Teachers

Teachers | Al Qasimi Foundation | Capacity development | professional development | Ras Al Khaimah

Presentations

  • Teacher Exchange | Switzerland | Ras Al Khaimah educators | Natasha Ridge | Professional development | Education research

    Ras Al Khaimah Teacher Exchange Program

    The Ras Al Khaimah Teacher Exchange Program provides opportunities for educators in Ras Al Khaimah government schools to further develop their knowledge and skills of pedagogy and learning environments through exchange visits with schools in other countries. The exchange allows participants to experience different cultures and educational systems, as well as a variety of viewpoints from teachers, students, parents, and others within the education sector.

    Through conversations with educational professionals in the host country, participants are encouraged to explore the differences and similarities between schools in the United Arab Emirates and those overseas. Effective teaching practices, community relations, diversity, integration and participation, inclusion, and parental communication are examples of issues that might be addressed through the exchange program and its associated activities. Upon completion of the exchange visit, participants will present research and recommendations related to relevant educational issues to their colleagues or other educational stakeholders.

    Due to its reciprocal nature, the Ras Al Khaimah Teacher Exchange Program runs every two years. During the first year, Ras Al Khaimah teachers go overseas to visit schools in the host country and learn about their educational system. During the second year, teachers from the host country come to Ras Al Khaimah to learn about the educational system and practices in the United Arab Emirates.

    Objectives

    • Provide opportunities for distinguished teachers to deepen their knowledge and skills related to effective pedagogy and different learning environments
    • Create an international network of teachers and school administrators that fosters collaboration between overseas educational institutions and government schools in Ras Al Khaimah
    • Promote cross-cultural exchange that sparks curiosity and new ideas and facilitates understanding

  • Ras Al Khaimah Teachers Network

    The Ras Al Khaimah Teachers Network (RAKTN) is a social and professional networking site launched by the Al Qasimi Foundation in 2010. The grassroots forum allows teachers and educators from Ras Al Khaimah, across the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and around the world to come together to share resources, ideas, and best practices for improving student learning and their own professional effectiveness. The network includes discussion forums, blogs, and free educational resources available for download. In addition, the RAKTN also plays an integral part in the Al Qasimi Foundation’s teacher professional development workshops, where it acts as a virtual learning platform to access course resources.

    Vision & Goals

    The RAKTN seeks to establish a professional community of education practitioners who collaborate, share knowledge, and ask questions. It is grounded in evidence that teachers themselves, rather than outside consultants, often have the solutions to the problems they face because of their experience in the classroom and rich local knowledge of students’ strengths and weaknesses. The online format allows education practitioners to connect and collaborate across the boundaries imposed by geography, gender segregation, school type, and subject matter. It also provides a space in which teachers can share their experiences, feel valued, and actively help one another make Ras Al Khaimah an inspiring and transformative teaching and learning environment—thereby contributing to the larger campaign of improving education in the Arab world.

    Impact

    The RAKTN includes more than 1,200 members, who access the site from more than 10 different countries. As the community has grown, so has its ability to expand its reach and impact:

    • Training materials for creating education blogs have proven particularly popular with members. Their classroom blogs have opened alternative lines of communication with their students and generated original Arabic content online. This, in turn, has been picked up by practitioners in other Arabic-speaking countries in which teachers struggle to find digital Arabic learning materials.
    • Forum discussions have been instrumental in breaking down the cultural and communication barriers among teachers. With the aid of translation tools, English and Arabic speakers are equally able to reply to discussion threads, which results in a woven exchange of the two languages. The discussion forums also bring teachers from government and private schools together. These teachers would otherwise rarely encounter each other in the normal course of school life, and yet they often discover there is much to learn from the respective school systems. In addition, as the RAKTN attracts more members from other countries, blog entries and forum comments candidly share the challenges and joys of working in schools in a diverse range of cultures.
    • When asked about RAKTN and its impact on their professional practice, members frequently express their need to be up-to-date with technology as they seek to relate to their students. By connecting with the network, teachers are accessing the information, training, and resources they need to improve their teaching and make their classrooms more interactive to better serve their students.

  • Teacher Scholarships

    The Teacher Scholarship Awards are open to teachers from all nationalities who are teaching in a Ras Al Khaimah government school or working in the Ras Al Khaimah Ministry of Education. There are two types of scholarships included in this program:

    • Academic: These Scholarships cover up to 50% of the tuition costs associated with either a master’s degree or short-term course (1-3 month duration). Qualifications must be in education or closely related to education and should seek to improve the applicant’s teaching abilities and effectiveness in the classroom. Qualifications that expand applicants’ knowledge of the subject areas they teach may also be considered on a case-by-case basis. For applicants interested in earning their master’s degree, the chosen qualification must be offered through an accredited university or institution. 
      • Examples of degrees and short-term courses ELIGIBLE for funding include: master's in education, English language courses, TOEFL preparation courses, International Computer Driving License (ICDL) courses.
      • Examples of degrees and short-term courses NOT ELIGIBLE for funding include: doctorate (PhD) degrees, master’s in business (EMBA or MBA), engineering, and other degrees and courses unrelated to education.
    • Action Research: These Scholarships provide an applicant with up to 10,000 AED to undertake a small-scale, action research project in his/her classroom or school. The projects should address an identified need related to improving teaching or enhancing student learning, and the research may be carried out by an individual or small group of teachers.

    Scholarship Objectives

    • Contribute to the overall development of the educational sector in Ras Al Khaimah
    • Improve the status of teachers and increase interest in the profession
    • Provide an opportunity for distinguished teachers to improve their skills and knowledge
    • Enable schools to recruit and retain high-quality teachers
    • Foster interest in action-based research, the importance of data-driven decision making, and the need for regular impact assessment

    Scholarship Eligibility

    To be eligible for a scholarship award, applicants should meet the following minimum criteria:

    • Applicant must have bachelor’s degree from a recognized tertiary institution.
    • Applicant must be a current teacher or school administrator in a Ras Al Khaimah government school or the Ras Al Khaimah Ministry of Education.
    • Applicant must have a minimum of three years' teaching experience.
    • Applicant must have successfully completed at least two of the Al Qasimi Foundation’s teacher professional development courses.
    • Applicant must have a commitment to continue working in the schools and education sector of Ras Al Khaimah (includes maintaining teaching responsibilities while pursuing the chosen qualification or research).
    • Applicant must have a desire to share new skills and knowledge with other teachers and education professionals.
    • Applicant must demonstrate a clear idea of how receiving the Scholarship will benefit the educational sector in Ras Al Khaimah.
    • Additionally, applicants seeking an Academic Teacher Scholarship Award must identify a qualification offered in the United Arab Emirates, as the Scholarships DO NOT cover expenses associated with qualifications offered overseas. 

    Selection Criteria

    If an applicant meets the minimum eligibility criteria noted above, he/she is encouraged to apply for a Teacher Scholarship Award. Academic and Action Research Scholarships are awarded based on merit and applicants’ commitment to the teaching profession in Ras Al Khaimah. The Al Qasimi Foundation Program Managers and Directors serve as the evaluation and selection committee.

    • Academic: Personal statements outlining how applicants and schools will benefit from the chosen short-term courses or degree programs are seriously considered. In addition, previous academic performance and the quality of the applicant’s chosen qualification will be reviewed. Interviews with top applicants will also impact final Scholarship decisions. Preference will be given to Emirati teachers.
    • Action Research: Relevance of the proposed research question and quality of the overall proposal are key considerations for funding decisions. Knowledge of background research and the literature review are also important. Preference will be given to teachers who have completed the Foundation's 21st Century Research Program.

    The selection and review process for Teacher Scholarships is competitive, as the Al Qasimi Foundation often receives more applications than it can support. The number of Scholarships awarded each year varies depending on the costs associated with recipients’ chosen qualifications and proposed research. Generally, the Al Qasimi Foundation seeks to award up to two Scholarships for teachers pursuing their master’s degrees and up to five Scholarships for teachers undertaking short-term courses. An additional two Scholarships are available to support teachers interested in conducting research.

    Application Process

    Note: If the online form submission results in a system error, please submit all materials and information requested on the form to Ms. Caitrin Mullan, Director of Community Engagement and Outreach. Thank you for your patience as we improve our application process.

    Only applications submitted through the Al Qasimi Foundation website using the appropriate online form will be reviewed and considered for funding. If applicants need assistance completing the form or uploading their materials, they may schedule appointments with an Al Qasimi Foundation staff member, who will walk them through the process. After submitting materials online, applicants may contact the Program Manager for Outreach to verify whether their applications were successfully received. Specific application instructions for each type of Teacher Scholarship Award:

    • Academic: Complete the Academic Teacher Scholarship online application form. In order to do so successfully, applicants will need the following documents:
      • A personal statement in the form of a cover letter (no more than 1,500 words) that addresses (1) how the applicant will personally benefit from completing the chosen qualification; (2) how the applicant's professional development will benefit his/her school; (3) detail on how applicant will balance course requirements with on-going professional commitments at his/her school; and (4) confirmation that applicant is willing and able to pay 50% of his/her chosen qualification's costs
      • Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
      • Copies of tertiary education certificates and transcripts
      • Copy of the letter of acceptance for chosen degree or short-term course
      • Copy of official IELTS or TOEFL score report, valid within the last two years
      • Documentation of total degree or program costs
      • Two letters of recommendation (one from the applicant's department head or school principal)
      • Please note: Applicants are fully responsible for securing their own acceptance from an accredited university or institution in the United Arab Emirates for their chosen qualification. The chosen qualification must be in education or closely related to education. Applicants are expected to maintain their teaching commitments in their respective schools while pursuing their chosen qualification. As a result, making use of school holidays, enrolling in evening courses, or taking on-line or hybrid courses may be necessary. 
    • Action Research: Complete the Action Research Teacher Scholarship online application form. In order to do so successfully, applicants will need the following documents:
      • A cover letter that addresses (1) how the proposed research will benefit the Ras Al Khaimah education sector, in particular your own school; (2) why you believe you can successfully complete the research;(3) commitment from all project members to complete research ethics training; and (4) whether your school and the Ministry of Education have approved the research
      • Preliminary research proposal (no more than 1,500 words) that includes (1) description of the research project and key research questions; (2) background literature review; (3) summary of project's overall goals, including new knowledge that will be generated; and (4) summary of research methodologies, instruments, and analysis to be used
      • Detailed budget with itemized expenses
      • Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume for the lead researcher and each team member
      • Documentation of research approval from Ras Al Khaimah Ministry of Education and applicant's school
      • Documentation that the lead researcher and/or other team members have successfully completed an action research or research methodology course within the last several years (such as the 21st Century Research Program).
      • Two letters of recommendation (one from your department head or school principal)

    Please note: Individuals planning to apply for an Action Research scholarship are encouraged to contact the Foundation in advance to discuss their research proposal ideas.

    Application Deadlines

    Teacher Scholarship Award applications undergo a preliminary review upon submission to ensure they meet minimum eligibility criteria. Those that meet or exceed the criteria are compiled until the appropriate application deadline, at which point they are forwarded to the selection committee for collective review.

    The Al Qasimi Foundation reviews Teacher Scholarship Award applications twice per year based on the deadlines below.

    • Master's degree programs: June 30, 2016
    • Short-term courses: June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015
    • Action research: June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015

    Award Conditions

    Scholarship recipients are expected to demonstrate commitment to Ras Al Khaimah’s education sector and contribute toward the professional development of others. Specific expectations for each type of Teacher Scholarship Award include:

    • Academic: Prior to receiving the scholarship, recipients must sign a written commitment to continue working in Ras Al Khaimah’s education sector for a minimum of two additional years upon completion of a master’s degree or one year upon completion of a short-term course. All Scholarship recipients are expected to conduct a workshop or presentation for other teachers to highlight what they learned. Recipients pursuing a degree must also maintain a B-average throughout their studies in order to remain eligible for continued funding.
    • Action Research: Prior to receiving the scholarship, recipients must sign a written commitment to continue working in Ras Al Khaimah’s education sector for a minimum of one additional year upon completion of the research. Recipients are expected to present their research findings to other teachers and to write a short report for the Al Qasimi Foundation summarizing their findings. The short report will be published on the Ras Al Khaimah Teachers Network.

  • Teacher Professional Development Workshops

    The Al Qasimi Foundation’s program of professional development courses has grown rapidly from just one course in 2010 to roughly a dozen different courses available this year. All workshops are bilingual (Arabic/English) and are free for teachers and education professionals working in Ras Al Khaimah. The overall professional development program is driven by teachers’ needs, and new courses are piloted before they become part of the Al Qasimi Foundation’s standard offerings. While experienced consultants develop the initial course materials, local educators rapidly become involved in the delivery of workshop content. The goal is to transition the delivery of each course entirely to local educators for peer-to-peer learning.

    Participants are accepted into each course based on their commitment to attend all workshops, complete all in-class and homework assignments, and play an active role on the Ras Al Khaimah Teachers Network, a virtual learning platform through which course materials are hosted and collaborative exchanges take place.

    Applications for next semester's courses:

    Registration for Fall 2017 is now open. For more information, please visit the new Ras Al Khaimah Teachers Network website for more information