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Fahmeeda Hassan's picture

As an educator of 30 years, I have come across various methods of disciplines such as Lee Canters’ assertive discipline, Jim Fay’s teaching with love in the classroom and the classroom management techniques provided by the Master Teacher Video Series.   Mind you all of these programs have merit and they do work if used effectively, but because one size does not fit all in education and I want to employ the best practices. I have made the character of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to be my guide in how I educate and interact with students.   

In my experiences I have found components and or elements of Humanistic Psychology, Cooperative Learning, Response to Intervention, Data-based Theory and the Behaviorist Theories to have been used by our beloved Prophet (PBUH) long before they were explored, researched and documented by educational theorists such as Piaget or educator Carol Ann Tomlinson.

Understanding and meeting the personal and psychological needs of people is what Prophet Muhammad did.  It is recorded in a Hadith (teachings of Muhammad) he said, “0 ‘Aisha! Never turn away any needy man from your door empty-handed. Love the poor; bring them near to you and God (Allah) will bring you near to Him on the Day of Judgement.” As an educator I am constantly trying to meet the personal and psychological needs of my students. When students come to me hungry or thirsty, I provide them food, remind them of lunch time and or direct them to get water. I teach kids to solve their problems by modeling empathy and giving them conflict resolution skills.  

I use instructional methods that facilitate optimal learning and Implement responses to unproductive behaviors that treat my students respectfully. This is a behavior encouraged by Islam. Creation of a cooperative classroom climate and establishing positive teaching is what our beloved Prophet did.  He established a community of support and molded his life according to the teachings of   the Qur’an. He never used foul language, insulted anyone, beat a servant, or a woman, or anyone else.  Consequently, I often encourage students to use kind words, redirect their focus, and invite them to use their mind and not their hands to solve disagreements.

Regarding differentiated instruction, I often repeat things and have students restate things for clarification purposes.  Asking questions to nurture insights and develop critical thinking skills in young learners is an important goal of early childhood education. Inviting parents to come into the classroom and learn alongside their children can help manage off task behaviors.  Using personal narratives, illustrations and analogies to provide clarification on topics is a strategy I use frequently when teaching reading and math skills.

Establishing and creating a classroom management plan that nurtures students holistically is what I aim to do in my teaching experiences. Addressing the behaviors and not attacking the character of students will allow for healthy development. Thus minimizing the need to provide responses with punitive consequences. Teaching is my craft and I am always seeking ways to improve upon my craft. 

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