UAE teachers share special moments that make them love their jobs

Teachers in the UAE have shared the moments of joy that make them appreciate their careers in the classroom.

While there are many challenges in a day in the life of a teacher, for those who are very passionate about the profession, shaping young minds can be very rewarding.

on World Teachers Day, The National spoke to three teachers in the United Arab Emirates about what they love most about their job.

Helping to enrich young lives

Bethany Austen, teacher at Brighton College Abu Dhabi, with her young students.  Photo: Bethany Austen

Early start and late finish are familiar territory for Bethany Austen, an Irish kindergarten teacher and assistant principal at Brighton College Abu Dhabi, who gets up at 5.45am to start the school day at 7am.

She embraces the responsibilities she has to support her class of students, which includes her own children.

“A day in the life of a teacher is certainly very busy, especially as I have a lot of responsibilities as an assistant principal and also have children of my own in my own Kindergarten class,” Ms Austen said.

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“What I enjoy most about being a teacher, especially in the early years, is the progress the children make.

“There are several moments during the week when you see something click and a kid perform something that they haven’t done before.

“It may be their first time writing their name or reading a word for the first time. Being the person who teaches a child to read is very special because reading is something that will enrich them throughout their lives.”

Ms. Austen started her career in 2010 and has been teaching in Abu Dhabi for six years.

“It goes without saying that there is a lot of work to be a teacher, and that work often extends beyond the school years,” she said.

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Students arrive between 7.30am and 7.50am.

In early childhood education, learning occurs through play, with teachers setting up engaging activities that focus on improving core skills like reading and counting.

While students can go home from 1:30 p.m., teachers often stay until 4 p.m. or later to attend meetings and make plans for the next day of study.

Never stop learning

Nadia Alamgir, a Pakistani kindergarten teacher at the Indian Academy in Dubai, is pleased that her work is “fun”.

She said the best part of her role is the love and trust of the young children in her care.

Nadia Alamgir, Pakistani Kindergarten Teacher at Indian Academy.  Ruel Pableo for The National

“I just had my birthday and I have these twin sisters in my class who made a lovely card to share my memories with them,” Ms Alamgir said.

“I enjoy teaching and because I love learning from it. I’ve been in this profession for almost 11 years and there are days when the pressure is there.”

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She said teaching in the UAE is very different from her native Pakistan and recalled equipping herself with the digital skills needed to thrive in the Emirates.

house connections

Noor Nazia, an Indian kindergarten teacher at Credence High School in Dubai, said creating a happy environment for children is crucial.

“I look forward to them being happy and able to get back to school and bond with them,” Ms. Nazia said.

Noor Nazia with her kindergarten class.  Photo: Noor Nazia

Ms Nazia spoke about the challenges in educating children under the age of 6 as classes went online during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Initially we thought, ‘How is it going to work? How am I going to get an answer from the kids? How am I going to rate the kids? How can we rate kids through technology?'”

But she said teachers took the opportunity to hone their own skills and use technology as a key learning tool.

Updated October 5, 2022 at 10:55 am

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