You will have plenty of support from your colleagues to ensure you settle into your new role, however, here are some key points that new starters have found useful, particularly if you haven’t worked in the Emirates before.

Curriculum

We are not able to provide a copy of the curriculum until you have commenced employment with us.  On arrival you will be given training on the curriculum as part of your induction and full access to the textbooks, lesson plans and materials will be provided.

About schools in the UAE

  • The working week is Sunday to Thursday
  • Lessons are generally 40 – 45 minutes long
  • Here are the school timings, however, the exact times for your school should be confirmed with your Principal.  They can vary slightly due to school transportation.
  • All schools will have an assembly 15 minutes before classes start; all teachers are expected to attend assembly
  • In Government schools, Girls and boys are taught separately. Kindergartens are generally mixed gender and some lower grades in cycle 1 schools
  • MoE schools will have a mix of Emirati and expatriate students
  • In most MoE schools the students stay in their class and the teacher goes to them; other than for PE, science and IT. Some schools do, however, have designated subject classrooms and this is encouraged for English classes.
  • Although schools vary from zone to zone, remote rural schools do tend to be more conservative than those in the large cities
  • The MoE is committed to providing a safe, healthy and pleasant learning and working environment for its students and employees. Therefore, smoking is not allowed on school grounds

The Principal

  • On arrival in the school every day, always make your presence known to the Principal and let him/her know when you leave.  This is a sign of respect that will be appreciated
  • Seek consent from the Principal prior to starting any initiative
  • When contacting Principals send text messages as well as emails.  Texts are generally checked straight away whereas emails may not be

Working relationships

  • Good working relationships are established on trust. Team work is essential for success.
  • Good manners and courtesy are prized attributes. Always arrive on time for a meeting, however, understand that in the Arab world people are not always punctual, and you can often kept waiting before or during a meeting. Be patient, and do not take it as a lack of respect
  • Always maintain a professional relationship with staff and students, for example, do not give lifts to students (of either gender) or invite students to your home
  • Do not share phone numbers or social media information with students
  • It is a good idea to check your school’s behaviour policy/code of conduct

Gender considerations

  • Women should not enter a male staffroom unless invited
  • Male teachers should check by telephoning or emailing beforehand and getting agreement to visit a girls’ school, unless regular access has been agreed by the Principal
  • Male teachers cannot move freely around girls’ schools and should always have someone to accompany them

Typical staffing in an MoE School

 Staffing depends on the size of the school, number of pupils etc., but here are some of the common roles:
  • Principal – In charge of the school
  • Vice Principal – Second in charge of the school often with key responsibilities such as director of studies
  • Social worker – Link between school and home. Responsible for dealing with behaviour and attendance. Often attached to a particular grade.
  • Administration – all positions mentioned above are part of the Administration, as well as the school secretary who is responsible for printing and checking the school’s emails
  • Teachers
  • Many schools have a school nurse
  • Librarian
  • Science lab technician – help the science teachers to prepare for experiments and provide materials
  • IT Specialist who may not be in the school every day and is there for the smart learning program