Teaching in Dubai and nearly anywhere in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is said to be among the most rewarding offshore career experiences. Teachers in good schools such as embassy schools and non-profit schools in the more popular emirates – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, as well as elsewhere in the UAE, normally get to enjoy a fulfilling teaching experience. The students are generally interested, resilient and enthusiastic. Compared to those in other big cities, teachers in these areas do not usually need to plan for students’ discipline problems because the children are motivated and are well disciplined in school. There are some schools, however, that also have discipline problems which are not easy to deal with, like students’ threatening their teachers, but cases like these normally happen anywhere else, even in some of the best schools in western the world.
When it comes to cultural differences, however, as an expatriate teacher, you must note that the emirates’ school environment presents a cacophony of differences with respect to kinds of students’ behaviors and cultural practices. As an expatriate, you would need to adjust to the environment, and to your co-staff, to the administration, and then to the students. It may take an extra effort to adjust, so you must begin just as soon as you step down from your plane in the plush Dubai airport. Start there and soon you shall gain a lot.
You will soon learn that it is also a challenging experience teaching students who do not have the same culture as yours. The challenge stretches to your efforts at gaining friends, eliciting good opinions and winning professional relationships where peers, superiors and students are concerned. You cannot win everyone, but as long as you have a few friends and supporters, consider it fine and try to earn them one by one every day. Also, balance the way you interact with your students. Keep your sense of authority but be ready to assist them in their learning difficulties. Learning a bit of their language is a plus factor. There are training centers in Dubai that offer conversational Arabic language instruction. Consider enrolling in one so you’d always be in the know as you get to overhear students and peers talking. Remember: information is power.
By the way, Dubai employers usually expect teacher applicants to have some teaching background from the within country and/or experience with the same school curriculum, whether private or public. (This is a hint: once you’ve tried your hand teaching within the UAE, there is a pretty good chance to later land better-paying teaching jobs in other prestigious schools.) Some schools give premium on school experience in better paying schools and there are also those which prioritize applicants who come from the United Kingdom and United States. But teaching jobs are offered to all nationalities and, for as long as the applicants are qualified, there is a chance of getting hired. There are job openings open to all levels, both public and private schools.
Teaching in Dubai and in the other UAE emirates is rewarding because of the tax- free salary package with benefits. Learn about the benefits usually offered teachers from pertinent websites. Salaries depend on the salary package offered by the school but check also the standard salary for teachers as required by the Ministry of Education as your reference. Check also the benefits included in your package. Some schools offer accommodations to their teachers and others give accommodation allowance. You should check this out because renting a place is costly in the area. Learn also about work conditions starting with these: Working hours for teachers in usually start earlier than the start of classes which is at 7:30-8:00 in the morning up to around 2:30-3:30 in the afternoon. There will be lesson preparation, marking, extra-curricular activities, playground supervision, meetings, assemblies, parents’ evenings, international gala days, sports days, and others, to occupy idle of your day and even the very hours sometimes that you might have planned to use for your own personal enjoyment. Expect thus long working hours, but in return, teachers get to enjoy plenty of holidays.
As for dress code in schools in Dubai and the entire UAE, though an Islamic country, they allow teachers from other nationalities to dress in formal attire. Men should wear a collar and tie and trousers. For women, the dress code varies depending on school preferences: some schools allow women to wear fashionable dresses but wearing short skirts and sleeveless tops will get frowned upon. In conservative schools where Arab students usually study, females are expected to wear ankle-length skirts and long-sleeved tops. Scarves or other head coverings are not required for those who don’t normally wear them. There are also schools that require their teachers to wear uniforms.
Should you feel you have adequately adjusted to the UAE living conditions and feel pretty confident about squaring it out with the challenges of your teaching job, you may start looking around for opportunities to earn extra income should you desire to top off your earning. There could be opportunities for you to render tutorial services offered as a source of extra income during your past time. Should you get around to this point, you would be one fulfilled professional, able to both earn satisfactorily and share more of what you can offer in your profession as a teacher.
About the author
Author: Admin- Uaehrzone
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