Thriving Vs Surviving

It has been two weeks since schools reopened. A reflection worth sharing with you all! As unexpected challenges popped up from all corners of my life, I found myself in a surviving mode. I had to switch to survival mode so that I don’t loose my sanity. But as days passed, I began shifting my mode to a thriving mode, ever so slowly. This happened without I realizing that my pattern has improved. Awhile back, I was on surviving mode more than a thriving mode. I was confused, stressed and overwhelmed with emotions, thoughts and self criticism. Until I learnt not to expect “ME” to be perfect. That I am a human.

I was in awe, how the same happens to our learning institutions. We get carried away by daily pop-ups that need our attention and time. We consume so much energy in solving pop-ups that we loose focus of our purpose. It is like, watching an educative video on YouTube then another DIY video pops-up, you watch it and another pops-up until you realized you have spent 45 minutes watching DIY videos and only 15 minutes watching what was actually beneficial. Forty five minutes of survival mode and fifteen minutes of thriving mode! You see, this is how we end up having a high number of our institutions on survival mode.

How do you know if you are working or running an institution on survival mode?

  1. You spend most of your day tackling problems that can be solved by someone else.
  2. You read a post/idea and you want it implemented in your school the next day.
  3. You spend a fortune to invest in a school program only to realize it will not work in your school.
  4. You talk more in your meetings than your teachers.
  5. You are unshakable, that only your way/your idea is the best.
  6. You think you know better than the teachers you hired to teach!
  7. You make changes only when needs be, otherwise you are good to go!
  8. You have no idea what is the next step to improve your school! Other words; you think you are running your school perfectly!

If you answered YES to most of these statements, it is time to go back to your drawing table. Ask yourself these guiding questions to help you kick start your journey to a thriving mode.

  • Where do you see you school in the next five years?
  • What do you need to prepare to reach your vision?
  • How will you reach there?
  • What can you change now to prepare you for the five years?
  • What are your best practice and what are your bad practices that you need to change in your institute?

Don’t loose hope in finding the best way to be on a thriving mode. Life can bring you down to a survival mode and that’s okay. Be graceful and be hopeful that Allah will always ease your affairs. I will be happy to hear your revelation  how this article will help you kick start your journey from a surviving school to a thriving school!

Rukiya Issa

Rukiya Issa is a Teacher coach who leads an Islamic school and the founder of Hopeful Muslim Teacher (HMT). She is pursuing her Bachelors of Education(Arts) and aims to empower Muslim teachers to show-up with confidence, clarity and purpose. She holds a Diploma in Educational Leadership, primary teacher certificate and is also a certified professional life Coach. Rukiya believes that academics, Teacher mindset, skills and teacher growth are not only a fundamental part of student success but are also the building blocks to attain a life long impact in building a holistic child. In addition to leading a school, she runs an online madrasa program with the aim of making Islamic education accessible to all. She has been recognised for her innovative teaching and learning approaches in all her teaching positions in different schools. Furthermore, her exceptional approach to leading change in Ar Risalah Academy, currently the Principal, was evidently recognised by the School board of Directors. Rukiya has been engaged in variety of voluntary projects in education like; - Islamic Curriculum Development at Maahad Teachers' Training College Nairobi, Kenya. - Lesson Plan Integration Project with Dr Bilal Philips - Islamic Studies Teacher at Maryam Center, Doha, Qatar.

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