By Roos Döll
The Dubai American Academy is delighted that Mr. Hall is the new head of the athletics department this year. Mr. Jason Hall is a passionate, hardworking and proactive PE teacher who works towards helping his students reach their highest potential. The Pawprint asked him some questions to have a peek into his teaching career and life outside of school.
What did you do before becoming a teacher and have you always wanted to be a teacher?
I have been a teacher most of my career, I was in education from university and onwards. I actually started teaching during university and I have taught pretty much ever since, so before becoming a teacher, I was a student.
What are your interests and hobbies?
Pretty much everything outdoor. I like doing sports and games outdoor – I cycle very often and I play baseball and softball. Also, I like being at the beach too. I just love being outside!
Why did you decide to be a PE teacher?
Well, being a PE teacher is my second teaching job. I was first originally teaching music for the first part of my career. Teaching PE was something I wanted to do when I became an international teacher because it has always been a passion of mine in my past. Essentially, I wanted to transition into teaching something that I loved.
What do you think about PE not being mandatory in grade 11 & 12?
I think it is okay that PE is not mandatory. Partially because with us being an IB school, it would be very hard to have PE along being an IB student, so I am okay with it. However, it makes the tenth grade PE class very important because it is the last time we will impart any knowledge to young adults on health and fitness before they will go to college, then PE will be a choice for them at that point, so we need to arm them in the tenth grade.
What are your main pet peeves of students?
Laziness and procrastination – waiting for the last moment to do things and even when they do get done at that point, the work is just not as good quality and as thorough as it could be if they didn’t procrastinate.
Why did you move to DAA?
I move mostly for changing locations and to go into a better quality school. We also wanted to be in a larger school for our son – so it’s a little more competitive
Have you lived in Dubai before coming to this school?
No. We came to Dubai and to DAA at the same time.
What are some of the challenges you have faced so far while living in Dubai?
The heat and the humidity in the summer months, mainly just the dust in the air. Otherwise, it has been an easy transition.
What do you like about Dubai so far?
I love that it is international and I like how easy it is – it’s a much easier place to live as things are more accessible.
What school did you teach at before joining the DAA community?
I was in Shenzhen, China, for five years at a school called QSI Shenzhen. I taught IB in the high school there.
What is your most memorable teaching moment?
I have a lot. However, the one I usually think about first is back in 2003. I was teaching music, more specifically I was teaching this group of kids. They were very good, basically, they were one of the best in the United States. We were going to our final competition and it was like a day or two before the competition when I think it was the moment during a rehearsal that the kids finally realized that we were playing music not to win but just playing to be good people and strive for greatness. It was a need for the kids to stop worrying about winning and losing but just doing something in the sake of excellence – it was a good moment.
The DAA community is excited for Mr. Hall to be the head of the athletics department this year.