Oaktree Primary School on teacher transition
Dubai is a transient place, we all know this and people arrive and leave all the time. It feels like this is especially evident in the education field, but what is the difference when it comes to teaching or does it even make a difference if they are a newbie or an established Dubai teacher?
We sat down with the team from Oaktree Primary School to find out.
What are the benefits to the pupils of a teacher who has just arrived in Dubai from the UK?
As well as knowing the most up to date curriculum, teachers from the UK have very high standards in teaching, learning and assessment due to the intensive inspections and government expectations. Similarly, the changes in curriculum expectations means that teachers are aware of ensuring all lessons are fun, innovate and challenging with cross-curricular benefits.
Teachers coming from the UK arrive with extensive experience in teaching children with multicultural/diverse backgrounds, as well as EAL and SEN children.
Therefore, children in Dubai benefit from their curriculum knowledge, assessment procedures and ensuring all children’s needs are met.
Anika Mir, Year 2 , Key Stage One Leader and Whole School Maths Leader.
Why do you think so many young English/British teachers are attracted to roles in Dubai?
Quite simply Dubai offers a good experience with different challenges. UK teachers love to see progress and making a difference, so sharing knowledge across the globe feels great. Similarly, the pay is competitive and tax free. The lifestyle in Dubai is completely different, you’re not leaving work to hit traffic and bad weather, you’re leaving work with great weather and beaches.
Anika Mir, Year 2 class teacher, Key Stage One Leader and Maths Leader.
What do teachers who have teaching experience in Dubai bring to their role?
Teachers who have been in Dubai previously have a wide range of experience of working with children and also have been exposed to traditional Emirati culture which gives them a breadth of knowledge. Having this knowledge is invaluable in any school as they are already comfortable with the area they live and with Dubai itself, so therefore have more time to focus on settling into a new school.
Dubai (UAE) is one of the most multicultural countries on earth with a very high percentage of the residents being expatriates. Having the opportunity to work in a multicultural environment upgrades your teaching skills/versatility and exposes you to learning about new cultures and ideologies. These new challenges that teachers encounter in Dubai (U.A.E.) help them to improve on what they brought to the U.A.E. Teachers with Dubai/U.A.E experience may find it easier to cope than new teachers.
Michelle Lewis, Y5 class teacher.
Why do you think there is such a high turnover of teachers in Dubai?
Many teachers decide to leave Dubai to be closer to their families. Some teachers leave their hometown and move to live in Dubai to complete a two-year contract, save as much money as they can and then return to their home town. However, many teachers decide to stay a lot longer in Dubai as they enjoy the lifestyle so much. I myself, have been here for seven years and am going into my eighth with no plans to return to the UK anytime soon. For me, Dubai has everything I need and the glorious weather and outdoor activities available during those winter months makes it ever more appealing.
Michelle Lewis, Y5 class teacher.
For more info check out Oaktree at https://oaktreeprimary.com/