We wouldn’t be the school we are today without the hard work and dedication of our staff. In celebration of our 10th anniversary we will be sitting down with staff members who have been with us for the past 10 years! We would like to thank Farin Padamsey for being one of the most truly caring and hardworking threads in the tapestry that makes up Greenfield Community School.
Farin Padamsey- Head of Student Support
Where are you from?
I was born in Tanzania and then moved to the US when I was ten and lived in Miami for most of my life. I have been in Dubai for the past 12 years.
You’ve been with the school since the beginning, have you always worked in student support?
Yes, I’ve been with the school since 2007 back when we opened in the Marriott hotel! I started off as a SEND primary teacher and then once the secondary school opened up I became a math and science teacher and then moved into the Head of Student support three years ago.
What attracted you to Student Support?
When I was in my moms womb she had a friend who’s son had cerebral palsy and back in Tanzania in 1977 they had some superstitions/prejudices. They told my mom not to play with the child or else her baby would be born with cerebral palsy. Of course, my mom didn’t listen to that and played with her friend’s child anyways. Growing up, I always felt a connection with that boy. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to work with special needs children. I still keep in touch with that boy who is now a man and when I go back to Tanzania I visit him. It’s strange but I’ve felt connected with him since birth and I guess that is why, since an early age, I’ve wanted to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs.
How did you start working at GCS?
What attracted me to Taaleem and GCS is that they have every teacher on the same platform. For example it doesn’t matter where you were from, as long as you have the degrees and credentials for the position you can do the job. I say this because at my last job they treated people differently based off of your ethnicity. Taaleem had a blanket, a standard scale for salaries where it didn’t matter where you were from or your ethnicity. When I got hired by Taaleem I also brought two of my other teacher friends (Sonnette deLange & Lubna Khawaji) with me; we started here together and we are still here!
What keeps you at GCS?
It’s the children and the inclusive nature of our school. I’ve seen so many students who needed support go through our school and be successful. For example one of the children started with us in grade 4 with no English and had pretty severe dyslexia and he graduated and is doing well in his university. These success stories happen because we are so inclusive and this is the main reason I stay at GCS.
Another reason is the teachers are so open minded and they have embraced all these different types of students, with different learning abilities and nationalities. Our teachers are just so warm hearted and that’s another reason that I am here!
What’s the biggest challenge you face?
It is when I meet parents and students that we cannot accommodate in our school and I have to direct them to other avenues. That is the most difficult part of my job.
What do you think will happen at the next 10 years at GCS?
Hopefully we will continue to grow and the ethos of GCS will continue to be inclusive. It is about the relationships. A school is not a factory, we want to have kids who are holistically resilient and can go out there and be good citizens of the world.
What is the biggest misconception about SEND students?
All humans have a gift and something special about them. If we can tap into that gift and nurture it, that gift will grow. Each kid has a gift, as a teacher and as a school we need nurture it and the child will flourish and grow into the most beautiful person. I think at GCS what we try to do is to find the gift and to help that child grow. Our departments are so open to working with all kids and helping them reach their fullest potential.