Real Life International Teachers: Aaron’s Story

Meet Aaron Short, the new Grade 5 Teacher and Maths Coordinator at GEMS Winchester School, Fujairah…

Aaron is a “boomerang” expat, moving back to the Emirates after several interim years in London, UK. Having previously worked in Dubai and Sharjah, Aaron and his partner Lisa are returning to the UAE — this time to the quieter and more scenic emirate of Fujairah on the UAE’s east coast.

You can follow Aaron’s journey right here as he prepares to leave the UK, travels to Fujairah, settles into east-coast life and gets to grips with his new teaching role. To start at the beginning, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Rain and Off-Road Adventures…

As the rain pours down, the dams fill up, so Aaron makes the most of his Winter Break and heads to the mountains for some rough-road exploration. As he drives through Masabi and Chees, he sees the impact that a little bit of rain can have on this arid country, as the route explodes with greenery…

The End of Term 1…

Aaron has made it to the end of his first term. He’ll be back in school in two short weeks, so he’s diving into the Christmas spirit with some local festive events. He’s also getting rather good with that drone and shares some stunning shots of Al Aqah Beach…

A National Day Culture-and-Camping Trip to Hatta…

Aaron makes the most of the long weekend marking UAE National Day and heads to Hatta in Dubai Emirate for a spot of camping and culture. As he explores Hatta Hill Park and Hatta Heritage Village, he meets some very friendly locals, sees some traditional dancing and is reminded nostalgically of home…

An Inaugural Drone Flight in Fujairah…

Aaron and Mr G take to Fujairah’s skies to give us a bird’s eye view of the emirate from a drone. It’s the first time they’ve taken the drone out and, considering their beginner status, manage to capture some great footage of Fujairah City and the beachfront. We can’t wait to see more! 

Nearing the End of Term 1…

Aaron has had a busy few weeks — assessments and reports at school, and studying for his iPCertEL at home. There are still a few weeks before the Winter Break rolls around, and the term shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon!  

Sharjah Road Trip and a New Course…

Aaron takes a scenic diversion through the Hajar mountains, near Kalba, on his way back from Sharjah and takes the time to show us the scenery and talk about the iPCertEL (Educational Leadership qualification) which he is studying through TELLAL. 

How to Start A School Radio Station…

WSF Radio is up and running. Watch the video and look out for links to the first two shows – the children are having a great time, learning lots and are beginning to sound pretty slick. Fancy staring a school radio station of your own? Aaron has some top tips to help you get started.

Chapter 13 – WSF School Radio Kick-off Meeting…

It’s time to put Aaron’s school radio plan into action. As part of Winchester School’s enrichment programme, Aaron launches a recruitment drive for students to join the radio team and hold the inaugural WSF school radio station planning meeting.

Enrichment Afternoon Launch at GEMS Winchester School, Fujairah

WSF launches its Thursday afternoon enrichment activities for its students with this video featuring Mr Short and the WSF Radio Station…

https://youtu.be/jPzjei77JdY

Chapter 12 – School is in session…

Aaron’s students have finally arrived! He is full of energy as he gets stuck into his lessons and struggles to remember all his students’ names. Aaron shares big plans for his classroom and some exciting news about a special project he’s going to be working on.  We also get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the tireless work that goes into lesson prep…

Chapter 11 – Life in the UAE so far…

Aaron has been getting to grips with the systems at his new school, and his schedule, classes, and students. Like most teachers at this time of year, Aaron has throw himself into the new academic year leaving him little time for much else — he does, however, spare a few minutes to play us a quick tune on his new guitar. Can you work out what it is?

Bonus video – A Shout-out from Sir Chris Stone…

Aaron was more than a little surprised to be called upon by Sir Chris Stone during the GEMS Awareness Day Opening Address during the hilarious Carpool Karaoke video.

Chapter 10 – GEMS Awareness Day…

Aaron and his colleagues from Winchester School, Fujairah, make the journey across the Emirates for GEMS Awareness Day, the GEMS induction for new teachers, at the Atlantis hotel in Dubai. Aaron is one of a staggering 1,500 new teachers joining GEMS this year — as you can imagine, it was a busy day!

Chapter 9 – Rain in Fujairah…

It never rains but it pours! Well, this was certainly the case in Fujairah last week. Other than enjoying the downpours, Aaron has been busy getting his classroom set up, and generally getting prepared for the children’s arrival on Sunday. He talks about some of the challenges he is facing and how he is managing to overcome them.

Chapter 8 – First Day of School…

Aaron arrives at Winchester School, Fujairah, for the first day of his new job. After an in-depth induction, he meets his new colleagues, tours the school and meets the Principal to find out a little more about what he’ll be teaching this year…

Chapter 7 – Classroom Environment Expectations…

Like teachers all over the world, heading back to school to prepare for the children’s arrival, Aaron has a new classroom to set up. Before he heads into school, he tells us about the key elements of an effective classroom environment and shares some good, bad and ugly examples from his teaching career.

Chapter 6 – Aaron’s New Home…

Having arrived in Fujairah on the UAE’s east coast, Aaron give us a tour of his serviced apartment which will be his new home for the next year.

Chapter 5 – The Journey to Fujairah…

Join Aaron on his long journey from Cardiff, UK, to Fujairah, UAE. The journey was so long that his battery ran out before he arrived!

Chapter 4 – Flying to Dubai Tomorrow…

With his flight to the UAE confirmed, Aaron finishes his packing and starts his goodbyes…

Chapter 3 – So Much Stuff: Packing and Priorities…

As his departure date draws near, Aaron is going through the complex task of packing and prioritising what to take, leave and sell. He also introduces us to his partner, Lisa, who is also moving to teach at GEMS Winchester School, Fujairah, and his much loved dog, Vinnie.

Chapter 2 – Paperwork Preparation: How to get your UK documents attested

Struggling to get your paperwork in order before your move to Dubai? Bewildered by the process of document attestation? The bottom line is that it is MUCH easier to get your education certificates attested before you leave your home country, than to do it once you’re in the UAE. If you’re leaving the UK to come and teach in the UAE, you’re in luck — Aaron’s helpful video will have you breezing through the red tape in no time.

Chapter 1 – Moving to the UAE

Aaron introduces himself and talks about discovering GEMS and what attracted him to his new teaching role in Fujairah…

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