Teaching in the UAE

I am in my third year of teaching. I had two years in busy central London primary school and moved on to bigger and better things… which just happened to involve moving my whole life to another country!

I still teach the British curriculum, just now to 20 students from 7 different countries, all with English as an Additional Language. The school comes with many other challenges.

Resources are a massive issue. I suppose this stems from what I personally feel is the biggest issue; the school is a private school run for profit. There are owners who business minded and therefore trying to get them to understand why you need to spend a lot of money on resources is a constant issue. I spend a lot of my own money on resources which is, obviously, less than desirable. It’s silly little things like not having any role play stuff or outside stuff, to much bigger things like only having one water tray for all 15 foundation stage classes.

I love it though, I really do. I have 20 children in my class, I get 10 free periods a week (2 an afternoon, our children go home at 12.20) so I get time to get everything done.

Mostly I enjoy being free to do my own thing. I am no longer confined by a rigid curriculum being dictated too. We have a weekly plan but I am free to adapt it as I like (which I do frequently). I also have my own phonics group and I can again do what I want.

Another challenge is support staff. My TA is lovely, but English is her second language and she really can’t cope with free flow. She would much rather the children be sitting ‘working’ (she makes them write in handwriting books which I despise!) and she doesn’t like them getting messy or being noisy.

But I have a great boss and we’re working together to develop the planning for next year. I feel like I’m getting to make a positive impact on the place which is such a refreshing feeling.

And another positive is that I finish work at 3.30 and am home by 4. No more 11 and half hour days!