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Primary Teaching in Dubai

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Joined: 17 Dec 2012
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:51 am    Post subject: Primary Teaching in Dubai Reply with quote


By summer 2016 I'll have a Scottish Primary PGDE (Equivalent of PGCE) from a UK university and one years experience teaching in a primary school post-cert. Does anyone know the situation with primary / elementary level teaching in the UAE? Most of the research I've done online seems to talk only about subject-specific secondary school teaching.
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nomad soul

Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11249
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the Cafe is dedicated to TESOL, try sites like International Schools Review and Teach Away.
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Joined: 26 May 2014
Posts: 83
Location: Salmiya, Al 'Āşimah, Kuwait

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To echo what Nomad Soul has stated, Teach Away has listed several teaching positions in the United Arab Emirates (mostly Abu Dhabi, but also a few for Dubai) for elementary and primary level teachers. Some of those positions start in August and some in January, so it's best to move expeditiously in hopes of securing a position for this upcoming school year.

Regarding International Schools Review (ISR): It's a very useful site for reading reviews and comments by educators and parents on various schools. The membership is only 29 USD per year, so it's extremely affordable. I use ISR to make decisions about which schools I should apply to (many schools should be avoided).

In addition to Teach Away, also check out It's a relatively new site that is also advertising for several employers. I secured a position through a school that advertised on that site.
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Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 236

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a fresh teacher, as you will be; I would avoid Primary here unless it is a well disciplined school. I have taught at the university level in Saudi Arabia and High Primary in the UAE. My experience in speaking and seeing the results of Primary teachers is that most young teachers don't last the year or are ready to leave at the end of one season. Most teachers here do one or two seasons and switch schools, either by choice or without.

Why? Simple, if the school has a high local population, Arab, the discipline will be most likely horrible and the classroom will be chaos. Be ready for 26 to 30 students, 24 to 30 contact hours a week, constant additional duties, etc. While this isn't every school, it is most schools here. I found a good place to land for my next assignment here but that doesn't always happen and if you are new; most likely you will be in a typical school as I stated above.

So for your first year here don't have too high expectations, use it as your building year. Network, network, network is the word and how I found a better opportunity. Always have a "Plan B" because your employment is at the discretion of the employer and can mean you are out before you even realize it.

I would say get more experience in the West or Asia first. There is no 'Pot of Gold' in the Middle East anymore. It is expensive in the UAE and when you are up against Expo 2020, prices will go only higher but wages won't. I have a military pension which saved me the first year because my salary mainly paid for living expenses, because I have a wife, four children, and a mother to care for.

Just some straight talk advice, think before you leap.
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