Teaching overseas is challenging as it is – you move to a new country, you have to adapt to a new culture, learn to teach according to a new curriculum and learn new ways of doing things. It’s never easy and it takes our teachers quite some time to find their feet and to adapt. We have been chatting with our teachers recently, and the topic of teaching abroad during Covid-19 came up – it made us realize that now it is more challenging than ever. Teachers are having to think on their feet, get to grips with (perhaps) unfamiliar technology, restructure lesson plans, activities and assessments – all whilst staying safe. We thought it would be very useful and of interest to share some of the current Covid-teaching practices and would like to thank them for their hard work, their positive outlook and ‘never give up’ attitude:
“Teaching aboard can be stressful in any situation or given year, but what made it more stressful was the whole Covid situation. Despite the pandemic the actual process of applying was very easy thanks to SA recruitment, as was being assigned to best school in Bahrain. Right now we are full steam back online, and it’s still a very heartwarming feeling to see my students every day even though its only in the meeting. I’m extremely grateful to our teachers for rolling with all the challenges and changes. Short story: I love Bahrain and the UAE”.
“Teaching during a pandemic was a pandemic on its own. All of a sudden, we as teachers had to leave everything we know behind and become IT specialists, stage performers and moral supporters for students and parents, however I can personally say I have accomplished a new set of skills. I’m ready for the new academic year with all the challenges and obstacles that we might encounter”.
“1. Online teaching was something to get used to. The fact that you should make everything interactive and interesting while online was hard to do, but luckily it gets better because there is a lot of apps and resources that help you succeed.
2. While teaching abroad you grow more confident and independent because you are basically discovering yourself on your own and how you cope with everyday situations. Your teaching strategies change, and you adapt to the environment around you.
3. Teaching abroad has also taught me to manage my time efficiently, get things done quicker and think on my feet. Because you see the students every 2nd day your planning and lessons must be taught online and face to face”.
Ane, Abu Dhabi
“Moving abroad to teach during a pandemic has been interesting. Adapting to a new school environment and country while everyone is wearing masks and practicing social distancing is not without its challenges. The biggest challenge for me has been socialising and meeting new people, but it does happen, just a little slower than normal. Being in a school with really awesome and helpful colleagues makes the transition much easier. Other than the few precautions in place, I feel as though everything else has been fairly “normal” and it is exciting to experience a new country”.
Kirsten, Abu Dhabi
“My thoughts on teaching abroad during a pandemic: Teaching during the Covid pandemic at a private school in Dubai has been very challenging but also a great learning experience. Teaching elementary online is less than ideal which has necessitated some innovative strategies in order to attempt to still provide learners with a good learning experience. I have definitely learnt the most I ever have in a short period of time and have developed many new teaching skills”.
“It was challenging indeed but I learned a lot in terms of online teaching and coming up with activities and PowerPoints to keep students engaged. Skills as well as kilos were gained 😂 I miss my family it’s been over a year and it gets extremely tough at times but one just has to keep moving and try to stay positive. On the other side having some students online and others face to face is hard at times. Seeing that you are not allowed to physically provide them with worksheets. So you have to plan and consider that on the days that you have some of your students at school. The smart boards help a lot. Having a break every 10 or 15 mins help also helps. Where the students have to play a quick stand up and sit-down game. Or maybe do the chicken dance to cheer them up and help them forget about the social distancing and masks. The UAE is still providing entertainment but with caution. One is still able to go out to certain places which is nice”.
Vivienne, Abu Dhabi
If you would like to apply for a teaching position this year, please just be ready and committed to the challenges you might face – it will be so rewarding at the end of the day.
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