by Abderrahmen Haddad
Expert Educator Columnist, Tunisia
I have been teaching computer science at Ali Trad Pioneer Middle School in Tunisia for 8 years now.
My story with education started at the age of 10 when I was a student in grade 3 and my mother was my teacher. I admired her a lot and discovered how dedicated she was to her job. It was really amazing to experience the way she expressed her feelings and respect towards her students. The inspiration I got from my mother motivated me to become a responsible and caring teacher. And today, I believe that teaching is the greatest profession of all times.
I started studying computer science at high school in grades 11 and 12. However, I did not appreciate the pedagogy used back then in teaching this subject matter. In fact, only one stream was flowing from the teacher to the students and the lectures were so monotonous. It was just then when I decided to make a difference and change this situation.
Currently, technology is the main source of knowledge for everyone. Students, in particular, use web and social networks on a daily basis to access information. The moment I started embracing technology in my classroom, I noticed that the performance of students has significantly improved. They are now more engaged in the learning process and more focused throughout the lecture session. Students started working harder and for a longer time as they are somehow entertained by learning via technology. I could feel that my students are more interested in working on their assignments and become more interactive in the material being taught in class. In addition to all of that, the use of technology in learning allowed them to get closer to each other and connect more with one another at and beyond school.
As a Microsoft Expert Educator, I admit that both the immediate access to online high-quality interactive resources and the friendly usage of Microsoft educational tools have considerably enriched my students’ learning experience and enhanced their natural affinity for technology.
In March 2012, I particithe pated in a training conducted by two experts who challenged us by applying to Microsoft Pathfinder school program.And YES I did it! I collaborated with my colleagues and my school principal in order to submit the school application. A few months after, exactly on the 30th of June, I received a call saying “You are winner!” I will never forget this moment– I jumped for joy. I couldn’t believe that I am going to join the Microsoft Regional Forum in Marrakech and the Microsoft Global Forum in Praha.
A new start: These two events marked my life forever; they have been my most significant personal learning experience. In fact, attending these events has greatly improved my teaching methods. Due to the in-depth interaction, the continuous exchange of ideas with other teachers and the multiple training sessions and keynotes, I could feel the change running into my blood as I became a better educator.
These events have impacted me deeply; since then, I started supporting innovation in everything I do while following Microsoft programs and webinars to the extent that one could even say I became addicted to the Microsoft Educators Network.
In June 2013, Tunisia Ministry of Education and Microsoft Tunisia awarded me for my “Be positive” project. I won the first prize at the national level for innovative teaching. I had several interviews in national radio stations as well as in television shows. A press article also reported my innovative experience in teaching.
On November 7th, Microsoft announced that I was selected as a Microsoft Expert Educator 2014; I was very much honored to be selected to represent Tunisia in Microsoft Global Forum Barcelona, 2014.
I came back to Tunisia with much inspiration and a lot of creative ideas. I continued promoting innovative teaching practices by contributing in training different educators on the 21st century skills throughout several schools.
Actually, I am now reaching outside the four walls of the classroom and I am working on influencing other teachers by acting as a:
- Resources provider who offers help to his peers by providing sources of information and sharing instructional resources (Websites, instructional materials, lessons or unit plans, and assessment tools)
- Instructional specialist who helps teachers implement effective teaching strategies
- Classroom supporter who helps instructors implement new teaching ideas by demonstrating a lecture, co-teaching, or observing and giving feedback.
- Coacher who conducts trainings such as teaching using technology, Windows in the Classroom, etc
Still good news: I can’t describe my feelings when I received the e-mail telling me that I was selected as a Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator 2015 for my new project “Ambassadors of Change“.
Thank YOU Microsoft, you do not stop amazing us. As for me, I will do my best to keep my standards high and pass on the positive energy and technological vibes to as many educators as possible.