My Trip to LONDON
I have no idea who will have access to my reflections .One of my regrets has been my aversion to record the many highs in my life. I cannot say Jazakamullah enough for the opportunities to grow, reflect and most importantly to meet and interact with beautiful human –beings-yes indeed people who have such a happy grip on life and the challenges associated with it. For the last 30 years or so friends and colleagues have been asking me to write on matters pedagogical and even perhaps a novel(In fact I have conceptualised this …May be it should be entitled What If . ) This exercise requires a great deal of discipline and self-discipline. Anyway for now I will focus on my reflections.
My flight to London was restful and as it is in my nature to strike conversations with fellow inmates (as those who are averse to flying are wont to be described.) I enjoy their company, I hope not out of expediency. After all those who have a romantic notion of flying must experience it and will quickly realise how prosaic and boring it can be. Being a motivational speaker I try to authenticate my presentations with real -life experiences. The conversations with very ordinary people like taxi –drivers etc can be very humbling and insightful. I suppose all human-beings want to be affirmed and acknowledged. When I learn of the challenges that many people face psychologically, emotionally, economically and even in the workplace I truly appreciate what Allah (SWT) has given me .Then I am loathe to change my state with kings. (sounds familiar). I often call myself a doctor of love –trying to heal people. In doing so I meet many people who wear a mask. Beneath that veneer is often a frightened and need I say frail human –being who is often brusque and who enjoys wielding his authority .Happiest is he that is contented … neither wealth nor position are the ingredients for a life of bliss. I also meet individuals with low self-esteem who are either control –freaks or blithely become spectators in their own life. No matter how one is perceived one has to switch the lights off..and there one is confronted with the real you. One of my abiding questions is -what is it that keeps you awake at night? We have just one life and if we do not fight our demons no one else will. I am no different from the rest of humanity my prayer is to leave a legacy .Hopefully family, friends, colleagues, employers and anyone who has interacted with me will have positive memories. Life is just too short …it is like waiting at a departure lounge at the airport. Only a fool would act and believe as if his life on this earth is eternal.
Another thought. I have full-conviction that Allah (SWT) is the provider .As Sheikh Ahmed Babikir(London-Islamia) reminded me that we must not close any door …but be rest assured that if that door is closed by Allah(SWT), many doors will be opened. Allah (SWT) tests those that HE loves. I came across the following powerful quotes.
A throne is just a bench covered with velvet-Napoleon Bonaparte
Success is not permanent and neither is failure final.
A few of my favourite quotes which I often inter-lard in my presentations
Throughout my flight I was going over what was going to be a hectic trip. My itinerary attests to this.
If we do not win the hearts and minds of our learners then they will not have a sense of belonging. Another area of grave concern has been the lack of motivation of learners. The school can offer the best programmes but if our students are just not interested then we have a crisis. This appears to be a global trend. Instant gratification informs all activities of many of our children. Work ethic, perseverance, ambition and sense of responsibility all appear too painful to embrace. In some way this reinforces the following observation of days gone by ,that students travelled distances to seek answers from scholars …now scholars travel distances looking for students. This is an observation shared by all. We perhaps need to continue to have a conversation with our learners, connect with them and inspire them. If we wait for parents to support and motivate their children then we will be clutching at straws. We need to ask the following questions:
Yes if we continue to do the same things the same way then we must expect the same results. We have to ensure that we do some things differently in 2010.I am thrilled about a few of the curricula changes which is to be effected in the new year, eg The Leadership Programme.
I have no doubt that, we as a collective can have a positive impact on our learners. I, too, look forward to 2010 with optimism and much hope.
Finally, all I can say is that if we fail to plan them we plan to fail.
P.S. Those of you want me to share the details of my programme in the UK, kindly call upon me.
Ponder Over This
One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child. ~Carl Jung
The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate “apparently ordinary” people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people. ~K. Patricia Cross
If we teach children how we were taught then we would rob them of their tomorrow.