Staff Profile: Rebecca Dickinson

As our school community grows we will be sharing staff profiles to get to know members of our school family a little better. Each week we will feature a member of staff across all areas of the school including teachers, admin staff, support staff and more.

Our profile this week is Rebecca Dickinson, Head of EAL as part of our inclusion team. Below, Rebecca Dickinson gives us a snapshot into her background and how she came to work at BIS:

When I was asked to write this profile I really didn’t know where to begin. I felt like I was back in the classroom being asked to do something that I was unsure of, so that’s where I’ll start. My childhood. When I was 6 years old, I dreamt of being a ballerina when I grew up and, so I went to ballet classes. After a couple of years, we had our first production, I was the Mad March Hair in our show Alice in Wonderland. I still remember now how nauseous I felt, and I how couldn’t stop shaking back stage; and yet I see our students taking part in a variety of performances all year round at BISAD with confidence and big grins on their faces.

When I was 9 years old my parents encouraged me to learn a musical instrument. I wanted to play the harp, but I was told I was too small and was given a flute instead. I wasn’t very impressed at first, but I picked it up quite quickly and enjoyed it too. My first solo performance was Yankee Doodle. I felt so confident, and loved hearing the sound echoing through the building that I knew right then that being a musician was for me.

My dad’s job involved travel so I changed schools 3 times, yet my parents always found me a teacher so that I could carry on playing my flute. During my High School education, I played in different orchestras and bands inside and out of school, and was always given a solo in school concerts. I practised my flute for hours every day, it must have annoyed my parents but they never told me to stop.

When I finished school, I went to college to do my A ‘levels and then onto University to study Music and Teaching. In my first school of just 200 students I was the Music Coordinator and led all the school productions, and I enjoyed the challenge. I had a little boy in my class who wasn’t quite like any other children I had taught before. I researched and sought advice about how to help him. My positive experience led me onto training to be a SENco supporting students with special needs. I then moved to another school to be a SENco but in a larger setting. It was there that I found out about a new school opening in Bahrain. I left the UK in 2008 with my husband and have been working in the Middle East ever since!

We live in such a transient climate, I feel privileged to work with so many children from all over the globe and I feel so lucky to be able to help them adjust to Abu Dhabi and our school life. Every day is a challenge for children who are learning English and I am proud of every single one of them. The children are so appreciative and have a thirst for learning which has inspired me to me learn Arabic – poor Mrs. Rodina, I don’t make it easy for her!

The best job in world of course though is being a parent, I have a toddler and a 7-year-old. From the moment I walk in through the door at the end of the day until I put them to bed at night, they make me laugh and smile and I appreciate the time we have together. Before I know it, they’ll be all grown up and I’ll be the one reading their staff profiles! I only hope that I will be as good a parent as my parents were to me and allow them to follow their dreams and to be who they want to be.