This article explores the emergence of Emirati novice teachers’ professional identity from a socio-cultural viewpoint where influences on identity are sourced internally through beliefs, attitudes, values and dispositions and externally through factors such as roles and responsibilities.
Empirical data collected through individual and group interviews and analysed using content analysis, highlights both challenges and emergence of professional identity from point of graduation through to the end of the first year of teaching.
The results show that influences on professional identity relate to challenges of raising learner outcomes in relation to delivery of the curriculum, managing the self in multiple contexts, and participating in school-based communities of practice.
Teaching science and mathematics in English raises queries of ‘self’ as a teacher. Novice teachers’ emerging professional identity emphasises the ethics of teaching in the UAE.