Survey 3 asked,
“ASK is going to have around 50 new teachers. What advice would you give to new teachers so that they can have a positive and successful 2018-2019 school year?”
These are some of the responses we have so far. We will continue posting responses as they come in.
- First, Experience the good moments of laughing, growing and learning with your students, and hold on to them. They will help you get through your two years. In retrospect, it IS ONLY two years! You can do it! Second, if you’re not independent, become independent real quick. This will not only help you personally in Kuwait, but at ASK as well. The support could or could not be there in so many different aspects. I know a handful if not a plenty that have never felt that sense of community or compassion that so many highlight of ASK. But dont let that independence turn into negativitity or depression. There will be times it comes close. Trust me. Times you feel helpless and have no control. At school, yes, and personally and socially. Thats when you open your jar of positive moments with your students! Last but not least, remember you work with the same people you live with…. and this particular bubble will eat up any gossip it is fed (at work and at home, the good and the bad). Be careful. It spreads like wildfire! Congrats and Good Luck on becoming a Falcon!
- Don’t ask any questions. Give students As and Bs. Start looking for another job now.
- 1) Understand and accept that the school is run by the students and parents, for the benefit of the students and parents. In the hierarchy of the school, teachers come far below parents, staff, admin and the business office. 2) Understand and accept that this isn’t the States. This system is the system the Kuwaitis have created, and you don’t have the energy or strength to change it. 3) This isn’t an academic institution. This is a business. Parents don’t send their kids to ASK for world class education, they send them to get grades for scholarships, so they’re expecting the grades. It will be your fault if they don’t get them
- Don’t let the little things get you down, because there will be plenty of big things!
- Get a driver’s license and purchase a used car as soon as possible; it doesn’t need to be fancy, just reliable. Start accepting any and all tutoring opportunities. Never accept less than 25KD for tutoring unless you are scheduled for four or more hours a week; if that is the case, 20KD is fine. Always charge in the event of cancelation or change without prior notice. Once you build a following, drop students that you don’t enjoy spending time with. The parents will be begging for you to stay. Keep your tutoring hours to yourself; your colleagues don’t need to know. I agree with another submission to begin thinking about a new job early. Start preparing your resume and recruiting accounts before summer begins your first year. You’ll have a new job in another country by December-Jan of your second year. Start stating your intentions early that you’ll sell your car. There will never be change at ASK until there is a change of heart in Wael and the board of ownership. They represent contemporary Kuwaiti culture and are preparing their country’s future. There is nothing you can do to change their hearts. As an international teacher, you have the power of freedom to choose where you belong. And some places are fit for no one. Enjoy the fresh, cheap food Kuwait offers. Always get enough sleep, in bed by 10. 😉
- I did Kuwait and ASK wrong in two regards. First, I let myself get excited about the potential that the school had…or has…it’s hard to tell. For some time, admin would be able to sell change, offer new exciting things to try in the classroom…only to hit a roadblock when business profit trumped educational progress. And this was frustrating to a point where many teachers just stopped asking because the status quo and school reputation was paramount. Secondly, I would have tutored a lot more. At one point I was tutoring 10 hours a week, but I think I could’ve upped that to 20. Yes it would have been challenging, but there wasn’t much to do, and the demand was there. So, bottom line to those new-hire-fresh-out-of-college-teachers…tutor, get your international experience for 2, maybe 3 years if you can, and then get yourself to the next level. You’ll be amazed at how much different your next international school will be.