Name: Ghadeer El-Saghir
School: Sahaguian-Levon Meguerditchian College
Education: Mathematics (LIU), English Literature (LU)
Hobbies: Reading, Writing
What inspired you to join Teach for Lebanon? What was the main reason that made you join the program?
Unlike the majority of Lebanon’s organizations, Teach for Lebanon has a mission to accomplish and a vision to truly work on. I was still a junior year student when TFL made a seminar at my university. I thought this is what I want to be part of when I graduate; an active member of a professional, kind-hearted society with an educational goal to reach. Apart from this, TFL was overwhelmingly promising in terms of character-development.
What are you hoping to accomplish with your students?
I am hoping to make my students active members in the Lebanese society, by trying to fill the language gap. Along with plenty other personal-level activities, extra-curricular activities and educational strategies, they will be ready to face any societal challenge and make a change in it. I am very excited to start my two-year journey; I can feel it will give me the great privilege of inspiring little souls, and I am looking forward to make a change.
What excites you most about teaching in Lebanon?
The most exciting part is that it is challenging. Teaching in Lebanon triggers all sides of a personality; it tests patience, knowledge, social abilities and definitely the educational part. All these wrapped up under one platform: the privilege of teaching.
What are your future and professional goals or targets?
My target is to focus on the two years ahead. The main goal will be being able to make a change, I will fully dedicate my time to try being the teacher my students have always dreamed of.
The Hult Prize Foundation, in partnership with President Bill Clinton and Banque du Liban, has launched a ground-breaking national level entrepreneurship and innovation program in Lebanon. The aim of this program is to empower University students to have a unique opportunity to compete for a local prize and the USD $1 Million Global Prize at the 2017 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York.
The 2017 Hult Prize “President’s Challenge” is “Refugees – Reawakening Human Potential”. It focuses on restoring the rights and dignity of people and societies who may be, or are forced into motion due to social injustice, politics, economic pressure, climate change and war. They also work to restore the rights and dignity of those currently living in informal / illegal settlements.
Ola Al Samhoury, a Teach For Lebanon Alumna, is part of a team who participated in the Hult event at the Lebanese American University (LAU). The team members Ahlam Al Omari, Asmaa El Ladan and Ola Al Samhouri presented an idea for a social enterprise that empowers refugees by allowing them to take control over their lives and health. Among other teams from LAU, her team won the first place and will represent LAU at the semi-final regional event in Duba! Final presentations will be held on March 4th after going through training sessions on March 3rd!
“Our passion to empower the refugees is what united and motivated us to work towards the benefit of our community. I can’t but thank Teach for Lebanon for empowering me to improve my leadership skills throughout my fellowship program. During the second year, I taught Syrian refugees who suffered from several health problems due to the deprivation of their basic rights. Whenever I reflect back on my teaching experience, I remember how much they enjoyed learning and how motivated they used to be to achieve their dreams, regardless of the obstacles that they faced on daily basis.
As an active member in society, I want to target the health aspect which is one of the building blocks for having a descent life.
It all started two years ago, when I was accepted to take a leadership position as a Teach For Lebanon Fellow. Teaching for two years in a challenging environment and being able to leave a positive impact on my students and my colleagues at school developed my leadership skills. Once the Fellowship was over, I was admitted to the Masters in Business Administration at The American University in Beirut. These acquired leadership skills from my Fellowship enabled me to become the first president of the MBA Students Society and gave me the chance to enjoy my MBA journey.
The MBA Students Society aims to ensuring a unique experience for MBA students by planning entertaining events. MBA students can enjoy their time while developing their soft skills. In addition, the Society aims at organizing professional events where regional speakers can share their struggles and recommendations regarding the business world. Some of the prospective topics are: Entrepreneurship, Women Leadership and PhD programs. Finally, the Society aims at finding solutions side-by-side with the Business School at AUB to provide wider education opportunities for MBA students and rise to international levels.
A final Thank you goes to Ms. Maya El Helo, the Director of Graduate Programs at Olayan School of Business, whose mentorship and enthusiasm aided my success in reaching where I am now.
Being a successful teacher requires good problem solving skills. The fact of having 32 students in grade one drove me crazy. The mission starts where problems arise. Kids talking, misbehaving, moving around, etc. Only few wanted to learn and listen. Being a second-year Fellow, I believe in my abilities and my skills to manage a chaotic classroom. After setting the rules and discussing them with my students on daily basis, the class became much better. However, this wasn’t enough to maintain a peaceful classroom for the whole session. High achievers started to finish their tasks and telltale. Low achievers slept or chatted. Chaos was everywhere while some truly focused on the activities given. My creativity and productivity fell into hands.
I needed to find a way to solve my problem, so I invented what so called an “Activity basket” and “collector basket”. The procedure was the following: every time a student finishes his task, he checks whether the activity basket is free. If yes, the student move silently and choose either an activity-sheet or a white paper. Meanwhile, his peers complete their work. When he’s done with the activity-sheet, the student must place it in the collector basket. My role is to collect the sheets from this basket every Friday. Points will be given to those who followed the procedure without causing any mess in the classroom. At the end of the semester, a reward is granted to the students who deserve it depending on the number of points they obtained. This way, I was able to ensure quality time and a well-managed classroom within a given framework.
By Farah Mhanna, Cohort 6 Fellow
May 18th, 2015
Nader Association is an orphanage that aims to protect and educate children with serious social problems. These children are at risk of delinquency, and this association provides them with shelter and care. When I first came to Nader Association, I noticed the aggressive attitude of most of the students. This is because they come from a difficult socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Some students are orphans, others live at the orphanage because their parents can’t afford taking care of them.
As a Teach For Lebanon Fellow, my mission is to help these children not only on the academic level, but on the human level as well.
To enhance their sense of creativity, I decided to lead a painting project “Paint and Learn” to help the students change their vision towards the world and towards the core values in life. I wanted them to see the colorful side of life.
Together we painted the school playground walls with colorful drawings about the values, and I gave the students the opportunity to unleash their imagination and to participate in decorating their playground ( stairs, wheels)
I have planned and managed the project, and with the collaboration of the talented artists team of AIE Tripoli club, the project was successfully implemented.
The school administration was unable to cover the costs of the project, and I had no time to find a fundraiser. I decided to take charge of the financial support.
It was the first time I see my students energetic and enthusiastic about something. There weren’t fights during the recess. They were playing together or looking at the painted walls and discussing the paintings. It was the first time I felt that I could really touch their minds.
Every long-term impact needs time to be noticed. I think I have taken the right decision when I chose the colors to be the seeds of happiness and hope for children.