Assalamualaikum WBT. Teacher and friends,
What do you currently do in your classroom teaching to embody (yourself) and reinforce (to your students) that teaching and learning is a trust and that we, as human beings, are God’s vicegerents (khalifa) on earth?
I teach in a private school. We have no official monitoring requirement from any authority. This is utilised to nurture the culture of trust among teachers, administrators and students. We always remind each other, both teaching and learning are amanah from Allah, do with Ihsan; like you see Allah, or at least with the feeling that Allah is seeing you. We reduce written documented reportings to almost zero. We meet everyday for a short standup meeting before classes start, updating each other, and we work without asking “did you do your work, so and so”. If there is something wrong, there will be a complaint and we will entertain the complaint specifically. The routine writing reports consume a lot of energy and time, and do not promote trust.
The highest quality of a man to be chosen as the Khalifah; man is a reasoning being (الإنسان حيوان ناطق – الجرجاني) as described by al-Jurjani. At the beginning, Malaikah saw Adam’s potential to mischief and bloodshed, but Allah highlighted the other potential that He knows and Malaikah do no know, by demonstrating teaching, and the ability of Adam to learn, to connect meaning and names, articulating new understanding – to think.
In our school, we consider education as always about learning. No matter what happened, everything must be directed into learning. The aim is to enhance THINKING and to shape excellent character (ADAB). Therefore, we implement student-centered progressivism to achieve this, shifting away from the mainstream teacher centered mainstream education we have in this country. In each class, we use the 5 Minutes Lesson Plan to make sure we help students to learn and understand, plus 10 minutes to personalise by attending students that we think they need personal attention. If the class is a bit slow, we need personalisation on the faster minority, giving them some extra works. If the class is a bit fast, we need personalisation on the slower minority by assisting them to understand better.
Mass instruction is dangerous. We see students not as individuals but like a flock of sheeps who have similar needs to be fulfilled. The idea of teaching as amanah, requires us to enhance the differentiated instructions. The differences in learning style among students are taken into account where technology is used to accommodate