"How did my teacher training help me?" Voices of newly-graduated Emirati teachers
This research study looks at the effectiveness of teacher preparation for Emirati teachers in their first year of employment as English medium teachers in Abu Dhabi public schools, and explores the reality of their working life as teachers. Teacher education aims to integrate the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching, both of which are important to be effectively prepared for teaching. However in practice, under the pressure of daily school life, novice teachers may have difficulty in applying the experiences gained from their education program to their classrooms. We look at the particular areas of teaching in which the novice teachers found difficulty, and those which came as a surprise. The participants of the research study are Emirati novice teachers who are graduates of a dedicated teacher training college in Abu Dhabi. They have been trained as English Medium Teachers (known as EMTs) to teach the subjects of Maths, Science and English as part of Abu Dhabi Educational Council’s new pedagogical model, known as the New School Model. We examine the efficacy of the teacher-training program from which they graduated, and look at how the teachers are coping in their new working lives. The presentation will share the key research findings, highlighting novice Emirati teachers’ experiences in Abu Dhabi schools in the midst of extensive reform. Recommendations to ease the induction of novice teachers into schools are offered. We also suggest ways in which teacher training colleges could adapt programs to provide a closer link between theory and practice.