Teaching in Abu Dhabi

For those who don't know, are new followers, or are just passing through, I currently am teaching first grade in Abu Dhabi in the UAE on a 2 year contract. I teach at a model school in the heart of Abu Dhabi in one of the nicest schools there is.

My school is Mubarak Bin Mohammed Cycle One school. While being part of the Abu Dhabi Education Council's educational reform, my school is also a model for co-education in the classroom (educating boys and girls together), as well as working alongside Vanderbilt University from the United States. Our school is the model school for several reasons:

1. We are piloting the initiative of educating both boys and girls together. Schools are usually assigned for boys and girls separately. This year my school will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classes being co-ed.

2. The teachers at my school are part of the Vanderbilt program to improve education in Abu Dhabi, as well as being mentor teachers for the new generation of Emirate teachers that want to teach English. Currently Emirates teach Arabic and Islamic classes as their English skills are not advanced enough to teach English as a second language. I had a lovely student teacher last year and did my best to make sure she had some great ideas and methods for teaching in the classroom. The teaching methods here are very much "old school" with local teachers. They are used to the traditional methods of teacher led classes, while students copy from workbooks. We are here to offer new research and techniques that are up to date with current methods and practices. The idea of the educational reform is for Western teachers to lay the foundation of English and teaching skills, and that new Emirate college graduates will take over from us in 10 years or so time.

3. My school is also pioneering technology in the classroom. We are fortunate enough to have Starboards in each room, computers, iPads, document cameras, projectors, and a fully functioning I-Class, which boasts, 2 SmartBoards, smart tables, flip cameras, LCD TV's, and web-cameras for conferencing with other schools.

4. The final reason our school is the model school is that we host many delegations from other countries in the Middle East that are also interested in an Educational Reform, or seeing best practices in the classrooms. This past year we had visitors from Saudi Arabia, Oman, and even a visit from the Sheikh, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi! This is equivalent to the President of the United States visiting. I was lucky enough to be selected for him to visit my classroom and observe me teach a lesson.

Feel free to contact me for any questions and check out some of the photos of my school below.

View of the front of the school from the street

One of our exterior courtyards

The eco-courtyard

Where we assemble in the morning for the Quran, and National Anthem

Another exterior courtyard where we do some science lessons

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visits my school

Our gym

Another view of the Eco-Courtyard


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