Monday, June 1, 2009

Still up in Stars: On Teaching

Like falling in true love. I imagine.

Allah (swt) puts us in paths to train us for our destiny. So when that heart beats. And beats. And beats. I know I'm on the right track.

At the end of the term, I asked the students to write a small reflective journal. "What did you learn this term?" -- was the question they had to answer.

One kid called me an optimistic leader. But that wasn't what got my heart racing like I was in love.

This did. A journal entry by one of the students who is french-educated, so he struggled in english when we first started the term.

And I didn't make this up, by the way, in case you're wondering. And. I can't prove that what I say is true but the beat of my heart racing as I read each line infront of my eyes which one day, for sure, will be asked in front of Allah (swt) to witness each word I say.

PS: I did proofread the piece for grammar mistakes. Sorry. I am annoying like that. Ask my students :-)


"What did I learn this term" -- English 102/Final Portfolio

I am supposed to say in this essay what I have learned during this semester, and what I was able to achieve in this course. Typically, one would simply start by emphasizing on how much this course hepled him and pushed him to 'love' English. But I am going to be one of the honest people, and say what I truly believe.

I have learned from this course how much it has benefited me in my academic and non-academic life to take this course. And what I personally think of my professor.

I have never liked English class. I never took it seriously because I thought that I was actually too good to even take one in the first place. But in my defense, I was in a French education school which forced on us a "French teacher to teach us English". Imagine the irony in that!

I personally wasn't the best student and didn't have the best of grades. But I can affirm to you that I surely spoke better English than my own teacher!

She might have been better in the writing part but definately not in the oral part.

But it all changed when I got into AUB or even when I started to take my SAT. I had realized the lack of knowledge that I had in the English language. And this lack is what got me to take english 102 in the first place. But I don't hate this, because I actually got to see what it means to study English, and found it to be amazing.

I found it amazing to write an essay like this one or even a simple free-writing, I actually liked this in our class because in the French system I was forced to write about specific boring stuff in a certain way that I wasn't allowed to say what I truly beleive in the way I am doing right now.

This is what pushed me to get more interested in this course, the space that a student gets in writing.

And to a few words about the teacher. Well to be honest this is my first real English teacher, at least the first to actually speak the language correctly. But I am sure she is one of the best, due to a specific charisma and noticeable love for the material she teaches, shown by the hard work put in the choice of the texts we study.

But also the hope that she gives to a student like the stories she says from her personal experience as a teacher who at first missed the basics of English ( as she said to us), but then had to retake them in school and university to become who she is today.

That shows us that anyone, even someone without a very strong basis in English like me, can actually become something one day, if he decides to do so.


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