Natalie Shomali, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
On September 13, 2021, an interview was held with a DAA teacher of Science/ Biology, Ms. Natasha Martin. Ms. Martin arrived from Scotland two years ago, and really enjoys “coming to school in the sun, (and) driving past the palm trees in the morning,” in Dubai. But, that is not all that stood out in this city.
Are you noticing any differences between the UAE and Scotland?
Just practical differences, I suppose. You know, it’s a different timetable than the way we would run in Scotland, and assessments were carried out slightly differently. But, that’s the great thing about science; the scientific content is the same. So, that makes it a lot easier. A big difference is I’m getting the opportunity to work with teachers from around the world. Dubai is very international and has very useful and valuable experiences that I can’t wait to learn from.
Ms. Martin also had many delightful things to share about her choices and special experiences throughout her career.
Why did you choose to teach Science and Biology?
I chose to study Science and Biology because I absolutely loved those subjects at school. I loved questioning things, I loved the practical side of it, and I loved how everything in my life could be explained through Science. That’s why I wanted to study that further. And the reason I did the teaching is that I feel like teachers had such a positive impact on me when I was at school, and I would like to think that I could have that impact on others during my career.
What is your favorite memory as a teacher?
One of my favorite memories is when in one of my classes, when I taught in Scotland, we wrote a letter to David Attenborough just asking about his work, because we had been talking a lot about David Attenborough and the examples he uses in his documentaries, and he wrote back to us through a handwritten letter! And, the look on the student’s faces when I showed them the letter was just priceless, I loved it.
What do you think was your favorite part about being a teacher?
Making a difference. I think that can range from making a student feel a little bit better about themselves or walking into my classroom not understanding a certain concept and then by the end of the lesson, topic, unit, or the full academic year, walking out actually understanding something. That process, from not knowing something to actually knowing it, and having a part to play in that, I really enjoy. Also, my favorite part is actually getting students excited about Science and about Biology, and getting them to question things about the world- I think that’s so important in this day and age. We’ve come so far in terms of scientific discovery, but there’s yet so much to discover in this world. So, if I can play a small part in that and encourage that then I’ll be quite happy.
Ms. Martin didn’t go through her inspiring journey through teaching alone. Her husband, Mr. Phil Martin, is also a science teacher in the school of DAA, specializing in Physics. Outside of teaching, they both enjoy hiking, food, and traveling most.
They say that they “look forward to meeting and getting to know everyone better” during their experience in DAA.