“I really believe that Edge Hill provided an excellent foundation on which to build my teaching career, equipping me with a plethora of skills so I’m prepared for every eventuality”
After graduating from Edge Hill University with a PGCE in Secondary Education, Rachel Charles’ passion for teaching took her overseas to UAE where she secured a job at RAK Academy teaching English, putting all the skills she acquired at Edge Hill into practice.
Rachel stepped out of her comfort zone and embraced the laid back lifestyle UAE offers, quickly adjusting to the change in culture, and she has never looked back.
“At RAK Academy, I teach English to Years 7-10 and I see each class every day, which means that we can look in depth into a topic over a short period of time. I’ve discovered that my students work best when they have a range of short tasks and a mix of individual and group work, and they are becoming very receptive to the style I acquired at Edge Hill and honed during my NQT year.
“The thing I most enjoy about my job is that I have discovered that children are children, wherever you may be teaching. In my year 8 group I have more than five different nationalities and all of them laugh at, bicker about and enjoy the same topics British children would. I suppose my misconception was that I would struggle to bond with all pupils in such a multicultural environment but I’m happy to confirm this is not the case at all.
“Edge Hill prepared me for all sorts of scenarios as the lecturers really plan their courses to ‘cover all bases’, so when I found that one of my classes was made up entirely of children with English as an additional language and almost all of them had Special Educational Needs, I knew that I could take on the challenge.
“The University made me more aware of the importance of my own Professional Development, so at the end of my training year I enrolled on the MA course and I am currently really involved with RAK’s NQT programme, as well as planning and delivering CPD sessions to share my own knowledge of teaching and learning.
“Edge Hill still support me through regular contact via email and the Alumni magazine and I still actually feel a part of the ‘Edge Hill Community’. Furthermore, I am so grateful to the University, as they informed me about the job at RAK academy.
“I would definitely recommend embarking on a career outside of the UK. It’s a big change but the lifestyle it offers is unrivalled. The working day is much shorter and I have more free periods than in Britain, so I can fit planning and marking in during school time which is a real bonus, but despite this I still feel that I offer my pupils high quality lessons. Most overseas schools also offer an excellent package including health care, health club memberships, annual flights home, rent free accommodation, plus a tax free salary.
“For those considering the move, my biggest recommendation is to come with an open mind. Things will be different from the UK so embrace the differences you encounter. My outlook when it comes to big decisions like this is, nothing ventured – nothing gained, unless you have a go at something a bit out of the ordinary, you’ll never know you might be missing!”