Teaching in Doha
I am aged 26 and I taught Mathematics for children aged 11 to 17 at Menzieshill High School in Dundee until last year (2009). I’d never worked overseas before; just enjoyed short holidays in Europe.
I made the move to an international school because the teaching opportunities were not good in the UK, particularly in Scotland. I wanted a change but at the same time I wanted to develop my teaching skills and I wanted to see more of the world.
Finding my international teaching job
Finding an international teaching job was surprisingly easy. I attended an informational conference that Teachers International Consultancy (TIC) held in Edinburgh in February 2009 where I learnt a lot about the opportunities of teaching in international schools. I registered with TIC and they contacted me about potential schools that I’d be interested in and schools interested in me. I did some research into the schools and their locations and decided on the one most suited for me.
Teaching in Doha
I am now at Park House International School in Doha. The school is a modern building with Primary and Secondary sections, with football pitch, gym, pool auditorium and assembly hall. I have a large classroom with whiteboard and two interactive boards. The pupils are, on the whole pleasant and work-orientated. The parents are extremely supportive.
I worked with standard grades, intermediate and highers in Scotland. I am now working with IGCSE’s and A levels, however I find that the work is basically the same and has not proven difficult to adapt. The staff at the school have been extremely supportive and cannot do enough to help; with regards to work and socially.
Living in Doha
I am enjoying Doha immensely. Living accommodation is excellent and the weather is fantastic, particular the winter; summer was more difficult. I am playing for a local football team and have played games in Qatar as well as travelling to Thailand and Bahrain for competitions. Nightclubs and drinking alcohol are expensive but that’s not a major problem for me.
I think this experience is good for my career. I think it shows that I am not afraid to try new things and I believe that working with such a variety of people (pupils and staff) can only improve my teaching. I’ve observed several new and varied teaching styles which has been really good for me. Personally this experience has already broadened my perspective on life and made me realise that I want to do a lot more travelling. I’ve visited a number of different countries already which I wouldn’t have had a chance to do if I wasn’t here.
Advice for others
What advice would I offer to other teachers looking for international school jobs? Consider the move carefully, research the country and the school and speak with others who have already gone through the experience.