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 Mona Massey for her dedication to Greenfield Community School (GCS) but most importantly to the love and care she shares every day to her students.
Mona Massey- KG2 Teacher
Where are you from?
Lucknow, in northern India and I’ve been in the UAE for 16 years. I did my bachelors of education in Dubai at Delhi University.
Where did you work before GCs?
I started off working for a shipping company as an accountant but that wasn’t where I was happy. I fell in love with teaching. I started off at GCS in the English as an Additional Language (EAL) Department back when the school was located in the Marriott Hotel. And my classroom was right next to the lobby toilets! A lot has changed. I remember every bit of those early days. We were one family and supported each other, even lifting furniture together if needed. We also unloaded the resources for the school from the truck and brought them into the Marriott.
So there’s a love story here, you work with your husband! What is that like?
Yes, I work with my husband and I’m really glad to be in the same organization with the love of my life. Although I’m glad we aren’t in the same department! My husband and I started off here in the first year of our marriage so we have grown with the school. We never discuss work after school. I think that’s a big thing for us and how we make things work. Because we work together we’ve celebrated a lot of professional goals together and that’s really nice. I think the continuous Professional Development Taaleem has given me has added to my career and my strengths.
What are some of the highlights from your years at GCS?
For a few weeks before our new building opened we had to have classes out of a location all the way in Muhaisna. So we had to take the school bus which was interesting because it took 40 minutes to get to Muhaisna this meant the teachers got to know each other really well during those journeys! Taaleem has been very supportive from the start and I feel like they are always ready to listen.
I would like to mention Ziad Azzam, he was our first CEO and something that really touched my heart was how human he was. I think he has a heart of gold and we could see that in our everyday lives. One Ramadan he was fasting and we were at the Marriott hotel teaching. He came in with two bags of pizza to feed us because he knew we weren’t fasting and we needed to get our work done. Something like that I really have respect for. I’ve really learned the value of internationalism and being open minded since being at GCS. It has taught me to live by the 10 attributes of the IB learner profile. We’ve had a lot of changes in management over the years but I think at the heart of it we are an international school and we accept people the way we are. That is something that hasn’t changed and is important as well.
What’s it like teaching such young children?
The best thing about teaching this age level is what they learn with me now stays with them forever. The basics. For example, telling the truth and being honest. They also respect you so much in KG, they really look up to you. I love the hugs, I love the way at this age they follow directions very carefully and listen. I also love how they notice little things and give compliments. Even telling me my nail polish is nice. They are so honest and pure. I’ve always, in these ten years, had very supportive parents. With behavior issues or children with special needs the parents and I have worked together as a team and that helps us overcome situations or circumstances that may arise.
What’s the most surprising thing about being a KG teacher?
Something that might be surprising is how individual and special each child is. They aren’t all the same. In my role I believe I need to take each child individually and challenge them to help them grow as they are. I was apprehensive about teaching KG. After EAL I did Grade 2 and then the principal asked me to teach KG but the very first week I fell in love with this age group. My heart is with them now. I’ve worked with other age groups before but this is where I belong.
I’m sure there are days when you feel overwhelmed, what keeps you going?
I’ve never felt overwhelmed with the teaching itself, but there are lots of other paperwork and reports that need to be done as a teacher and those elements are what sometimes overwhelm me. It’s our team that keeps me going. We laugh a lot. We make situations lighter and that keeps me going. At the end of the day getting a hug from a child and appreciation from them keeps me going. Sometimes parents will tell me their child is sick and can’t come to school but the child still wants to come to school, this is what I love to hear because it means the kids are learning but they are also enjoying their days!
Contributed by: Jewelia Dakin