MSEN Teacher Training on Ethics was held at the Islamic College London on Saturday 4th June 2016. This was the third of a series of teacher training sessions that took place this academic year. Teachers from a wide variety of weekend and weekday schools (Madrassahs) attended. In total around 80 teachers participated and benefitted from the training.
The programme commenced with recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Sayed Jalal Ma’soomi. Teachers were welcomed by the host, Sister Asma Hussain, a primary teacher who volunteers as a Madressah teacher at Idara Jafferiya. She provided the briefing of the programme for participants, shared the schedule and introduced the guest speakers.
The keynote Speaker, Hujjatul-Islam Dr Sayed Fadhil Milani, delivered an inspirational talk on the topic of the Importance and place of akhlaq (ethics) in Islamic education. The feedback from the participants was excellent with comments on how much they had benefitted from his speech. Syed Fadhil Milani emphasised the importance of akhlaq with references to the Holy Qur’an and the traditions.
This was followed by the first of three interactive sessions; ‘The requirements of an ideal akhlaq teacher’, by Hujjatul-Islam Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali. He emphasised the importance of akhlaq which a teacher should portray on a day to day basis. It has to be of the highest standard so that this inspires the students to be like their teacher. He also spoke about choosing a teacher who is recognised in society for their good akhlaq. While advising teachers he suggested that learning objectives should be repeated through different mediums such as paint, drama, story, poetry etc in order for children to gain a deeper understanding.
The second interactive session was on ‘Classroom behaviour management’. This was delivered by Hujjatul-Islam Dr Mohammad Zakaria. In this session Dr Zakaria discussed child-centred learning. He emphasised on getting to know the children as a whole in order to develop a good teacher-student relationship. He also advised that teachers should know and call children by their names and communicate using gestures to develop a strong bond. Furthermore, he added that in relation to children, we should focus on enhancing positive behaviour.
This was followed by a series of presentations by teachers across a number of Madressahs who were required to share good practice by delivering an interactive and creative lesson they had done with their students. Each presentation was moderated by Hujjatul-islam Muhammadian, who gave constructive feedback after each session.
Idara e Jafferiya – Sister Tahira Ali presented a lesson on the ‘Mercy of Allah’ where she shared her lesson as well as ‘mercy cards’ where children could recognise and check their acts of mercy in their daily life.
Muslim Community of Essex – Sibar Ali presented a lesson on the ‘Ayah of the week’ – “put on your best clothes to go to mosque”. She planned the lesson for 5-7 year olds by providing props and then allowing children to choose appropriate clothing and items used how to look and keep clean.
Masjid e Ali Education Luton – Sister Shaheen Haider and Sister Nazira Moosa presented a lesson on the importance of dua (supplication). The lesson was presented in a child-friendly manner introducing the lesson with bird talk followed by presents given to children for better engagement and outcome.
Iranian School (Wise Academy) – brother Sayed Jaffar elaborated on children’s cognitive development and how akhlaq and aqaid (beliefs) should be taught accordingly.
Islamic Centre of England – Sister Muna Hassan shared her experiences of how to teach akhlaq to older children. She also showed her structure of lesson plans as an example as to how lessons should be structured step by step.
Hujjatul-islam Muhammadian provided teachers with individual constructive feedback of their presentations. He encouraged teachers to use a variety of methods to deliver lessons and particularly emphasised the importance of using body language and age appropriate vocabulary, as well as interactive activities that have better engagement and outcome for the children’s learning of akhlaq, to enable this concept be embedded in their daily lives. He appreciated the effort that the teachers had put in to prepare and deliver lessons in their madressahs.
The programme ended with a closing speech by the president of MSEN, Dr Azhar Hassan Raza. He thanked the honourable guests and the teachers who had participated in the training. He also outlined the upcoming MSEN events and projects, which include a youth camp in Iran in July 2016 as well as the new MSEN syllabus which will be available for schools to use in the near future.