150 new school teachers all set to adapt to UAE culture


150 new school teachers all set to adapt to UAE culture
Teachers during the welcome event held by Taaleem schools, at Dubai British School in Jumeirah Park. - Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

Dubai - Taaleem welcomed the fresh teacher recruits ahead of the academic year, to familiarise them with their new surroundings


Kelly Clarke

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Published: Tue 22 Aug 2017, 10:10 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Aug 2017, 3:00 PM

The new academic year is just around the corner, and although students are still enjoying the last few weeks of their summer vacation, the UAE's new teacher recruits are already getting to grips with their new surroundings.
On Tuesday, more than 150 new teachers were welcomed to the Taaleem family (one of the UAE's biggest schooling organistions), and for mathematics teacher Jayson McLeod, it's not just a new school he'll be joining this year.
"I've actually relocated from the UK, so this is a whole new experience for me. I chose to move to a teaching role in Dubai because of the multicultural appeal of the city."
Teaching maths for five years in London, McLeod said he has always taught a multinational set of students, which is something he wanted to continue doing; and Dubai fits the criteria.
"It's been a really smooth transition for me for that very reason. I am looking forward to starting the new term in the next few weeks and I will be teaching secondary and sixth form students."
Of the 150 new recruits for Taaleem this year, Brendon Fulton, principal at Dubai British School, said the teacher turnover rate has been low this year.
"We have recruited 150 teachers across 10 schools, 32 of whom will be placed at DBS. Of that figure, only seven of those roles are for replacement staff. We like to keep the turnover rate at about 10 per cent so that is way within our target. That's positive."
But Taaleem has also recruited two brand new positions within the organisation this year too, including a primary language specialist for French, and a teacher for combined English and media.
After completing a six-year stint in Holland teaching English, UK expatriate Kate Ridley is making the move to Dubai this year as she's keen to explore new pastures.
Teaching English language and English literature to GCSE and A-Level students, Ridley said it was Dubai's attractive geographical location that stood out to her.
"As well as advancing my teaching career, this new role in a new destination means I can try new things. It's an adventure in both my professional and personal life." And commenting on her passion for teaching overseas, she said she is keen stick around in Dubai for quite a while.
"I want to stay here for at least four years. I was teaching the IB curriculum in Holland and I am now moving to the British curriculum in Dubai. It will take a bit of adapting to but I am looking forward to the challenge."
Seeing herself as more of a teaching aid, she said she is looking forward to working and collaborating with the older students here.
For many new teachers coming to Dubai, new experiences, a tax-free salary, growth opportunities, and a multicultural environment prove to be the biggest draws in swapping home life for a taste of the Gulf.

Taaleem principals offer top tips to new teachers

1. You're in a new country so say yes to every invite you receive (to begin with at least). Get stuck in as you will make good friends and it will give you a good opportunity to explore your pastures new. 
2. If you're here with your family, take every opportunity that your school offers you as a unit. Many schools hold family days and deals so utilise your time and energy wisely. 
3. Take the time to get to know your colleagues as they are going to be your best form of support. The majority of you are all here away from family, so take advantage of that support. 
4. If you get stuck on something in school, ask for help. And if you don't get the answer you need, ask someone else. You can never ask too many questions when you are in a new role and new surroundings. 
5. If you have any judgmental bones in your body, take them out now and put them somewhere else. You are in a new country so you need to open your mind. You will see things you're not used to seeing but embrace it. In time you will come to accept it. 
6. Embrace the word and concept behind InshaAllah. You will hear it a lot.

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