DUBAI: GEMS Education yesterday officially welcomed more than 1,500 new teachers from around the world to its network of schools during GEMS Awareness Day, adding to the UAE’s education sector a vast array of expertise and experience across all subjects and curriculums. One of the largest education induction events of its kind in the country, the annual event is an invaluable platform for information exchange and an opportunity for new staff to hear from GEMS Education’s senior leadership team and educationalists, while also learning more about the UAE and its culture and customs.
Among the event’s wide range of focal areas was moral education, one of the top priorities of the UAE government, in addition to Arabic and Islamic Studies, with related sessions offering new teachers unique insights into each topic. Sessions also covered the UAE’s culture and history, with close to 40% of all Awareness Day discussions having a local or regional point of reference.
GEMS Education Founder Sunny Varkey welcomed new teaching staff during GEMS Awareness Day, saying: “We are honoured and privileged that you have chosen to progress your careers as an integral part of GEMS Education. Your passion for teaching will inspire passion for learning in our students, each motivating and rewarding the other. And by developing this fruitful relationship, we can achieve great things.
“Our core values are leading through innovation, pursuing excellence, growing by learning, and global citizenship to ensure an active contribution to the international community. We look forward to working with you to instil these values in our students, as we look to identify and grow the genius that exists in every child.”
Speaking at the event Dino Varkey, Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Education said: “GEMS Education’s core philosophy is to ensure that every child gets access to quality education and we discover the genius in every child. We believe that through education we can challenge all the problems which exist in the world. We are privileged to have these great educators join us and I wish them all the best in their future careers with GEMS Education.”
The event included breakout presentations and workshops, with thematic insights into the mission of GEMS Education as well as the wider narratives of the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda. The various sessions also covered global citizenship, wellbeing, scholarships and innovation.
Among the session speakers were Michael Gernon, GEMS Education’s Global Head of Innovation, Research and Development, and Dr Linda Rush, Senior Vice President of TELLAL Institute, the first licensed dedicated teacher training institute in the UAE. Numerous principal roundtables were also held, where key education decision makers discussed some of the sector’s most pressing topics and challenges.
New teachers joining GEMS Education this year come from across the world, bringing strong experience and expertise spanning all subjects and curriculums to classrooms throughout the UAE.
Ann Carshult, a new teacher at GEMS American Academy – Abu Dhabi, explained her decision to join GEMS Education: “I decided to join because of the vision and mission of the school. Many of the initiatives are in line with my experiences and beliefs as an educator; inquiry-based learning, standards-based assessment, 1:1 technology, a collaborative teaching and learning environment, and implementation of the IB learner profile, among others. I’m excited to share my expertise in the areas of co-teaching, technology integration, mindfulness and the IB curriculum. I’m passionate about working with teachers to create authentic learning opportunities for students with diverse learning needs.”
Dr Rao Olayeye, joining GEMS United School in Dubai teaching middle school computer science and robotics, said: “I wanted to be in an environment that is not only focused on education, but also one that nurtures the mind of youth as we guide them to become caring, knowledgeable global citizens. GEMS United School has similar philosophies, and I look forward to working with students and teachers to implement technology in the curriculum to make learning engaging, relevant and fun.”
Joining the mathematics department at GEMS Wellington International School in Dubai, Peter McLoughlin commented: “I am looking forward to having the opportunity to promote independence, inspire innovation and encourage our pupils to challenge their natural curiosities within lessons. I recently completed my MA in Education and have carried out research related to delivering lessons which facilitate challenge and the development of metacognition. This is therefore something I’m really looking to developing within the teaching of math this year at Wellington International School.” PR