Meet The Teacher: Emma Tate

Being a teacher is a difficult profession for many. However, most teachers can vouch that the profession is extremely rewarding, especially when seeing their students excel and grow in their skills.

A great example of having a passion for teaching is Emma Tate, WSO Academy Dance Programme Manager at GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis.

Born and brought up in Leeds in the UK, Emma has been surrounded by teaching her whole life, with many family members heading down a similar path.

With a deep passion for dance, Emma decided that it was her way to make a difference, and has been teaching dance for over 18 years.

Having spent 10 years in Dubai, for Emma teaching dance allows her students to express their creativity, enhance their abilities and find themselves through their movements.

Emma is also the reason behind the 'WSO Centre of Excellence in Performance and Theatre Tech' at UDO Academy Dubai, a leading street dance school in the city.

The programme helps unite students through dance while also allowing them to hone their talent and also have access to amazing teachers, facilities and opportunities.

Read more as Emma shares her story and her journey from falling in love with teaching and becoming the dance programme manager.

What inspired you to start teaching?

Having come from a family of inspirational teachers and being brought up in a culture of having a positive impact on young people’s lives, I was inspired to teach by a love of my subject. I have always had a desire to make a difference in the younger generation and a passion for helping students and others to learn and grow.

How did you decide to teach your current subject?

I decided to teach dance as a subject, purely due to my deep love for dance. I wanted to share my passion with the next generation. Teaching dance over the years has helped many students to discover the joy and expression that dance can offer. Teaching dance is a rewarding way to help students to learn a new skill and gain confidence in their abilities. Having trained and competed in Irish Dancing and Street Dance styles, teaching is a way to share my expertise and knowledge with others.

Why do you love teaching?

I am passionate about teaching because it offers a unique combination of challenge, excitement, and reward. Teaching is never boring! It requires me to constantly adapt and innovate, keeping me on my toes and engaged with my students. Furthermore, seeing my students grow and succeed is one of the most fulfilling experiences I can imagine. But teaching is not just about imparting knowledge, it also helps my students develop important social skills such as collaboration and resilience. By working together on challenging projects, my students learn to communicate effectively, share ideas, and support each other through difficulties. Ultimately, teaching is a multifaceted and deeply satisfying profession that I am grateful to be a part of.

Do you remember your favourite teacher from school?

My favourite teacher was Anne Maguire. Not only was she an excellent role model as a teacher within the curriculum, but she also extended her kindness, care, and compassion beyond the confines of the school environment. She was truly inspirational, always striving to bring out the best in each and every student. With her guidance and unwavering support, I felt comfortable challenging myself and reaching my full potential. What I appreciated most about her was that she went above and beyond the traditional responsibilities of a teacher, constantly checking up on me and encouraging me to pursue my passions. Anne Maguire made a profound impact on me, and I will always cherish the lessons she taught me, both inside and outside of the classroom.

How do you make everyday classes more interesting?

Making everyday classes more interesting can be a challenge, but there are a few strategies that can help. One approach that I like to incorporate is a variety of teaching methods and styles, such as lectures, discussions, group work, hands-on activities and introducing my students to industry specialists. 

Additionally, using real-life examples, case studies, and multimedia resources can make the material more relevant and relatable to students. Another way to make classes more interesting is to create a positive and inclusive classroom environment, where students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. I also incorporate humour and storytelling to make classes more enjoyable and memorable. Finally, giving students a say in the topics covered in class and allowing for choice and flexibility in assignments and projects can help foster a sense of ownership and investment in their learning.

What is a unique part of the school?

One of the unique aspects of my school is our commitment to providing students with exceptional opportunities in the performing arts. With a team of expert teachers and a range of industry partners, including the UDO Academy Dubai, Urdang International, West End Stage, and SAE, our students have access to a world-class education in dance and the performing arts. For example, last year our elite dance team, Adrenaline, won the UDO World Street Dance Championships U18 team and U14 trio categories, and they were the only academic school group in the competition. These experiences not only help students develop their artistic talents but also fosters their creativity, discipline, and resilience. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of a school that recognises the importance of the arts and their impact on student's overall development and well-being. By offering such opportunities and resources, our school is truly unique and sets our students up for success both inside and outside the classroom.

What would you do if you were not a teacher?

I think I would have been drawn to the profession of midwifery. There is something truly fascinating and awe-inspiring about the process of bringing new life into the world, and I can only imagine the profound sense of fulfilment and purpose that comes from helping to facilitate this miracle. 

Emma Tate

WSO Academy Dance Programme Manager

GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis

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