Sumeya Taquidir: Becoming a dynamic teacher | Aga Khan Academies

Sumeya Taquidir: Becoming a dynamic teacher

Sumeya Nemane Ussene Taquidir believes learning is a continuous process and that the Aga Khan Strands help her, as a teacher, to be dynamic and creative.

Sumeya is a year 6 and 7 Middle Years Programme science teacher, who joined the Aga Khan Academies through the Teacher Preparation Programme, which develops new teachers into International Baccalaureate practitioners. She spent a full academic year at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa as part of her training through the programme before joining the Aga Khan Academy Maputo. 

Born in Maputo, Mozambique, Sumeya graduated with a Bachelor’s of Education in science (Physics and Minor Electronic) from the Pedagogical University, Mozambique. She joined the Academies because of their philosophy of education, which engages students actively in the process of learning, and the environment of continuous professional development that helps teachers develop effective teaching methods.

During her time in Mombasa, Sumeya had the opportunity to learn how to improve her teaching skills. When asked what helped her become a more effective teacher, she said it was, “the opportunity to go to the Academy in Mombasa for training, [where] we received support in various areas in order to improve our methodologies of teaching. [The Academy provided] us the opportunity to participate in workshops, online trainings and use online resources.”

Sumeya feels that the most rewarding aspect of teaching is when she sees students applying the Aga Khan (AK) Strands in different ways. The Aga Khan Strands are cross-curricular areas of learning that help students develop dispositions and knowledge required by future leaders. Sumeya recalls, “My special memory from the Academy in Mombasa was my first day of teaching. I was very nervous mainly because I was being observed. The lesson was good, the students were familiar with the learner profile and the AK Strands, therefore, it was easy to deliver the lesson.”

She believes that with the teacher’s incorporation of the AK Strands and the learner profile into lessons, the students are better able to understand why they should respect other cultures and work together.

Although Sumeya knows that teaching is not an easy job at times, she believes that accepting challenges, communicating with students and their parents, and reflecting on teaching helps achieve positive results.

“I think it is important to create an environment with mutual respect, honesty, good relationships, and communication should be a highest priority…My rule as a teacher is to guide the students to build [their] knowledge and provide a safe environment for learning with collaborative work, respect and sharing ideas among them.”

The Academies are designed as residential schools, with many of the Senior School students living on campus. During her time in Mombasa, Sumeya had the opportunity to interact with students in the Academy’s residences, and believes that residential life complements academics and produces leaders. “They can have a different experience living with others of different cultures. They can build the spirit of leadership and they learn to think for themselves."

Teaching is ultimately a two-way process for Sumeya. She explains that she too learns from the unique environment of the Academies and through interaction with students of diverse backgrounds. “I am conscious that learning is a continuous process; every day we learn something new [which] makes me more curious to learn new things. That is why we have to be creative and dynamic teachers.”

By Inaara Gangji