At this time of the year teachers begin to make decisions about their future. Here in the UAE, there is almost a frenzy of activity, there are teachers who are deciding to return to their home countries, teachers who are requesting transfers to another school or cycle and other teachers who are deciding to give up on teaching all together.
The sheer number of people looking to make a change is so great that you almost feel strange or the odd one out if you are deciding to stay put. Over time, I have witnessed that sometimes people get caught up in frenzy and make the wrong decision. I contemplated asking for a transfer earlier this year but then I seriously began to question myself.
Why am I really moving? When I began to look at my reasons for moving, I soon saw that a move was not warranted. Sure there are things I dislike about my school and its management but they were not grave enough or so intolerable that I would need to move immediately to another school. Let’s face it, moving schools is a huge gamble. You might be jumping from the proverbial frying pan into the fire.
Unless you know where you are going intimately, then there are chances that you could be even more miserable there, than where you are right now. I have known of colleagues who have moved and regretted it, so instead of looking to find the joy and satisfaction I need somewhere else, I decided to try to create it where I am.
I began to find something to be grateful for every day that I go to school. On the last day of school before the spring break, I was very grateful for the fact that our principal allowed us to leave a little earlier than normal and the week before that I remember being grateful for the fact that my commute was not unbearable. No, I have not become one of those people who walk around with a permanent smile, oblivious to life’s challenges. I am just someone who has decided to find the good in my situation.
I have been here for over four years and I have heard teachers complain for just about everything, I have even joined in. I have even seen many people, assume the problems of others and made them their own. There have even been instances where people have followed the noise of the crowd and returned home before meeting the goals they had before coming here. It does take a strong person to pack up and move abroad to teach but we have to be careful who we let influence the decisions that we make. I believe that sometimes moving on is the solution but not always.
If you are going through that frenzied state of wanting to change things up, transfer out or simply throw in the towel, stop for a moment and examine the source of your discontent. It could be that you are doing the best thing in the moment. It could also be that you have allowed yourself to get caught up in the noise and need to refocus. It helps to take some time to work out the pros and cons of any situation. In the end, the choice is yours and you will be the one living with the consequences.
It is easy to complain about where we are but if we make an effort to be grateful we will certainly begin to feel better about our situations.
About Christina Morris
Christina Morris is an educator who currently teaches in a cycle three school in Abu Dhabi. She has been in the UAE for four years and enjoys sharing her experience with others especially those looking to move to the UAE to teach.