Read: An Irish Teacher in Dubai
Teaching in Dubai – where to begin? I’ve experienced lots of whirlwinds in my life, but teaching in Dubai must be the craziest!
From researching before emigrating, I was aware I needed to brace myself to expect anything, how mad can it be I thought?
Well! I never envisaged moving 200 crate loads of classroom supplies from the second floor of a brand new building (without AC or working toilets) to the ground floor, in 50* August heat with my new colleagues. Little did I know either, that the people I shared this immense task with would soon become dear friends, and sooner again, family.
Teaching in Dubai has awarded me a wealth of experiences, some I’d have survived without, but so many others that have shaped me, moulded me and taught me; taught me how to be a more resilient person, taught me how to be a better teacher and taught me how to live by a favourite motto of mine- carpe diem!
Teaching in Dubai strengthens so many classroom skills, including differentiation, SEN support strategies, planning and more. It grants the chance to integrate in a very mixed culture – from peers to students. You learn so much about the world through teaching in Dubai. As an Irish teacher, I got to work in both British and American Curricula schools, and be mentored by senior staff from across the globe. I was afforded the opportunity to lead projects and groups, to design new programs from scratch and to do a lot of team teaching with my TA – support that doesn’t exist in Ireland. I’m so grateful to have had these insightful experiences.
In tandem with the Carpe Diem outlook, I was situated in a prime location to travel, adding over 20 new countries to my ‘visited’ list in three short years. The Western Community is very strong in Dubai, and across the UAE. There are so many support networks on social media, where people are more than kind in answering any questions, arranging meet-ups of all kinds too. The Irish community itself is very strong with ever-growing GAA sports clubs, where we welcome people from any background/ country to join- it’s always the more the merrier!
Living and working abroad, particularly, if like me, you venture out alone, can be daunting no doubt, but for every doubt you may have, it has the potential to rebound positively in immeasurably abundant amounts. I forged friendships so strong that I know will last a lifetime; friendships I don’t think you can realise without living abroad independently. I was able to give support to others and introduce them to the mayhem of the easy-access party lifestyle, and also the fine eateries, malls and cultural experiences available in the UAE – from the gritty sandy ones to the glitzy and glamorous!
With the rocky start I had, questioning my life choices as I was fit to collapse passing boxes down two flights of stairs in the August heat, I didn’t think I would look back so keenly on my three years in Dubai, knowing moving there to teach is a decision I will never regret making.
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