Portrait of a Nation: An Arabic teacher who takes her responsible role seriously

Over the past 20 years Nemah Abdulaziz Ahmed has been coaching, pushing, inspiring and cajoling her pupils to do their best.
Nemah Ahmed, Arabic language coordinator at Raha International School, gets her pupils’ attention. Ravindranath K / The National
Nemah Ahmed, Arabic language coordinator at Raha International School, gets her pupils’ attention. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // An Arabic teacher who has built her career on helping pupils expand their horizons and reach their potential says that seeing people exceed expectations has been her driving force for the past 20 years.

In that time Nemah Abdulaziz Ahmed has been coaching, pushing, inspiring and cajoling her pupils to do their best and, over the years, both Arabs and non-Arabs have benefited from her expertise.

“Unforgettable teachers inspired me in many ways,” said Ms Ahmed.

“They make an average student into an overachiever and assess a gifted student to achieve the highest expectations,” said the Arabic-language coordinator at Raha International School in Abu Dhabi.

She is determined to make as positive an impact on her pupils as they have on her.

“The reason I became a teacher was to make a lasting impression on my students,” she said.

“I was fortunate to have great teachers while in school and their impact on me was life-lasting.”

The 45-year-old mother-of-one was born in Yemen and raised in Saudi Arabia before moving to the UAE at the age of 12, where she completed her secondary education at Al Ghobaiba School in Sharjah.

“During my childhood I was taking the responsibilities to be a leader in my family and my class,” she said.

“My family and my teachers believed in my talents and encouraged me to develop my skills by challenging me and providing me with different opportunities and courses to improve.”

She gained a diploma in Methods and Techniques of Education from Ajman University College of Science and Technology in 1991.

That same year she became an Arabic and Islamic teacher at Ajman Private School until 1995.

This was followed by posts as head of the Arabic department for primary at Al Hikmah Private School in Ajman, from 1996 to 2000, and Emirates National School from 2001 to 2005.

And she has held the same role at RIS since 2006 and also runs workshops for other Arabic teachers within Taaleem’s network of schools.

In 2000 she was given an award for Distinguished Academic Performance as Outstanding achievers in Education by the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award.

“Ms Nemah has been integral to the development of our school as a founding member of Raha International School,” said Jasmine Taylor, head of early years.

“As a workshop leader for the International Baccalaureate, she has contributed towards the improvement of teachers and schools outside of Raha’s walls.”

Fatima Miller, the school’s theory of knowledge coordinator, has known Nemah for seven years and recalls one grade two class she witnessed her teach.

“She was teaching a lesson about butterflies, started with a story about butterflies and was wearing a matching scarf with printed butterflies on that day,” she said.

“Although I don’t work in her department, I know she is warm, smiley and supportive. She sets high standards for her team, and leaves school at 6 to 7pm almost every day.”

For Ms Ahmed, patience, good communication and incorporating a range of sources and experiences should be used to inspire pupils.

“The process of locating resources and developing classroom activities feeds my creative instincts and deepens my understanding of the material,” she said.

“The opportunity to support and shape the next generation is real and precious, even in this day of shifting priorities and increasing pressures that have very little to do with caring and creating.”

nhanif@thenational.ae

Published: September 15, 2016 04:00 AM

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