TeachingTraveling.com: Curious about what it’s like to teach at an International School in Dubai, and travel on every holiday?
Read on for the story of Kristy-Lee Adams!
Kristy, tell us a bit about your background.
Kristy: I’m an Australian teacher who really hasn’t been teaching for long at all! I always knew I wanted to travel, but never really knew how or when I was going to do it. It took my pioneering fiancée to nudge me over the edge, and after I finished my university studies in 2008 I moved out of my comfort zone by heading interstate. I kept my bills paid as a teacher aide and part time bartender for most of 2009 in Melbourne before jumping on a plane to Dubai with my fiancée. I’d never visited the United Arab Emirates before, so it was a very big adjustment to pack up and move.
After I arrived, I applied to a range of schools that were taking up applicants to fill “runner” positions, covering those who had just packed up and left the country without notice part way through the academic year. I took a position teaching English and Humanities in a very small private school (only 150 students) where I really learned how difficult it can be breaking down the cultural barriers of education and motivation in the Middle East. I have to admit, it was really tough; the commute was exhausting, the classes and students were very challenging, and it was only my second short term contract as a teacher. I learned a lot, and I learned fast!
Since then, a new academic year has begun and I’ve now finished my first full year of teaching English in my second Dubai school: a wonderful International Baccalaureate school with students who love learning and make every lesson so much fun to teach!
There’s still a lot of pressure on teachers here as parents pay A LOT of money for education in Dubai and most classes have non-native English speakers from 10 or more different nationalities, all taking an English as a first-language course.
But, these are all experiences that I know will help boost my resume anywhere else in the world, and I love learning about the histories and backgrounds of all my kids; they’re a huge bunch of travelers themselves!