25 Jun 2020
Fourteen Aspire Academy teachers who undertook "The Aspire Teaching License" (ATL) module on "Exceptional Learning" have completed the course and had an online graduation ceremony on Wednesday 24th June 2020. ATL boasts six modules each of which is linked to the other so said Dr. Akram Emar of Aspire Academy Master Teacher who is leading the coordination and communication of the ATL programme. “The main reason we started ATL is to support our staff to be fit to work with special needs and exceptional students. Exceptional Learner is the main one of the six modules and the founding Committee of the ATL group is pleased that after many hours of work, assignments we have arrived at graduation ceremony. The other five modules are, Methods of Teaching, Instructional Planning, ICT, Learning Environment and Learning Assessments”, said Dr. Akram Emar.
Aspire Academy School Principal, Mr Jassem Al Jaber expressed his delight at the first batch of teachers to graduate with a certificate from the ATL programme.“Most congratulations to you all and l will start by thanking Dr Akram for leading the ATL program along with Mr John Erickson and Ms Carla Palmer the trainers for this module and of course to you teachers graduating today after putting many hours of work into this course well done and thank you. Our aim for this ATL program from the beginning has been about development, we need to develop our skills and those of the students to the fulfilment of our Aspire Academy mission and vision. As you know our recruitment is based on student-athletes’ sporting talent not their academic strength so by running this course we have a win -win situation with teachers getting a certificate and the skills and knowledge from this course while by applying what they learn in their classes will benefit the students along with their different needs. Once again l congratulate you all for this achievement,” said Principal, Mr Jassem Al Jaber
Aspire Academy prides itself in being a leader in innovation and in pursuit of continuous development in the teaching and learning process, the ATL is an in-house program designed and started with the aim of equipping Aspire teachers on special needs students and gifted students as well enabling them to perform their work to a high standard in line with Aspire’s values, mission and vision.
The graduating teachers continued the course during the Covid-19 crisis climate and before the awarding of certificates some were able to sum up what they learnt from the course.
Ali Khalifallah (English Language teacher): “The course was comprehensive and shed light on the important topics relevant to most schools including us at Aspire. The topics that we looked at are important to improve our teaching to benefit the students. Covering topics like ADHD, the gifted and talented students, social and emotional behavior was relevant and l for one benefitted from this course which taught me more on these topics.”
Dr Nasreen Shanableh (Arabic Language Coordinator): “I learnt a lot from the course, and it helped me recognize an situation that had troubled me before. I had a student with Dyslexia in my class, but l did not know that was the case but when l went on this course l was able to learn about dyslexia will use the acquired skills and knowledge to handle future encounters better”.
Edwin Ndungu (Support Math and Science tutor): “ATL was like for me a refresher course, having done most of this work as an undergraduate. I was struck most by the topic of multicultural influences and have seen that it has played a big role in Aspire where we have students from different backgrounds, different thinking trends and the diverse staff. My skills and knowledge were certainly reinforced.”
Issam Salame (Science Teacher): “I really enjoyed the course and would like to make some suggestions that may be considered for the future courses. I used to be a high achiever as a student and knew l learnt better if l experienced examples. So perhaps if we can have real life examples for each module, e.g. for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) where we can study the case of student in class that would be beneficial. Also, if we can have handouts summarizing the whole course with bullet points and the end that too will be helpful.”
Salih Hafizoglu (Mathematics Teacher): “The course has been really valuable, and the material presented is applicable to us at Aspire. Some of us might not have thought so at the start of the course but after going through the course we realized the importance of the subject matter because it certainly applies to us “.