At TELLAL, we know first-hand how important teachers are to the development of children and young people. This is just one of reasons why we offer a range of courses, not only for existing teachers to expand their knowledge and skill set, but also for those who wish to begin their career in education.
Taking the plunge into a new career can be daunting, especially when you have to weigh the investment of training against gaining employment. That’s why at TELLAL, our mentors and trainers will always do their best to assist new graduates with finding the right job for them. Sometimes, it doesn’t even have to take that long, as one recent graduate, Kerry Duncan found out when she secured a role whilst doing her iPGcTP – Level 7. We sat down with her to find out more…
Hi Kerry, thank you so much for talking to us! Can you tell us a little bit about what you are up to now?
I am currently working as an IB Diploma Economics Teacher (maternity contract cover) but I have just accepted a permanent position for Secondary Humanities teacher in an IB school starting in January.
And you found that position during your TELLAL course, is that right?
Yes, during the third term of the course a personal contact of mine had recommended the school, and then my TELLAL training manager at the time, Katie Hart did a great job of setting it all up for me.
What made you want to take the course initially?
I was teaching piano for five years and decided to re-train as a classroom teacher. I also liked the way the course is based around classroom training so it’s very practical.
How did you find the course as a whole?
Busy, challenging, varied. Being able to observe a variety of teachers in different subject areas was extremely beneficial and interesting. Further to that, being introduced to the theories behind learning was insightful and helpful.
Since you started in the role before the course ended, how did you balance work and the course?
It is always a balancing act when you are working full time and studying. I would use the week to keep on top of my work commitments and the weekends to study. The key was that I was organised and kept to my own timetable.
What was your favourite thing about the course?
This is an easy one as I really enjoyed being able to teach in different departments and work with different teachers, and now I really feel that I have found what I am meant to be doing.
What was your experience of TELLAL?
I think TELLAL has a good cross-section of lecturers who have different interests and strengths much like the cohort of students. I always found them to be solution orientated and accommodating when I had any queries.
After the recent graduation of our Apprenticeship in Teaching Practice – Arabic Route program, we know there are many of you who might be interested in taking part. With registrations for the New Year already underway, we wanted to take the time to share with you a little bit more about what is involved in the course and what you can expect if you want to take part. So we sat down with two of the recent graduates, Hanadi Mustafa and Eman Hamdan, to find out what they thought of the programme and the lessons they learnt!
Congratulations on your graduation! Tell us a little bit about what you are up to right now?
Hanadi: I am an elementary and middle years teacher and Coach in GEMS First Point School and I am doing Professional Development workshops for Arabic and Islamic teachers that supports the development of learning and teaching within the subject and develops staff understanding of how we apply skills in lessons. I motivate the teachers to create and stick to communicative goals, provide resources and support, encourage consistent practice, identify gaps in learning strategies, understand current potential obstacles and provide methods to overcome them, guide development of accountability and self-assessment systems moreover encourage creative solutions to problems.
Eman:I am the Arabic Coordinator and leader of 18 Arabic teachers. It is important to me that I am a dedicated team leader who always keeps abreast of the trends in Education regarding the Arabic curriculum and strategies and skills. Mainly in order to relay any new develops in Arabic education, to my colleagues.
So what motivated you guys to do this course?
Eman: Teaching is one of the few things on earth which increases as you give and it benefits both the receiver and the giver in equal measure. All of us will leave earth someday but what will probably remain is your teachings and acts which make people feel special and valued.
Hanadi:On-going professional development is the key to a quality education. I believe that “curriculum” goes beyond just subject area knowledge to concepts and approaches to teaching. Teachers should be constantly figuring out new ways to engage students—whether that is including the latest developments in their field or looking for ways to interact across fields to fully explore concepts through the lens of multiple subject areas, also I believe that teachers need to be constantly seeking more effective ways to help students learn and looking for more creative and engaged ways to assess their learning.
What was your overall experience like?
Eman:The course and training was unique because it teaches effective practices and introduces innovative ways to teach and new strategies. It also helped me relate to my students better as it put me in their shoes and opened my eyes to the emotions they go through during lessons. It was a wonderful experience that I would carry this knowledge with me, into the future, in all my endeavours.
Hanadi:This program really helped me find more effective and creative ways to maximise student’s learning in the classroom. This was the prevailing theme throughout the overall structure of the program which revolves around three tracks: Principles and theories of learning, education and Modern Arabic Pedagogy and Teaching and Learning, and each path is divided into modulesrelated to the Arabic language and teaching methods. I definitely walked away feeling as though this fantastic programme had taught me how to:
- Promote understanding of the comprehensive curriculum and the integrated approach in the field of Arabic language education.
- Develop specific techniques to teach the Arabic language writing system to learners at all levels of competence communication.
- Improve awareness of the practical applications of Arabic language proficiency in communication.
- Enhance awareness of the assessment of Arabic language and its levels.
- Improve awareness of how language skills and language systems are integrated into the teaching of Arabic and how to improve understanding and awareness of the practical applications of presenting the characteristics of Arabic grammar and its vocabulary for learners of all levels
How do you think the course will help you moving forward?
Eman:I feel that this course will contribute towards the level of the teacher’s knowledge within the school and awareness of the nature of the Arabic language, teaching and learning. It could make a great impact on Arabic teacher’s practices in the classrooms.
Hanadi: For me, I have more understanding of the history of methodologies and methods of teaching languages and their relation to teaching Arabic, and Improving the awareness of the basics and techniques of the classrooms that have led to the development of listening, speaking, writing and reading skills among the Arabic language learners.This program has generated the desire to apply more techniques and strategies and to believe in the importance of its results and impact on the development of students’ skills
What are your thoughts on TELLAL now, having done this course?
Eman:Tellal is offering a unique and an interesting programme for teachers, completely different from all other programs in a fun, relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. What I really appreciated was that at Tellal they encourage a good relationship between students and teachers.
Hanadi:The Teacher training is delivered by experienced, practicing teachers from the TELLAL network, which includes some of the best education professionals from around the world. Tellal promotes and facilitates the exchange of ideas and best practices between the teachers attending the workshop, which helped me complete my career journey from continued personal growth and professional development with all the opportunities and support available.
This weekend saw another amazing crop of students celebrate at their Graduation Ceremony for the Arabic ATP program. Their hard work and dedication was evident for all to see as they were rewarded for their outstanding performance and the entire TELLAL team looks forward to seeing how their future in education will develop.
We sat down with one of the new graduates, Habiba Hamdan to find out how she was feeling about the course and her new qualification:
Congratulations Habiba, you must feel so proud! Did you enjoy the ceremony? Who came with you?
The ceremony was lovely! It was so well organised and so great to stand up with all of my fellow students after all we had achieved. I was also lucky enough to have my husband attend and he got lots of pictures of me!
So, what was it that made you decide to take the course?
As well as being one of the requirements for the UAE Teacher’s license, I joined the programme because I had the strong desire to achieve more for the benefit of my students.
What was your experience of the course like?
Taking part in the Arabic ATP program was a unique experience. It brought us back to student life, homework, assignments, it made us recollect our beautiful memories, and it helped us to put ourselves in the place of our students on a learning journey. Despite taking up much of our leisure time, it was all worth it, because this program has strengthened our capabilities, particularly in strategies, that have proven to be active in our ranks.
What was your favourite thing about the course?
My favorite thing in this program was my return to being a student, those memories in which I am still very attached to. Wearing the student’s hat was a real thought provoking experience that made me more aware of my strengths, and the areas for improvements, as a teacher.
What parts of the course did you find the most beneficial?
I would have to say the case study part. This focused on a bilingual Arabic student who is studying Arabic as a first language and involved collecting evidence, analysing, identifying gaps and giving solutions. It was an excellent example of a real world situation that we will face in the future and the most effective ways to manage it.
What was your experience of working with TELLAL?
This wasn’t the first time I undertook a course with TELLAL. All of their courses are really well planned, they have expertly qualified instructors and they communicate effectively with participants – I am looking forward to doing more courses with them in the future.
So what is next for Habiba?
I am so excited about my next steps! I plan to move into training and coaching, especially in teaching Arabic as a first language.
The temperature might be cooling (thanks to the storms!) as we head into the festive period, which for many will mean planning for Christmas celebrations and hanging out with friends; but here at TELLAL we are all about registration, registration, registration. Our next series of training programmes begin in the New Year, so we are spending time talking about the ins and outs with potential participants and learning more about those who are keen to build a successful career in education.
This week we wanted to take a closer look at the International Professional Graduate Certificate in Teaching Practice (iPgCTP) so anyone who is thinking of taking part can discover what it is all about. A fantastic qualification with an Applied Graduate Diploma in Teaching Practice (ATP) that is authorized by the UAE National Qualifications Authority (NQA), this course is ideal for graduates with little or no teaching experience who wish to earn an globally portable academic certification. But what better way to find out the facts than from someone who has actually done it! We sat down with previous participant Nabila Lohia to ask her a few questions….
Hi Nabila, Thank you so much for sitting down with us, tell us a little bit about what you are up to right now and what your goals are for the future?
Right now I work in GEMS Royal Dubai School as a Trainee teacher. As a teacher, my aim is to stimulate a love within students for learning, to encourage critical thinking and to show my students that learning Computer Science and Math can be enjoyable and rewarding. I believe that students should be a part of their own learning process and as a teacher my goal is to create a classroom environment that encourages collaborative activities that promote whole class, equitable pedagogy.
How has your experience of teaching been so far?
My experience at Gems Royal Dubai has been an enriching and reflective one. I have been a student observer in class, under the supervisor, and this has provided a practical opportunity for me to observe various teaching approaches in the primary classroom. I have learnt that active teaching which gets students involved during the class has benefitted them the most. When the teacher encourages participation and critical thinking in her students, this makes teaching fun, as well as beneficial, and students are able to truly understand the subject they are learning about. What I have noticed is that by making student part of the learning process, teachers play an important role in facilitating the learning within the classroom environment.
What made you want to do the TELLAL course?
The course provided a platform whereby I can learn through observation and teaching placement. The practical benefits of this course were really appealing to me. Additionally, by providing exposure to different teaching strategies first hand, the course adds to my existing interest in pedagogy. Real-time classroom learning under a professional supervisor was what sets this course apart from others which are more content orientated.
What was the biggest challenge for you on the course?
The biggest challenge was to understand the latest teaching techniques and the various ways in which they were implemented. Furthermore, keeping up with both the practicum of classroom teaching as well as the assignments was arduous but very reflective for me. I feel that the most important achievement is that I am much more confident about various teaching styles as well as better versed with the on goings of a current school environment.
What is one of the best things the course has given you?
It has motivated me to apply the latest teaching approaches that put learners at the center of the pedagogical process.
Would you recommend TELLAL to other potential and current teachers interested in training?
I would. It is a great place to have real-time teaching exposure.
If you are interested in finding out more, you can visit the iPGCTP course page here.