Real People Talk About Training With TELLAL

As the UAE’s only licensed provider of Applied Initial Teacher Training  TELLAL is proud to educate the educators. But what is it really like to study with us?


New to teaching: Robert Kamau Wanyoike

Although Robert worked in the financial sector for many years, teaching was his true calling.  He bravely decided on a complete career change and enrolled in a teacher training course at TELLAL. Robert now works at GEMS Modern Academy as a Mathematics teacher.

“Everything about the course was well designed. Being new to the field, this was very encouraging for me.  The most exciting thing was the rate of progression, so I was quickly able to make sense of what I needed to learn.”


Professional growth: Jessica D’Mello

In her Head of Department role Jessica is responsible for working with new teachers to refine their techniques. This kind of coaching needs more than just good instincts, as Jessica points out, it also calls for a solid understanding of the theories and principles that guide teaching strategies. The International Professional Certificate in Professional Practice is Jessica’s latest qualification.

“Despite having a strong practical hold on some of the latest teaching strategies, I was always looking for a more theoretical background [and]I am now more aware of the reasoning behind why things work or do not in the classroom. My experience so far has been very enriching — the best part being the rapport we share among mentors and peers in this course. There is so much to learn through others’ experiences.”


Tech advantage: Haneen Al Hertani

Haneen studied the Teach Up International Professional Certificate in Professional Practice (iPgCPP) and has first-hand experience of  TELLAL’s digital classroom. Using avatar-based students, the Mursion Training Lab allows trainees to practice strategies in real-time, facing often unexpected situations.

“The avatar experience is one of a kind. The children gave unexpected answers and humour, so I felt like I was teaching real children in a real classroom setting. The feedback from the simulator was very beneficial as all my course colleagues were watching, and each one saw something different and shared it with me.”


Find out more about the educational opportunities offered by TELLAL on our course details page. Many of our courses are available online and we support both Arabic-speaking and English-speaking educators.

April 2018 Teacher Training Applications Now Open!

Apply now to start our teacher training course in the UAE in April 2018!

If you’re thinking of training to be a teacher, now is the perfect time to apply. Applications are open for our teacher training courses starting in April 2018.

We have a range of teacher training courses available, including routes which offer UAE endorsed or internationally accredited qualifications, plus teacher training for those who have prior teaching experience as well as those who are completely new to the teaching profession. Not sure which route is right for you? Read all about our different teacher training routes, or simply talk to us!

Once you’re ready to apply, read our 5 Simple Steps to Teacher Training in the UAE.

Or click CLICK HERE to begin your application.

Trainer of the Month: Monika Chauhan

Warm congratulations to Monika Chauhan, our Trainer of the Month for February, who ran a fascinating workshop on the CPA approach to teaching mathematics. Many thanks Monika!

Each month we celebrate a member of our teaching community who has delivered an outstanding training experience for teacher trainees or professional peers. The title of Trainer of the Month is awarded based on professionalism, workshop evaluations and feedback.

Monika, who teaches mathematics at GEMS Millennium School, Sharjah, recently held a workshop there on the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) method of teaching math. Working through the three stages of learning, attendees were able to gain insight into how a child develops math skills at each age level – from working with tangible objects like unit blocks through to abstract calculation.

Monika explained how to recognize key features of the CPA approach, explore opportunities offered by the approach when problem-solving and finally to create a lesson plan which effectively utilizes the approach and be able to problem solve any issues.

The participants thoroughly enjoyed the session with one participant saying “I really appreciate the hard-work done by the trainer and her team, which has helped me in all ways to improve my professional skills.

A huge well done to Monika and thank you for a wonderful workshop.

To find out more about the PLD courses, workshops and activities on offer to GEMS teachers, look out for TELLAL’s Weekly Communique in your inbox. Not receiving it? Check your junk folder or contact us to let us know.

Christine Nasserghodsi joins TELLAL as UAE VP

TELLAL welcomes its first Vice President of UAE Operations, Christine Nasserghodsi…

Christine Nasserghodsi is a leader in innovation, technology, education and organisational transformation. Prior to joining TELLAL, Christine was the Head of Innovation Strategy at GEMS Education where she worked as the GEMS Project Director on the groundbreaking Creating Communities of Innovation project with Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She has been an advisor for schools, international companies and government agencies in the United States, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and has delivered design-thinking training to entrepreneurs, educators and the UAE Prime Minister’s Office.

Christine joins TELLAL in the newly created role of VP of UAE Operations and, as such, is the lead for professional learning and development, educational research and strategic partnerships for UAE schools. Christine joins the team at an interesting time when UAE Teacher Licensing is just getting underway.

We took some time to find out a bit more about Christine and her work at TELLAL…

Christine, can you tell us a bit about your previous work with GEMS and Harvard’s Project Zero?

Creating Communities of Innovation (CCI) is a research project run by GEMS, TELLAL and Harvard’s Project Zero. It is focused on building skills for inquiry driven innovation. The project was founded in 2015 with the intent of clarifying what it meant to be an innovation leader, how to build the dispositions and skills to engage in, test and scale innovation on the school and network level, and how to create and leverage design and research-driven communities of practice. Now under the leadership of TELLAL, CCI is beginning its third year with the launch of our second cohort. We are excited to welcome 15 schools in the next research cycle.

What led you to TELLAL?

The world is changing rapidly – and education will need to change as well. Foresight is essential to understanding how education should change; human-centred design is essential to understanding that education can change; and learning is at the heart of change. Through learning, teachers, school leaders and students are better equipped to anticipate the future and to thrive amidst uncertainty. Developing people is the key to innovation. It was this belief that led me to join TELLAL, the region’s foremost teacher and leader development institute. Given our strategic partnerships with GEMS Education, universities, governments, industry and the technology sector, we have an almost unprecedented opportunity to build professional learning is a way that is truly transformative.

I am a third generation educator: my grandmother taught in New York City Public Schools for more than 50 years; my mother was a reading specialist and my father was a professor of philosophy. I believe that leading learning is the best job in the world and that everyone supporting the learning process should be treasured.

Why was the VP of UAE Operations role created and what is your remit at TELLAL?

The belief I have shared above is echoed by schools and governments around the world. As such, TELLAL is well-positioned to grow and the UAE is being focused on as a Centre of Excellence, or model for future growth. The VP of UAE Operations role was developed with that in mind, along with the Head of the Leadership Academy, Head of Commercial, and Head of Internal Quality Management and Start-Ups. The TELLAL Team and I will be focused on deepening our work within the UAE with an emphasis on additional leadership programmes and qualifying programmes for teachers, supporting teachers and school leaders through the licensing process, engaging in research and development, teacher development, and building an additional pillar focused on innovation and school improvement.

Where do you think you’ll have the biggest impact at TELLAL?

TELLAL really is a team and we are focused on collective impact. As our team grows, so too do our capabilities. We contribute to education in the UAE on many levels, which is why we have such close ties to the regulators. We are helping to create a pipeline of high impact, joyful teachers and school leaders who understand the context of the UAE and are living their dream. The UAE is growing in global recognition and, at TELLAL, we have been able to create an interesting intersection of learning, technology, research and expert practitioners.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing education in the UAE?

Challenge and opportunity are two sides of the same coin. The UAE has set forth ambitious targets for teacher and leader licensing that are reflective of the national agenda. We are providing expertise to support schools through the process in a way that is efficient and enriching.

What personal goals have you set for the first 12 months of your new role?

I’ve just started my doctorate, at the University of Pennsylvania, on organisational learning with a focus on innovation and the future of work. I am eager to incorporate the learnings from this into my role. Mindful of that, and the transition into a new role, I am focused on work-life balance. Most mornings, I leave the house at about 5:30am to run on the beach and engage in mindfulness meditation before coming into work. This early start also allows me to be fully present with my 10 and 12-year-old sons (students at GEMS FirstPoint School) when I return home.

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Find out about TELLAL’s mission and vision as the UAE and Middle East’s foremost teacher training institute, and professional learning and development provider.

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