ADEC FAQs: Teaching in Abu Dhabi

ADEC FAQs: Teaching in Abu Dhabi

Frequently asked questions about teaching abroad in Abu Dhabi

We understand everyone wanting to obtain a teaching jobs in Abu Dhabi, UAE, has many questions. Our recruiting team gets a lot of questions from teachers so to make things easier for you we’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions and answers. Despite trying to be as thorough as possible, we assume you will have further questions so feel free to contact our recruiting team to learn more about teaching in Abu Dhabi!

Q: What is ADEC?

A: ADEC stands for the Abu Dhabi Education Council. It is a government organization responsible for all educational initiatives from early childhood to higher education in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. ADEC was formed in 2005 in order to develop education and educational institutions unique to the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Q: Why is ADEC hiring so many foreign teachers?

A: In 2009, ADEC introduced a reform to reach the highest international standards in education and produce the citizens that their future society and economy will need. The reform has been implemented from Kindergarten to Grade 7 with native-English speaking teachers educating local students in the core subjects to ensure students become bilingual in English and Arabic. The innovative reform is based on international research, which means working for ADEC offers an excellent opportunity to work with world class talents and contribute to education excellence.



Q: What will I be teaching?

A: Students are taught in both Arabic and English. You will be known as an EMT (English Medium Teacher), which means you are responsible for teaching one or all of the core subjects (English, Science and Math) in English. Positions are also now available for health and physical education teachers.

School Grades / Age Subjects Taught by EMT
KG Kindergarten /3½ to 5 year olds English, Science and Math
Cycle 1 Grades 1 to 5 /5 to 10 year olds English, Science and MathORHealth and Physical Education
Cycle 2 Grades 6 to 9 /10 to 14 year olds EITHER English, Science OR Math depending on teacher’s subject specialisation
Cycle 3 Grades 10 to 12 /14 to 17 year olds English

Q: What type of curriculum will I be teaching?

A: You will be working within the New School Model framework developed by ADEC. This model of teaching emphasises a holistic, student-centered approach to teaching. The curriculum is an outcomes-based education system adapted from the New South Wales (Australian) curriculum. You will be given a set of learning outcomes for each class and it will be up to you to ensure that the students meet those outcomes. Students are assessed on their mastery of the learning outcome. You will be able to draw on the experience of your head of faculty, principal, vice-principal and colleagues to achieve this goal.

Q: How many hours will I teach per week?

A: It varies from school to school but you can expect to teach around 30 hours per week. School hours are typically 7:30am to 2:00pm Sunday to Thursday. Boys start half an hour earlier than girls. Teachers are usually given one planning period per day and take part in weekly PD and planning sessions.

Q: Will I have to submit lesson plans?

A: Yes, at some point you will be asked to submit lesson plans.

Q: Will I be observed?

A: Yes, you will be observed at the beginning of your contract and at various points throughout your contract.

Q: Will I be expected to supervise extra-curricular activities?

A: No, if you wish to set up an afters-chool activity you need to speak with your administrators.

Q: Are there opportunities for advancement?

A: Yes, if you show leadership and excel at your job you could be promoted to Head of Faculty.

Q: Will I work with a co-teacher?

A: Kindergarten teachers will team teach with an Arabic teacher (AMT). All other teachers will have sole responsibility of their classes and work alongside a staff of Arabic teachers as well as the other EMTs. Effective and successful teachers are those that build relationships with fellow staff.

Q: Will I be teaching boys or girls?

A: All classes except for kindergarten (KG) are gender segregated. Females can teach males, but males cannot teach females. Therefore, there are only female teachers in KG classrooms and female teachers can teach in all boys’ schools.

Q: Will the students be able to speak English?

A: No. Some of your students may have been exposed to English while some will know very little. You will be required to differentiate your curriculum to ensure all students can achieve at their level.

Q: When will I know what and where I will be teaching?

A: You will be teaching in the emirate of Abu Dhabi so will be placed in one of three areas: Abu Dhabi CIty, Al Gharbia and Al Ain. You will NOT know what and where you will be teaching until you arrive in the UAE and begin your contract. There will be hundreds of other teachers joining you in Abu Dhabi, which means hundreds of potential situations that can change at the drop of a hat. Therefore, ADEC does not finalise anything until after your arrival.


The Contract

Q: How long is the contract?

A: The contract is two years in duration and contingent upon obtaining a residency visa. Many teachers complete consecutive contracts.

Q: What is included in the contract?

A: The incredible contract includes:
– Twelve month tax-free salary (paid monthly) plus contract completion bonus
– Airfare to and from Abu Dhabi for you and your dependents (your spouse and up to three biological children under 18).
– Visa assistance
– Airport pick-up on arrival
– Hotel stay provided until permanent accommodation is secured
– One, two or three bedroom accommodation provided depending on family situation
– Allowance of 20,000 AED to furnish your apartment
– Two months’ vacation plus all national holidays
– Yearly airfare allowance for you and your dependents (your spouse and up to three biological children under 18).
– Medical insurance for you and your dependents (your spouse and up to three biological children under 18).



Q: What teaching qualification do I need?

A: You need to have a recognised current national, state or provincial teaching certification/license. Unfortunately a substitute or provisional teacher’s license will not suffice. Also, if your teaching license has been revoked in the past you will not be accepted.

Q: How much experience do I need?

A: You need at the very least TWO years of post-certification teaching experience at an accredited school.

Q: What kind of experience counts?

– Full-time classroom experience
– Substitute teaching experience (must have records of employment from school/school board). Proof of 120 days over one academic year counts for one year of experience for salary purposes
– International school experience (must be North American, Australian or British curriculum)
– Experience in public schools in other countries i.e. EPIK or JET

Q: What kind of experience does not count?

– Special education (unless it was with a full class, 15 or more students)
– Tutoring
– Private language schools
– University, college or adult teaching
– Student teaching (practicums)
– Corporate training
– Music teaching

PLEASE NOTE: This information is given by the employer. Footprints understands all of the above mentioned teaching experiences are valuable, however, they are not accepted by the employer to meet their minimum qualifications or for salary scale purposes.