Teachers have the incredible opportunity to inspire, motivate and transform. It is therefore important that we regularly revisit the pedagogical theories we espouse, and are in the habit of reflecting on our classroom practice.
As teachers, we are responsible for facilitating student learning by encouraging and scaffolding their ongoing exploration both inside and outside the classroom. Through the use of technological affordances, we have the opportunity to transcend limitations of timetables and classroom boundaries, enabling our learners to possess a degree of autonomy and take ownership of their progress within a safe, non-judgmental, and non-defensive environment.
Fostering collaboration and negotiation of meaning is important for developing academic abilities, enhancing learning experiences, and enriching inter-cultural communication. In addition to providing a structured framework for the construction of knowledge, we need to be well-versed in their subject matter and constantly up-to-date with developments in the field.
I don’t think there is any such thing as ‘teaching the same course over and over again’, for we emerge differently after each experience and move into the next – even if the course number remains the same – with an altered self, and in most cases, accompanied by different ‘others,’ which leads to a totally new set of experiences.
As teachers we need to be conscious of my own self-development as an essential aspect of our professional growth. Contributing to an established community enables one to exchange experiences, share ideas, and indeed learn from colleagues. Communicating with others is essential, but personal reflection is of equal importance, a process which has a profound impact on the development of a teacher who is in a constant state of learning. Positive and negative experiences are all lessons to be learned from, and the more we think we are ‘getting there’, the more we discover that the path itself is its own reward.
My professional activity as a teacher was predominantly carried out at the Department of Arabic Language Instruction at The American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt (1995- 2006). In addition to teaching, my responsibilities included designing instructional material, monitoring learner progress, supervising projects, and administering exams.
The following are samples of Arabic language subjects I taught:
In addition to teaching at AUC, I also developed and taught Levantine Arabic courses to employees affiliated to the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs at The European Education Center (2000 & 2001). I was also a certified ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Oral Proficiency Interviewer, 2006 – 2010.
I also taught on an online teacher development course designed for teachers for Gaza, Palestine. The course comprised five modules: Context, technology, pedagogy, language and creative arts.