Changing your career to become a teacher may be easier than you think. Many career changers have recently entered the profession of teaching and are positively impacting the lives of young people through the diverse range of transferable skills they bring from both their previous work and life experience.
Through the National Agenda 2021, the UAE has prioritised education as a key focus and the country strives to ensure that it offers high-quality education from early years and kindergarten through to primary and secondary education. A key driver for this is ensuring that inspirational, innovative and creative teachers are providing learning and positively impacting the lives of young people. In recent years, the exponential growth in schools across the UAE, the focus on raising standards of teaching and now with access to high-quality teacher training, make this an exciting time to become a teacher and truly make a difference.
The recent trend of career changers transitioning into teaching is due to a number of factors and reasons. Some have always aspired to be educators, inspired by a previous teacher, yet didn’t have the opportunity to embark upon the training. For others, their unfaltering passion for their subject area and a desire to share this expertise with young people, hoping to ignite the same passion in them, has been a motive. However, the most common reason that individuals state for a transition into teaching is a desire to make a positive impact on the lives of young people through raising aspiration and inspiring the love of learning.
Joining teaching as a second career can give you an employability advantage. Schools across the UAE and Gulf region are seeking adaptable, innovative and creative individuals who can demonstrate a unique perspective gained through their previous experience. With knowledge and skills gained through your previous career, you are ideally placed to offer a plethora of transferable skills to prospective school employers and indeed enhance the learning experience if students.
The University of Birmingham Dubai has seen two successful cohorts of students complete the post graduate certificate in education (PGCE) across both primary and secondary phases. Our student teachers represent the unique diversity of the UAE. With many having been resident in the region for a number of years, they bring an eclectic mix of cultural and emotional intelligence, creativity in abundance and the ability to be self-reflective practitioners, constantly striving to improve their practice.
Meet Malika Chandoo
Malika graduated as a secondary maths teacher having successfully completed the Post Graduate Certificate of Education at the University of Birmingham Dubai. As a successful graduate from Oxford University, having obtained a first class degree in Arabic and mathematics, Malika started her career as a chartered accountant and member of the ICAEW with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the UK.
She then travelled and studied within the region, gaining experience within the education sector. As her children were growing up, she decided to change careers to accommodate her priorities and teacher training has allowed this flexibility. Her previous experience has helped her to develop into an outstanding teacher.
Malika will start her second year of teaching as a secondary maths teacher at the prestigious Repton School Dubai in September.
Meet Angus Russell
Angus has a degree in sports science and an MBA. He worked for many years in business start-ups and project management internationally, from Australia to Thailand, as well as the UK.
With his breadth of experience, Angus was unique to our PGCE course as he brought maturity and large amounts of experience, adding depth to the diversity of the group.
He made the decision to change career in his fifties and has successfully graduated as a science teacher. As a consequence of his previous experience, he is highly sought after by schools and was employed by South View School in Remraam to set-up and run their science department.
Support and guidance
The prospect of embarking on an alternative career may seem very daunting but it can be increasingly appealing, especially in the current climate.
The variety afforded in the role of teaching ensures that you have career development opportunities and that you can build upon previous skills and knowledge. There will be opportunities to develop further passions and hobbies that may have been untapped until now.
With support and guidance from both the University and school-based teacher educators (mentors), the University of Birmingham Dubai will ensure a carefully and personalised approach for you to develop confidence throughout the programme.
Understanding the underlying principles and the theory of learning and teaching are synchronised, through the practical-based experience you gain in our carefully selected partner schools. By combining collaboration and engagement with the wider UAE community, the University of Birmingham Dubai remains committed to ensuring the support and growth of high-quality teaching and thereby ensuring we have outstanding learning outcomes for all our young people across the UAE.
Find out more about starting your exciting journey and get into teaching!