Leading by Example: An Interview with Core Teacher Amal
Close your eyes for a moment and reflect on someone who has inspired you. Is it your parents? An employer who became a mentor? A sibling or friend? Whomever this person is, they have inspired you in some meaningful way; enough so that you have remembered them and strived to emulate them. Maybe they inspired you to be more kind and compassionate. Maybe they inspired you to get better grades in school. Maybe they inspired you to give 100% of yourself everyday. This person affects you—and probably others—in a positive and life-changing way. At TYO, I have found the staff of the Core early childhood program particularly inspiring. Each one of the staff members has a special quality that affects their students so positively. Core teacher Amal graduated from An-Najah University in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration. She was born in Jammein, a small village 30 minutes outside of Nablus, and is one of six girls in her large family.
Amal started as a volunteer with TYO’s Core Child program in 2014 and transitioned into becoming a teacher five months ago. I have been fortunate enough to work with Amal for the past month and a half throughout my International Internship program and have gotten to know her a bit better. To learn more about her teaching style and to hear her methods of creating an impactful learning environment, I decided to sit down and interview her.
How did you become a volunteer at TYO?
I started volunteering here after my sister. She came home one day and told me about it. In college, I would do a lot of volunteering so I thought this would be a good experience for me.
Why did you become a teacher?
My father was a math teacher for 35 years and he inspired me.
How did he inspire you?
My father had 6 girls and always encouraged us to be something in our lives. My older sister is a doctor. My other sister is finishing college. My younger sister (also a volunteer at TYO) is finishing university this summer. My father has always empowered us to be successful and driven women. I am happy that my father taught me this and because of him, I want to do the same. I became a teacher and I want to inspire my students like he inspired me. He is not the only one who has affected me. Since I’ve been working at TYO, I have felt a lot of support from staff here. All the teachers and the staff have inspired me to be great.
What do you like most about teaching?
What I like about teaching is that I learn something new everyday. I never imagined myself being a teacher especially not with children. But since I’ve been working here, I love it! What I like most about teaching is that I feel that I am making leaders out of my children for the next generations. I love that with this, I am making a change and this is very important to me. Since I’ve been working at TYO, I’ve had a complete change of perspective. I’ve learned to look on the inside and not the outside.
What is most important to you about teaching?
Happiness! Happiness is so important for my children and me. Happiness is important because it helps give me energy to my kids and they love when I am positive. Also, when I am happy, I am a better role model. Being a role model is so important for me and is important for teaching. When I am a role model, the children learn more. I believe I have taught my children to always be nice and to always keep each other safe. I’ve taught my children many things, and this is the most important part of being a teacher. I feel that when I am teaching, I am changing the world.
TYO’s mission is to enable children and youth in disadvantaged areas of the Middle East to realize their potential as healthy, active and responsible family and community members. Amal embodies this mission through her positive presence in all of her classes and inspiring her children and the staff with her exceptional work. Leading by example is no easy task yet Amal manages to do it gracefully. Because of her own beliefs in social change, equal accessibility, and good will towards others, we see the result of this in the children who leave TYO smiling every single day.
-Core Teacher Amal interviewed by Summer 2015 International Intern Ashley