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What to expect when teaching at AUST Beirut

 
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aardvark



Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 176
Location: Central Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:06 am    Post subject: What to expect when teaching at AUST Beirut Reply with quote

Some of the nicest students in the Mideast are in Beirut. Hard-working and intelligent. Too bad the same can't be said of the English Dept. chair. She quickly made enemies by refusing to let teachers call in sick. They had to teach even if they were sick. She quickly had the secretary transferred and hired her own.
In addition, one student complained about how I taught Rhetoric. It is a high-level subject that is outside my field (ESL). The dept chair and I argued about who complained and the specifics of my difficulty in teaching Rhetoric. So, she stormed off to the Dean and she again refused to get into specifics: who made the complaint, how I could improve the class, and how I could go in-depth into the material. At the meeting w/ the dean, we both agreed to disagree. As it turns out, she went out to get me to surround herself with yes-men.
She reserved the right to observe me anytime, anywhere, which worked to my disadvantage. My apt. didn't have hot water, and I developed a painful muscle cramp in my shoulder. I went to the hospital ER and they told me to take the day off at work.
She refused to accept my doctors note and my arm was in a sling due to a pulled shoulder muscle. She observed my class while I wrote with my "wrong" hand. It was painful to move, let alone write. She also observed another class and told me to come in after I finished the day of teaching.

She criticized me for not having a Powerpoint presentation for the class and writing so slowly. she also criticized me for not moving the class fast enough. The pace was too slow for a Rhetoric class. Excuse me?? I was the one with the doctor's note and I should have been resting instead of teaching! It was her idea to observe me anytime, anywhere. She berated me for not doing enough when I should have been resting in bed with my medication.

This is the kind of sleeze that passes for academics in Lebanon. I realized I would never be happy with this kind of douchebag, so I quit. If you come to Lebanon, avoid Christina Decoursey at all costs.
Rolling Eyes
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St. George



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 104
Location: Ex Libya

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:36 am    Post subject: WARS Reply with quote

aardvark

You've certainly been through the wars. I've taught subjects outside my field and it's been a nightmare. Nobody complained but I knew myself that I was out of my depth and not doing a good job and so it wasn't very satisfying.

When someone comes into my class, to check on my performance, I stop teaching and ask the students questions on what they've already learnt. This is boring for the observer and they quickly disappear.

Christina Decoursey probably thrives on confrontation and just loves upsetting people. I imagine she would have a bad day if everything went smoothly.

Take it easy!

St. G.
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aardvark



Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 176
Location: Central Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:05 am    Post subject: Sad to say, I miss KSA Reply with quote

There is something to be said for working in Saudi Arabia where all your co-workers are male. They understand that the Middle East is a hardship teaching assignment and they don't go out of their way to make life miserable for others. If they publish fiction or write book reviews, they take the time to help fellow teachers.
Women seem to be out to make a reputation for themselves and less helpful. Beirut is very much like a Mideast NYC where everyone is looking out for No. 1 and woe be unto you if you cross paths with the wrong person.

Certainly, the traffic was pretty much insane, like the country. Confused
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