Bright Spark

Featuring

Sumaya
Teacher

Wearing

Dress

Khara Kapas

Shoes

Renegade Folk

Bag

Pedro

Jewellery

By Invite Only

Mask

Naina Nisa

Share with us an interesting fact about yourself:
I got married quite young—while I was finishing up my undergraduate studies—and I’m really glad we took that decision. We’ve gone through important milestones together and had each other as support throughout tough times.

What’s something you wish people told you before you became a teacher?
It’s a completely different experience. It’s natural to assume that you know what the experience is like, because it feels like you’ve gone through the system as a student, but things on the other side of the curtain are very different. Oh, and to keep up with the memes. They come in handy!

You’re a Literature and English teacher—what’s one book you’d recommend all your students to read?
I’d recommend The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I read it when I was nine and was deeply moved by how she managed to find humour and light while she was in hiding. I think my students will find that there can be hope even in the darkest of times and their thoughts and feelings are not invalid or unimportant. Even a girl who lived almost eight decades ago had very similar worries and interests!

If you could change something about our education system, what would it be?
I wish we had more digital literacy classes for students. Our students are digital natives but they’re more interested in using technology to maintain their social media accounts. Surprisingly, they struggle to use productive tools. Growing up we had typing classes and we learnt how to use usual softwares, like Microsoft Office. I think our students can benefit from explicit teaching and exposure to such skills.

Did you have a favourite fairytale growing up? 
I actually didn’t. I read voraciously as a young girl because we didn’t have a TV: instead of fairytales, I loved reading about dinosaurs, space, and ancient civilisations. I was partial to Greek mythology. I still enjoy watching the beautiful animations from the Mythology series on Ted-Ed.

You grew up with four siblings—how was the experience like being the oldest out of them?
My siblings are my life! We are very close to each other despite our huge age gap (7-12 years!). I have always felt the responsibility to be a good role model, to guide them and to help the family assimilate because we were migrants from Bangladesh. I wanted to give my siblings everything that I never managed to have growing up. They have brought me so much joy and I enjoy listening to them, spending time with them, and learning about the world through their eyes.

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