Class is in Session, Teachers Take Your Seats!

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Featured Article | Comments Off on Class is in Session, Teachers Take Your Seats!

As an interesting twist, weekend school teachers were required to swap roles and become students for a day.  A special seminar was dedicated to weekend school educators on Friday April 18, 2014 at the annual ISNA Educational Forum in Rosemont, IL.   Unlike conventional seminars participants of this session walked thru a uniquely interactive learning experience.

The tag team of Dr. Tasneema Ghazi and Sr. Samana Khan of IQRA’ International Educational Foundation put the teachers in the hot seat for once.

Both presenters worked together to team teach the participants – Dr. Tasneema and Sr. Samana believe in the importance of modeling best practices when teaching – especially when teaching teachers. The teachers (just like their own students) were required to participate in group discussion, practice acquired skills after learning new concepts, and share their personal experiences.

In addition, the session was buzzing with excitement as Br. Habeeb Quadri (Principal of MCC Fulltime School, Morton Grove, IL) shared an eye opening and informative presentation on the issues related to Muslim teenagers that “no one likes to talk about.”    His personable style and enjoyable sense of humor help lighten the discussion yet still shed light on several serious issues that Muslim children are challenged with today.

Session topics included:

Br. Habeeb Quadri: Understanding the Mind of a Weekend School Student

– Learning what the Quran has to say about Children and how Western society has shaped the identity of our Muslim Children.

Dr. Tasneema Ghazi: Making Weekend School Meaningful Using the Public School Context

–  Understanding that weekend school students that attend a public school during the week are accustomed to learning in a certain way.    Analyzing and adopting basic teaching methods can greatly benefit a student’s Islamic school experience.

Dr. Tasneema Ghazi and Sr. Samana Khan: Curbing Weekend School Anxiety Knowing How, When and What type of Assessments to use in class.

– Educating teachers to think beyond paper and pencil tests.  Using different forms of observation and classroom activities can prove to be a powerful alternative to assessing student’s mastery of concepts.

Sr. Samana Khan: Technology in the Weekend School Classroom

– Using basic technology to reduce classroom management issues and relay class material in a format that appeals to today’s students.  As well as earning how to talk to and educate a generation of Social Media children.

Each session was coupled with teacher friendly handouts – ready to use in their class.  The weekend school seminar was a wonderful experience for all those who joined. The diverse set of participants that traveled from several different states created an atmosphere of insightful learning as they shared their personal teaching experiences.

Several of the participants have recommended colleagues to join the weekend school seminar for the following year.

One participant commented that, “I traveled so far and spent a lot of money to attend the conference; and this session alone makes me feel it was all worth it.”

Another participant commented, “I had no idea I would learn so much, I’m especially amazed about what I didn’t know about our young Muslims today – but I now see that it’s our responsibility to teach them beyond what is in the textbook.”

A third participant commented, “I attended several sessions this weekend, but the weekend school seminar was by far my favorite and most fun!”.

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