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Teacher Workload in Dubai vs UK

As a teacher who has worked in both Dubai and the UK, I often get asked about the differences in teaching workload between the two locations. It's an interesting comparison, and one that I've had the chance to reflect on over the years.

teaching in Dubai
Trying to balance everything can be a challenge

When I taught in the UK about five years ago, I vividly remember the long nights spent marking assignments and planning lessons. It wasn't until I recently went back to visit my family that my mum reminded me of just how challenging those times were. The workload was intense, and it often felt like there was never enough time in the day to get everything done.

In contrast, the teaching experience in Dubai has been a bit different. The days typically start a bit earlier, around 7 AM, and can extend until 4 or 5 PM. Personally, I've found that I don't have as much marking and planning to do after school here, but I know that can vary depending on the individual teacher and the school.

Early mornings in dubai for expat teachers
early mornings in dubai for expat teachers

One aspect of the Dubai teaching experience that stands out is the high-pressure periods throughout the academic year. For example, the annual KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) inspections can create one to three weeks of intense preparation, both at home and in school. During this time, teachers often put in extra hours to ensure everything is running smoothly and that the school is ready for the inspection.

Additionally, private schools in Dubai typically have two or three reports and parents' evenings per year, which can add to the overall workload. These events require meticulous planning and extensive preparation to ensure that parents are kept informed and engaged with their child's progress.

So, is the teaching workload more or less in Dubai compared to the UK? It's a difficult question to answer definitively, as it can vary greatly depending on the individual school, the specific role, and the personal preferences of the teacher. From my experience, the workload in Dubai tends to be more concentrated during certain high-pressure periods, whereas the workload in the UK can feel more consistently demanding throughout the year.

Check out this guide if you are looking to gain information on teaching in Dubai and the UAE

One factor that I've noticed in Dubai is the emphasis on work-life balance. Many schools in the UAE recognize the importance of teacher well-being and try to implement policies and practices that support a healthier lifestyle. This can include things like flexible working arrangements, access to wellness programs, and a greater focus on work-life integration.

Ultimately, the teaching workload in both Dubai and the UK has its unique challenges and pressures. The key is finding the right balance and approach that works best for each individual teacher. By understanding the differences and being prepared for the various demands, educators can thrive in either setting and provide the best possible learning experiences for their students.

Check out this question and more in this video

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