Raya al Sugheir Nasser Al Magiry, one of the new emerging breed of young Omani schoolteachers, has realized her dream of “becoming an effective classroom teacher,” her mother’s dream of her daughter, “being the best she can,” and now hopefully she says, “help my young students achieve their dreams.”
“My mother,” she smiled, “how she would always push me, and I didn’t always understand. But later in life, as I appreciated her typically Omani upbringing with its dearth of educational emphasis, and the culture and heritage that went with that lifestyle, there was very little formal education in her life, and I am certain that she recognized that would be so important to me, and others, moving forward. She always checked my school work, and later my university marks, and kept me grounded in my learning, and made me understand the importance of always working hard, no matter how easily some things may come to me.”
“And of course Mum was right! Though I was amazed how I enjoyed learning English with my teachers, and as I began to focus more on English and education, I recognized the wisdom of my mother’s words, as she told me I was destined to be a teacher, and to make a difference to other lives, not just my own.”
She found learning to teach was different, noting that it was not about knowing everything, but understanding how to help her students to know more.
She continued, “My first experiences as a teacher have proven challenging but exciting. I have spent two years in Noor Al Marifa school, where I have taught at a variety of levels. I really enjoyed this diversity, and learned from other, more experienced teachers every day. Every single day was different, and I feel like I’m understanding my students better, learning what they need, and probably meeting their learning objectives with much greater clarity. These experiences have helped me understand that teaching was the right choice of a career for me.”
Al Magiry taught at basic school for 2 years and now into her third year of teaching in the same school, she is the first to admit it hasn’t always been easy.
“Getting to know and understand the student’s issues in the classroom has certainly been the greatest challenge,” she said, “And relating the theorist’s views of education to actual teaching has not been easy, but as each day passes, I am understanding their rationale more and more. Now that I understand those theories, and their practical applications, much of my focus is on preparing well for my classes, and providing suitable practical activities appropriate to their learning experiences.”
There is no substitute for experience in Al Magiry’s mind, but she does value her continued professional development (CPD), and regularly upgrades her experiences with workshop and conference participation, including a scholarship to Egypt, which she found invaluable.
“I have my own thoughts and ideas about teaching and learning, though it would be presumptuous of me to say too much yet, but the in-class difficulties faced by teachers are to the forefront of my many thoughts and ideas.”
This young Omani educator has always had intelligence and has benefitted greatly from a mother’s love and direction. She has always impressed her past teachers and lecturers with her own clarity of purpose, preparedness and organization.
She is adamant that she wants her students to discover for themselves the same motivations that she has, and to learn that education can have so many benefits for them.
Young Al Magiry certainly is inexperienced but she has an absolute certainty about the ‘right’ of her career path, and if she is an example of the caliber of teaching graduates within the Ministry of Education’s portfolio, one is entitled to feel that the future of the Sultanate’s basic education system is in excellent hands.