For ten years I worked in the Islamic community of Australia as a teacher and mentor to newly qualified teachers. Amongst the many things I learned whilst working there. There were 2 very important lessons that I have taken forward with me throughout my career.
1. You can never influence a child if his parents and the community are not on the same page. If you want to empower a child and make him feel that he is valued and worth something, you’ve first got to empower the community and rubbish the racist bigotry that’s paddled in the trashy media of the world.
2. If you want to make a child believe that he can be something and that he should come to school everyday instead of skipping class and going to the mall, you’ve must let him know that you care about him. You’re not there for the money. You’re there each and every day because you care about him and his future. And you want to bump into him in ten years “Hey Hassan, how are you?”
“I’m great sir, I’m at UTS studying medicine!”
This actually happened to me last week to a young man that when I asked him what he wanted to be at 7 he said “A gangsta sir!”
I’ve carried these lessons on through life with me and I must thank my Muslim friends who have been there for me no matter what!