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Staff Profile: Benjamin Stanier, English Teacher

17 June 2019

Each week we will feature a member of staff across all areas of the school including teachers, admin staff, support staff and more, to get to know members of our school family a little better. Our profile this week is Benjamin Stanier, an English teacher in Secondary school.

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As an English teacher at the school, I constantly tell students to think about how they open their writing. How are they going to make it interesting? How are they going to catch the readers’ attention in the first few lines? It is not easy when talking about yourself, but I’ll give it a go…

Dragons. I have a tenuous link to dragons. The huge, mythical, fire-breathing type. If things had worked out differently, I could be battling alongside dragons as Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. Interesting enough? To explain, I was at the same college in the UK as Kit Harington (Chris back then), star of the popular TV show ‘Game of Thrones’. He was younger than me but we both did the same Theatre Studies A-Level course. Were we friends? Not really, we didn’t know each other. I was too busy playing rugby and football. Do I tell people because it’s interesting? Of course.

He used his Theatre Studies skills and went on to become an international acting star, I chose the more rewarding but slightly less lucrative career in teaching; and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love teaching and it’s a privilege to be teaching in such a wonderful school. It was inevitable I was going to become a teacher. My grandfather was a Headmaster of a school and my father was also an English teacher, so it certainly runs in the family. Rather than staying in the rolling Worcestershire countryside of the UK to teach, I moved to Abu Dhabi 4 years ago to join the international teaching community. I spent 2 years teaching English in the public-school system and have spent the last 2 teaching here. I have loved every second of it and hope there are many more years to come. 

There is something special about BIS Abu Dhabi and I first noticed it as a parent. My son, Oliver, joined the school in FS2 before I started working here and both my wife and I (she is also a teacher) immediately realized this was the school we wanted our son to be at. The community spirit, the teaching staff, the support network, the facilities, everything stood out compared to the other British schools we visited. We were delighted when Oliver was offered a school place here, even happier when I was appointed a year later. It is a very rewarding school to work in with the most brilliant students walking through our doors.

As well as Oliver, we have added our daughter Lily to the family. Look out FS1 teachers! She’s 2 years old but it already feels like we have a teenager living with us! We all love living in Abu Dhabi and are very happy to call it our home. The lifestyle we can live out here is very special. Whether it’s jumping in the swimming pool with friends, playing on world class golf courses or visiting amazing attractions, this country has something to offer everyone. 

Kit Harington, living in the UAE and being a part of BIS Abu Dhabi is far more exciting than fighting dragons! 

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