Staff Profile: Phil Shuttleworth

This year has been a massive change for me-living in the desert, kilometres away from the place I call home and teaching in a different school.

I have literally spent all my years on this earth based in a small village in the north of England, situated near a place called Blackpool. For those English people out there, you will all know it!! But for those from further afield, it’s basically a really rubbish version of Las Vegas in the United States. I’m not actually sure how it’s even compared to be honest as I have been to Las Vegas and it’s amazing! Look up Blackpool if you get the chance on google!! It’s a seaside town, however, the beaches are not great, and the weather is pretty much wet and cold for 9-10 months of the year.

Growing up, like most young boys, I always harboured an ambition to be a professional footballer. From the age of 4 I was playing in a team and It wasn’t until I was about 14 that I realised that my dream was never going to come true. At this point I had no clue what I wanted to do as I never considered anything else.

During this next period of my life there were many careers I thought about seriously, particularly acting. I loved drama and performing and the buzz it gave me. I suppose it was similar to the buzz you get from scoring a goal or making a vital tackle in football. But I knew it was a tough business and by this point I had my feet firmly on the ground and needed a stable career.

My dad was an aircraft engineer in the UK and I seriously considered following in his footsteps. I even took the aptitude tests at 16, but the fact that most of my friends were going into further education swayed me towards that. At this point I still wanted to be an actor but had no clue as to what else I would do. In the UK, you take part in work experience at the ages of 15 and 17 as part of your schooling. I still had no solid idea what I wanted to do at 17 so I was given a placement looking more seriously into engineering. The day before the placement, the company pulled out and the only thing I was left with was a local primary school!

After the first day I was hooked. I loved working with the children and helping them to reach their goals. This was it! My career fell in to my lap when I had no sense of direction!

From this I went on to study Primary School Teaching with a specialism in Drama at the University College of St.Martin’s, Lancaster. Again, this was situated in the North of England, no more than a 30-minute car journey from my home town.
Upon completion of my degree, I took up a teaching post at a coastal school in Fleetwood, where I had remained for my entire career until making the decision to move to Abu Dhabi. I loved my job there and the staff and children, but I was ready for a change.

My desire to teach abroad started after visiting my friend, a fellow teacher at BIS Abu Dhabi and someone who I had become good friends with at university, Angela Barnes. I visited Angela in April 2017 and from that moment I made it my aim to come and work here at BIS.

Almost two terms in and I have thoroughly enjoyed my new challenge. The children are amazing, work hard and are so well behaved and I have found out a lot about myself as person and a teacher. There are so many amazing opportunities for a teacher while working in the Middle-East and I intend on taking them.

Phil Shuttleworth,
Year 2 Teacher