Lina Othman, Digital Learning Lead at Qatar Academy Msheireb, talks about her passion for teaching and the feelings of gratitude and pride it brings to her when she sees its fruition.
She never thought that one day she would become a role model, and leave her own mark in raising generations, but fate had another plan for her. It took her through an interesting journey of self-discovery and enabled her to inspire and help her students understand their capabilities and the ways to develop it.
Lina Othman, Digital Learning Lead at Qatar Academy Msheireb (QAM) – one of the schools under Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education – graduated in information and communication technology. She started her career as an IT Technical Support Analyst at an international school in her home country, Jordan, with her work assignments including training teachers and employees to use technology in their work and linking technological knowledge with its practical applications.
She then began to realize the importance of mastering the different tools of technology and implementing them in learning methods for both teachers and students in this era of digitization.
“I did not intend to take teaching as a profession at first. but it wasn’t until I was asked by the school director to temporarily cover for the computer science teacher, who went on maternity leave at the time, as she sensed my enthusiasm for teaching and interacting with children,” says Othman.
This was one of the turning points in my life. I realized the value of the work I do, especially when I saw the excitement and pride of my students when they applied what they have learned and seen their coding results
“I loved the idea, and started preparing lessons and giving demo sessions on coding in front of a school committee. This was one of the turning points in my life. I realized the value of the work I do, especially when I saw the excitement and pride of my students when they applied what they have learned and seen their coding results.”
Othman's passion for teaching began at that point, and led her to searching for modern teaching methods and seeking opportunities to develop them professionally. She obtained a Master's degree in education, and developed a special interest in teaching the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, as it focuses on various aspects of developing the student's personality and abilities.
I continually strive to provide an environment that can accommodate both the intellectual and psychological needs of my students
“When I started teaching and saw the students’ outstanding results, I realized the value of my work in community service and how it contributes to building a curious, connected and open-minded generations,” she said, “especially as technology is among the tools that enable them to keep pace with changes when it is explained in an interesting manner and linked to other subjects and practical applications.”
The experience Othman gained during her teaching years not only allowed her to excel professionally, but also to understand the other aspects related to the psychological development of her students.
“At the beginning of my teaching career, I had an experience with one of my bright students,” she explains. “I noticed a significant decline in his academic performance; he even became aggressive, which was unlike his nature.
I feel proud and grateful when I see my students think, create, and use their abilities, and there is no greater sense of satisfaction than inspiring your students and making a positive impact in their lives
“After a while, I came to know that he was going through social crisis due to the separation of his parents. This incident made me realize the importance of individual interaction with students and not to condone the signs that require treatment.”
“This is why I continually strive to provide an environment that can accommodate both the intellectual and psychological needs of my students, in order to build an independent and thoughtful characters that can lead their future,
“I also believe that respecting the student is as important as respecting the teacher, and I always strive to build a safe space for my students, which allows me to earn their trust and gives me credibility. I feel proud and grateful when I see my students think, create, and use their abilities, and there is no greater sense of satisfaction than inspiring your students and making a positive impact in their lives.”
Today, after harvesting the seeds I have planted in my students for years, I still strive to make my own mark every day in the best way I can
Othman also carries the responsibility of building awareness among students about the multiple positive and negative aspects of technology and the optimal and ethical use of its various tools, which contributes to the development of their social skills, their empathy with others, and their self-discipline.
She believes that QAM has enriched her educational journey, as an international school that implements the IB program at the primary stage, with a clear vision and message focusing on the comprehensive development of the student’s personality and keeping pace with the educational technology updates. It aligns with her own philosophy as an educator.
“Our team and management at QAM are all constantly involved in adding to and refining the educational process through brainstorming ideas and coming up with new suggestions,” she says.
“Additionally, promoting the principles of transparency, providing equal opportunities and encouraging the culture of teamwork give teachers a sense of appreciation, motivate them to choose the right professional development courses, and encourage their sense of self-monitoring, which make us all responsible in decision-making.
“Today, after harvesting the seeds I have planted in my students for years, I still strive to make my own mark every day in the best way I can. I hope that each of my students will have a promising future, and that they will demonstrate human and moral values and become global citizens with the ambition and eagerness to learn and develop themselves.”