The American International School in Egypt
Overall GradeHow are scores determind?
- 7.9Professional Development
- 9.5Settling In
- 8.3After Arrival
The facilities of the school adequately provide for a positive learning/working experience.
School provides adequate access to teaching materials without any extra expense by the teacher (books, lab supplies, art supplies, materials, copying, etc.
School is well funded to provide students and faculty with adequate materials to support their course offering.
Parent community is actively involved in supporting the school's mission and their child's education endeavors.
Classroom student to teacher ratios are kept low.
Students are generally of high aptitude.
Student interactions with faculty are primarily characterized by respectability.
Students are of diverse ethnicity.
Administration positively supports faculty in a professional manner.
Administration actively encourages a dialogue concerning school related issues.
Administration is actively engaged in developing/supporting/maintaining a clear school vision.
Administration makes sure that the financial stability and integrity of the school is well maintained.
Administration/Ownership uses school funds to support the well being of the school.
Salary scale is competitive.
Salary provides the opportunity to save appropriately.
Salary provides the opportunity to travel during vacation.
Salary scale provides for vertical and horizontal movement based on years of experience and/or units/degree's earned.
School provides a quality health insurance plan that covers all major medical (health, vision, dental.
School provides retirement benefits that are competitive.
School provides a health insurance plan that covers international travel/coverage.
School provides for faculty child tuition benefits.
School provides strong support for maternity benefits.
School provides an adequate amount for end of contract airfare cost.
School provides an adequate shipping allowance.
School provides quality available housing or a housing stipend that affords quality housing.
The proximity of housing in relation to school location is within an acceptable distance of travel.
Options of moving housing during the course of contract is acceptable.
Colleagues foster a welcoming environment to new faculty.
School hires a diversity of family structures (Singles, couples, families.
Colleagues foster a professional environment that supports growth.
Colleagues foster a personal support structure in place of family.
City the school resides in provides opportunities for things to do without having to travel
City the school resides in provides easy opportunities to travel to other places.
Local culture is apparent in the city/country in which the school resides.
Local culture of in which the school resides is open to integrating expats into local customs and traditions.
City/Country in which the school resides does not exact personal restrictions on lifestyle choices.
City/Country in which school resides provides for potential tax benefits.
Quality of local health care is excellent.
Cost of living in the city/country where school resides is reasonable.
City the school resides in has excellent infrastructure for mass transportation (e.g. - is a car required.
City/Country in which the school resides provides for adequate personal safety.
School makes available a variety of professional development opportunities.
School makes available funds to support continued development.
Time is specifically set aside in the calendar for faculty and staff formation.
Faculty and Staff are encouraged to professionally grow by the school.
Faculty and Staff are encouraged to experiment, implement, and bring up new ideas for classroom innovation.
School meets you on arrival and escorts you to accommodations.
School provides an adequate orientation to the school and local culture upon arrival.
School provides an allowance to support the transition.
Facilities of the school were well represented during the hiring process.
Contract is honored based on what was agreed upon during the hiring process.
School actively maintains a dialogue and support structure to make sure basic needs are being met.
I started with the AIS west campus this year and have been very satisfied. Despite everyone's warnings about Egypt and instability, I have found no such problems. The Egyptian people are very welcoming, friendly and helpful. Cairo is a huge city, so normal precautions for safety need to be taken as you take in any large city but I haven't encountered any unusual threats or fears to date. The faculty and staff of the school are collegial, welcoming and work to make everyone feel at home. The student body is almost exclusively Egyptian but I have not found the disrespect that was mentioned in a previous post. In my opinion, the students are like "normal" students everywhere. Adolescents can be cheeky but the elementary children are lovely. Leadership is new to the school but quite agreeable and positive. AIS west is outside of the main downtown area, more like in a suburb, but there are plenty of restaurants, shopping centers and a large mall to meet needs and Cairo proper is only a 20 minute taxi drive away. I would recommend this school.
I struggle with what to write here, because your overall experience at AIS (Main) and in Egypt really does have a lot to do with your goals and previous experiences. You can save great money and travel often -- many teachers' goals when they go international. But you sacrifice -- at AIS, there is a massive lack of diversity, when means your students are not challenged in how they think and have almost no exposure to any outside beliefs or cultures. I had to laugh at the mark for student "respectability". Is telling teachers to "Go f**k your mother!" in Arabic respectable to you? Because those are the students at our school. The rich, elite Egyptians (many of whom have very negative opinions of Americans and America). I have had my young students tell me that I should cover myself or a man can say or do whatever he wants to me in the streets. Ignorance abounds -- don't come if you are looking for tolerance. On the upside, there are some great colleagues and the workplace can be a blast. On the downside, you have a large amount of teachers that are simply awful -- they have jobs at our school because they are breathing. Many teachers broke contracts last summer or (in the past) leave mid-year: admin clings to those who will stay, with little regard to whether or not they are qualified, experienced teachers. It's an EASY place to teach, because there are so little standards for teachers. The filth is a gigantic issue for me, but I compare that to places I've lived before (it might not bother others coming from dirty places). Crime is definitely on the rise. In Maadi, the "safe" place for expats, there have been 3 awful robberies in the past 2 weeks alone, definitely not the norm here, but it makes you wonder if this will be the future. Am I glad I came? Yes. The savings and travel have been fantastic. Am I so glad I am leaving? You have no idea! I am headed to a dream school next, and one comment the interviewing director made was, "I respect you for not abandoning your school and students with the constant turmoil." Look at where you are professionally and personally and decide from there. This school and country have a gizillion things that need fixing, and only you can decide if it's worth 2 years of your life.
No gym or pool, which makes it very difficult for the athletic department. This is especially difficult due to the hot weather and air pollution.
The review provided is for The American International School in Egypt - West. This campus is rather new, having opened during the 2009-2010 school year. This campus, unlike the Main Campus, is located west of Cairo in the suburb of Sheikh Zayed. It should be noted that this area allows for access to Cairo, but can be quite isolated depending on the time of day and your plans. As of 2012-2013, the campus has offered the IB program. All things considered, it is an institution that is still in the growing process, but has made great strides in recent years. It has pros and cons for those who are new to the profession and those who are seasoned veterans to the international teaching world.
While AISE had a difficult situation with the graduating classes of 2011 and 2012, those students have moved on and there have been positive changes made at the school regarding discipline. The graduating class of 2013 was a class of relatively well mannered students who did what needed to be done to leave a positive impact on the school. AISE is a private school and not really an "international" school, as 90% of the students are from wealthy Egyptian families. That being said, it does have a top rate IB program in the high school that routinely sees those students scoring above the world average on their final IB exams. AISE is a good school in which to work. The management are supportive and the curriculum is based on "Curriculum mapping" so there is little required useless paperwork such as submitting weekly lesson plans. Teachers follow the "Curriculum map", communicate with each other about the progress of the students and focus on helping the students learn... NOT on writing a multitude of lesson plans that no one will ever review. Good teachers plan, the management understands this fact and they get out of the way and let you do your job. There are many classroom visits by management to see whether good teaching is happening and whether the students are engaged in learning. These visits are usually followed by a quick email giving you feedback about what was observed. The focus is on trying to catch the teachers doing what is best practice and when something stands out, the whole school is informed. I've been at the school for two years now and plan to stay at least omen more year.