My name is Matthew Hagan and I am from County Tyrone in the northwest of Ireland. I became an English teacher 11 years ago, 7 of which have been spent as Head of English in a British international school in Dubai.
I am passionate about raising literacy skills among my students, and I am very proud of the successes that my team and I achieved in my previous school. During my time there we placed a huge emphasis on creating an ingrained reading culture among our students. As a result of years of hard work, reading progress and attainment among our students was rated as Outstanding. Unsurprisingly, I love to read in my spare time; my favourite genres are historical fiction and dystopian. I also have a passion for learning and teaching and read extensively around this topic. I have found that this has allowed me to become more knowledgeable with regard to the science behind teaching and gives me the confidence to challenge myself to try new approaches in my practice that will enhance the progress of my students. As a committed lifelong learner, I am currently completing a National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) with University College London. Apart from this, I have a really keen interest in history and politics. I also love to explore the UAE; I tend to go off the beaten track and love nothing more than meandering down endless dirt tracks to see where I end up…much to my wife’s disapproval. As a native of Tyrone, I am also a keen supporter of Gaelic football. In addition to this, my one-year-old daughter also keeps me very busy!
I studied English Literature at Queen’s University Belfast, obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree in 2007. After this, I completed my PGCE and Masters degrees at the University of Ulster. After teaching in Ireland for a year, I moved to the beautiful city of St. Albans in Hertfordshire, where I taught for 3 years. Then, in 2015, I moved to a British international school in Dubai. Apart from leading the English Department, I have also devised and implemented the literacy strategy for the school, took an active role in the provision of career and profession development for staff, been a Governor for 4 years and provided a variety of extra-curricular programmes. I have a keen interest in honing debating skills among my students. I think this skill is absolutely invaluable in the modern world; it allows to students to build their confidence, think quickly on the spot and formulate intricate lines of argument. As well as this, it’s great fun!