC Security Check
  • Letter of Reference from my principal
  • CV
   The only things that I am missing is a copy of my passport page and my criminal record check which I should get today or tomorrow in the mail.

     In the meantime I am preparing for the interview, scouring the internet for possible interview questions.  I found the following questions on the Footprints Recruiting website:

  • Brush up on outcome based education - they will ask about this.
  • Familiarize yourself with the history of ADEC.
  • Familiarize yourself with the history and culture of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
  • Familiarize yourself with Islamic culture and its customs.
  • Dress professionally: for men a suit and tie, for woman business attire.
  • Come with a positive attitude: be optimistic yet realistic.
  • Speak clearly and succinctly - remember, the interviewers will be assessing you on your spoken language as this is particularly important for second language speakers. Avoid the use of slang or abbreviations.
  • Focus on student-centered learning and relationsip building as these are critical to your success as a teacher in Abu Dhabi.
  • Don't say that you have nothing to improve on in your teaching - nobody is perfect and we can all do better.
  • Make sure to have solid examples based on past experience - say what you've done, not what you would do.
  • Know your behaviour management strategies.
  • Know how to assess your students, both formally and informally.
  • Know what rigour looks like.
  • Know your theory of second language learning.
This week I will be spending my free time researching the answers to this questions, so that I am comfortable if I am asked any of the above.

I wish I knew someone that was also preparing for the interview so that we could share ideas but all the blogs I have found are teachers that are already there.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tentative Interview Date and Passport Vanity

    I just heard that the tentative Toronto interview date is May 16th which is perfect.  I am so worried because I am running the Ottawa Half Marathon the weekend of May 27th, I was praying that the interview would not be on that day.  There is still a possibility that the date may change, but for now it is the 16th.
    Is it vain of me to want to have my hair done for my passport picture?  I am going to have that picture for five years so I figure that I might as well look my best, right?  Since we are not allowed to smile in our passport pictures (this pisses me off because my smile is my BEST feature by far) I look so sad in my passport pictures.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Once Upon A Time...

     Every story has a beginning, this is where my adventure (hopfully) begins.  I got a letter a few weeks ago saying that there was no work for me for the 2013-2014 academic year.  This was not a surprise, since unfortunately the student numbers at my school had been on the decline for the last few years.
    I figured that this was the time in my life to do what I REALLY want to do.  I am 33, no kids, no home (yet).  I asked myself what do I love?  When was I at my happiest?  What do I really want to do?  I love to travel.  The idea of learning about places that you have never seen, both excites and intrigues me.  I was also my happiest when I lived and worked in Japan.  This is what gave me the idea to teach in the Middle East.
     I began to do some research, the money looked good and the experience was even better.  I began to investigate private schools in Dubai that were looking for Science Teachers.  Then I came across information about Abu Dhabi and their education reform.
     ADEC is the Abu Dhabi Education Council and they are aiming to improve the Abu Dhabi public school system in the next 10 years.  They are bringing in teachers from North America, UK, South Africa and Australia to teach in Abu Dhabi.  As soon as I read this I know that this is what I wanted to do.  I have spent hours reading blog on top of blog about teachers in the Middle East.  I have checked out every Middle East travel book from the library.  I sent in my application through Teachanywhere, a recruiter for ADEC,  and was elated to get an email back that they wanted to speak to me on the phone.
     Last week I spoke to my rep and she explained to me the application process and timeline, she asked me about myself and I explained to her my situation.  I then had to submit documents to see if I would be approved for an in person interview in Toronto (I live in Montreal about 6 hours away).  I sent copies of my degrees (B.Sc and B.Ed), copies of my teaching certificate from Ontario and Quebec, a copy of my CV, the photo page of my passport, my transcripts, a photo of myself, a police record check done in the last 12 months and the list of three references.
     I had everything that she asked for except the police record check, I had to trek downtown in the April snowstorm to get that (p.s. it cost 50$ sigh).  The man at the office informed me that it would take a week to receive a copy of the record check.
     My references informed me that they had been contacted and had to fill out a reference form about me asking my strengths and weaknesses, why I was being let go at work and why I should be hired to teach in Abu Dhabi.
     Monday, I received an email saying that I have been approved for an in person interview around May 7th, I am so excited.  I really hope that this works out.  The only thing that I really need to take care of now is that I have to get a new passport because the one I have expires in October my passport must be valid for 12 months for the application.

Wish me luck!