“We need to forge more bridges between university life and the extant needs of the workforce. Both cannot function as two insular realms. All we need is to redress the imbalances between both.”
Jaidaa Gawad Hamada
INTERVIEWER: MAHMOUD MANSI
About the Interviewee: Dr. Jaidaa Gawad is well-know by being one of the celebrity teachers in the English Department, Faculty of Arts. She is dedicated to her mission as a teacher, and dedicated to her students. She finds time for everyone. Dr. Jaidaa has been a sports fan since forever, and if you are a Sporting Club member you would always see her jogging and well-focused on this passion. Recently she took her sports life into a higher level and became a member at Triple F, and also won a first prize award with Alex Runners. Her role-model is her great mother Dr. Lobna Mehanna. Dr. Jaidaa is a very good example of work/life balance, and she is still running forward towards newer dreams.
1- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Dr. Jaidaa, as a university staff member you always had the chance to work in different areas, and as a person you are gifted by a lot of other talents, yet you sincerely focused on teaching your whole career. What is your reason?
Jaidaa Gawad Hamada: I have always been passionate about teaching, hailing it as more of a mission than a profession. Stepping into the classroom is akin to my being ushered into a realm that is far removed from the humdrum of this life. I do love my students and I feel I am bound to them by a sense of duty; a duty which I unflinchingly try to perform to the best of my abilities. I find it really ennobling to be allowed to disseminate knowledge or impart any beneficial experiences to others. It means the world to me to be able to make the minutest of positive difference in even a single student’s life. What is even more rewarding for me is that I teach something I have always loved and wanted to study; that is, literature.
2- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: What was your dream job when you were a child? And why?
Jaidaa Gawad Hamada: Strange as it may sound, I have never entertained hopes of becoming a university professor. Actually, I have never had a “dream job”, but what had always lingered on my mind was that I wanted to study literature. I would rather then call it a “dream career”; one that hinged on incessantly reading all books under the sun. I have always wanted, and I still do want, to probe deeper and deeper into the mesmerizing realm of literature. Joining the English Department at the Faculty of Arts had always been my aim. Despite the very high grade I had obtained in my final year of secondary education (General Secondary Certificate), 102% with the added grades of two high-level courses, I never deviated from the path I had always wanted to pursue. Additionally, I have always been fascinated by psychology. Had I not been appointed at the English Department when I first graduated from college, I would have definitely opted for studying psychology. That I have not undertaken this step until now does not mean I have altogether given up on my dream—never! I am just waiting for an apt time to indulge my academic fancies.
3- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: From your point of view, what are the personal and technical qualifications of a professional university teacher?
Jaidaa Gawad Hamada: In my viewpoint, you can be a most astounding scholar but a flop as a teacher. Being one does not necessarily entail the other. Although there is no one-and- only manual for becoming a good teacher, nor is there any prescribed formula to become one, I can succinctly describe it as an amalgam of innate talent; coupled with unfaltering enthusiasm; enhanced by practice and perseverance; embellished with ceaseless updating and incessantly underlain with passion. Passion—the secret word for success in whatever one sets out to do in life, or whatever career one embarks on.
4- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: In business there is a term called CRM – Customer Relationship Management – and it refers to maintain a lifetime relationship with the customer. You are actually implementing this and keeping your relation with graduates still strong. How do you maintain this relationship and does it add a benefit to your work?
Jaidaa Gawad Hamada: I believe it all goes back to the same sense of duty that I feel towards my students, and the same formula of setting my heart on whatever I am undertaking in life. Once again, passion pops up as the secret word for a most rewarding and enduring CRM. Do parents sever their ties with their off-springs when the latter travel or get married? My relationship with my students works along similar lines. In fact, many a time does it become even more consolidated after their graduation, since we are no longer restricted by a teacher-student relationship with all its strictures and formalities. Let me point out that being friendly with my students is not mutually exclusive of the respect they unswervingly show to me. You can be loved and simultaneously respected. You can be friendly, professional and academic all at once. You can be looked up to without your being vain or self-conceited. Definitely, the rapport I share with my students and the cemented ties we keep after their graduation wield a most empowering impact on my work. Suffice it to say that is a constant emblem of the conviction that hard work always pays off.
5- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: If you were not destined to be a teacher, what other career would you have chosen? Why?
Jaidaa Gawad Hamada: I would have spent my entire life reading and researching. I would have also stridden into the luring realm of psychology.
6– HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: What are the common challenges that university teachers face? And can you share with us a real challenge you faced at your work and how did you overcome it as a case-study?
Jaidaa Gawad Hamada: I believe the major hurdle we are facing is the ever-increasing number of students who enroll each year in different faculties with neither commensurate resources, nor adequate places to accommodate them. As a result, the students are left adrift. Some students also join faculties they are not primarily interested in either because their grades in the General Secondary Certificate qualified them for particular fields, or because of some age-old traditions that exalt certain fields or careers at the expense of downgrading some others. In our department we have thankfully managed to mitigate the repercussions of this problem by resorting to an entrance exam that allows us to admit into the department only those who are attuned to studying literature. Besides, some universities are lagging far behind in their being endowed with technological facilities, and according cannot catch up with the most recent educational breakthroughs. A most obstructive challenge that impedes any attempt at effecting progress is the barrage of bureaucratic and needless strictures we have to abide by for no obvious reason! You can spend a very long time working on very beneficial plans for improvement only to be balked at the end by some nightmarish regulations that not only thwart your dreams, but even worse demoralize you. The latter is a real challenge that I perpetually face, and to be honest not every time I succeed in overcoming it. Nonetheless, one should try one’s best against all odds.
7- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: You have been practicing sports for years, you won an award with Alex Runners, you are a member of Triple F, and you recently started practicing yoga. Would all these challenges and efforts help you be a better teacher?
Jaidaa Gawad Hamada: Absolutely! Not only a better teacher, but also a better person physically, mentally spiritually and psychologically. Countless are the rewards of exercising, not just for the sake of weight management and staying in good shape, but also as a lifestyle. Regular physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that serve as inherent mood enhancers. You will also feel better about your appearance, which will inevitably boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues that allow the cardiovascular system to function more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to grapple with your daily chores and challenges. Needless to say how regular physical activity can help manage a wide range of health problems. What is really so rewarding for me is that many of my students have lately taken to working out on my account.
8- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Let’s assume that there will be a new faculty of arts in Alexandria, and you are asked to be the Dean, and you are given full authority in structuring the faculty before it is even launched, how is it going to be like?
Jaidaa Gawad Hamada: To begin with, allow me to make it clear that I am far from being into administrative/managerial positions. Being a manager, a director or a dean, as you suggest, has never been luring for me in any way. I do not see it as my forte, not because of scarcity of leadership skills, but because I would rather pursue academic goals. However, if I am “coerced” into holding such a job, I believe I will be encountering a most daunting and arduous undertaking. To begin with, I will admit students who are really keen on learning in general, and studying humanities in particular. Education is indispensable to every human being; it is a basic human right. Yet, it is really a pity that it is readily made accessible to some who are not keen on learning; hence wasting the country’s resources. An entrance exam will be imperative. One thing this new faculty will be absolved of is all needless paperwork. Expectedly, all traces of bureaucracy will be eradicated. Decentralizing the management system will also be a prime concern of mine. Extra-curricular activities will be implemented as an integral aspect of the system. A most updated online library with the most recent resources will be readily available to the students; one that functions according to a system that makes life easier for the student. The system of education itself will be pivoted on encouraging research on the students’ part. Technological facilities will be at the students’ disposal. In a nutshell, I would strive with all the force of my being to engender a congenial milieu that renders education a most gratifying endeavor rather than a burdensome Herculean toil. I would not spare to bring to the world a generation of hardy and ambitious students. Today’s students are tomorrow’s business leaders, politicians, ministers, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, teachers and other professionals. I believe we need to forge more bridges between university life and the extant needs of the workforce. Both cannot function as two insular realms. All we need is to redress the imbalances between both.
9- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: What’s your advice to the students fresh graduates of Faculty of Arts who want to establish a professional career?
Jaidaa Gawad Hamada: Simply stated: Whatever you do, do it with passion, perseverance and conscience.
HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Thank you so much Dr. Jaidaa for being an awesome teacher, an inspiration and role-model to thousands, and thank you for this interview.
Empathy at Work. Interview with Mimi Nicklin: Empathetic leader, Author and Business strategist
She is an experienced marketer and communications specialist, business strategist and a wellknown empathetic leader. She is a natural coach, writer and creative mind, and has held roles as diverse as Strategic Director, Vice President and Creative Officer in some of the world’s leading advertising agencies.
Her passion for balancing humanism with capitalism, drives her commitment to leading the practice of Regenerative and empathetic leadership, as well as her ‘principles of people’, into organisations and communities worldwide.
Softening The Edge is Mimi’s debut book – out on 15 September and available for pre-order now on amazon.com
INTERVIEWER: Cinzia Nitti
HR Revolution: Hi Mimi, it’s our honor to make this interview and thanks in advance for what you will share with the HR Revolution Middle East Family. Many people assume that Empathy is generally about “being there” when someone is going through a difficult life path. Would you tell us more about the value of Empathy and how the whole concept relates to corporate life?
Mimi Nicklin: After thirty years of data that shows empathy is declining, we have a deficit on our hands; a corporate humanity deficit, an Empathy Deficit. The Empathy Deficit has been formed by a gap in connection with each other at the deepest social and corporate levels over many decades, and it undermines the fundamental principles of our ability to thrive in at work. Workplace absenteeism and apathy are reaching endemic proportions. Corporate anxiety, depression, and extreme proportions of burnout often complete the picture. Never has there been a time in history when we needed an intervention into our working lives more than we do today and empathy and ‘Regenerative Leadership’ is a powerful driver for this turnaround.
HR Revolution: Why Empathy in the workplace matters and how it impacts employee productivity?
Mimi Nicklin: As the environments we work within become ever tougher and sharper edged, especially during 2020, we are seeing employee productivity and performance dwindle. We have a deep problem at the exact point where humanity meets capitalism, and there is a lack of balance between the two which is impacting the performance, focus and capability of team members. This is a problem fuelled by three key parts. First, an ubiquitous obsession with growth at all costs which sees employee wellness drop in importance; second, a never-ending stress cycle which is impacting staff at all levels; and third, a widespread disconnection between our people and corporate culture at an unprecedented scale.
HR Revolution: Mimi, as a consultant and business strategist, do you have a human-centric “recipe” to develop Empathy at work? What would you suggest to HR Departments to improve their effectiveness in supporting employees through Empathy?
Mimi Nicklin: The key of all empathetic organisations success lies in truly listening to our teams. Both overtly and directly, and through confidential channels such as questionnaires or feedback forms. After many months of 2020 have seen us working from home, as HR specialists we have had an opportunity for the first time in a long time to truly slow down and to consider the wider context of our teams and culture. We can’t expect our teams to not want to make change, to push back against old patterns and to want to work for a higher, more impactful purpose with a more flexible approach. It is in embracing this desire that will lead HR teams to be able to innovative and make sustainable changes to employee performance and health. At the top of our lists should be to listen to our teams as they re-enter their working environments and reassess each area of our business in light of the new world we are facing.
HR Revolution: Vulnerability has been a critical factor for business leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Is there any kind of professional-empathetic method that balances both a company’s ambition and highlights the employee’s role?
Mimi Nicklin: I often talk about principles of people beyond profit. This is not to say people ‘before’ profit. Our businesses need to remain profitable and sustain our organisational imperatives, but we can lead a culture that looks at the value of the strength of our people as something that has commercial value. Empathy in leadership and culture is a data set and an input for your business and the method of balancing them reduces risk and improves uptake and trust from staff, leading to improvements across KPI’s. Without being able to walk in the shoes of our employees and understand their diverse viewpoints, it is nearly impossible to inspire and lead teams to success, and even harder to create marketing, powerful business decisions or innovative products and services that truly and deeply resonate with people.
HR Revolution: How Empathy, Emotional Intelligence and Technology coexist in response to the post-pandemic era?
Mimi Nicklin: We have more technology to connect with each other and our clients than ever before, and more data to leverage an understanding of what people want, yet the systematic dehumanization by corporate agendas and over analysis has damaged our ability to connect. Zoom calls and team applications can brilliantly connect us and facilitate our business processes but we must be aware the technology can lead to inauthentic and ‘cold’ culture’s between leaders and teams. As HR leaders, it is our intuition and integrity in empathising with the real and honest problems that our teams have (on and off screen) that will allow us to really make an impact and leverage technology without losing our humanity and connectedness to each other at work.
HR Revolution: “Softening the Edge.” A leadership book on Empathetic Influence and Emotional Intelligence is your first book (out on September 15th). Would you give our readers a glimpse of its content?
Mimi Nicklin: Softening the Edge focuses on something I have been passionate about for my entire career—the sustainable wellness of our workforce, treating people with kindness and decency, and the future of Regenerative Leadership that sustainably promotes human values as well as the financial value of every business. It addresses the Global Empathy Deficit from within our organisations, based on my own experiences leading teams around the world, and inspired by the turnaround story in my current organisation. The goal is to create wider understanding that the world of leadership and business is critically responsible for playing a role in protecting and improving our social future. Today, many people do not enjoy their work, burnout is at all-time high, depression is impacting over 33,000,000 people and the younger generation is leaving the corporate workplace in droves. By failing to proactively nurture empathy in our future leaders, we are failing to protect our future. Softening the Edge is part business tool, part corporate culture guide and part social eye opener to a downward trend impacting all areas of life and work. It shows how by harnessing and exercising empathy for employees and each other we can reverse the trend, build happier, more productive businesses and create a kinder, healthier world.
Thanks for your precious contribution, dear Mimi. The whole HR Revolution Crew wishes you all the best!
حوار صحفي مع سلمى صادق – ممرضة طوارئ بمستشفى جامعة الاسكندرية
صحافة: محمود منسي
الناس كانت متخيلة ان المهم في المجال الطبي هو الطبيب فقط ـ لكن اللي مش واخدين بالهم منه انه التمريض هو اللي بيفضل مع المريض بيلاحظ كل عرض وعلامة جديدة في تحسن أو سوء حالته الصحية وانه له دور عظيم جدا في عملية اتمام الشفاءسلمى صادق
مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية: ايه سر دخولك للكارير وايه التحديات اللى قابلتيها في بداية المجال؟
المجال الطبي عموما مجال ممتع جدا وأنا من صغري حسيت بشغف للمجال وبدأت ابحث عنه كتير ناس كتير قالتلي المجال صعب ومش هتستحملي اللي بيحصل فيه وشكل الحالات ف الطوارئ والاستقبال وانتي صغيرة مش هتتحملي ده، أنا اخدت كل الكلام ده على محمل التحدي وبدأت بشغفي الدراسة في المجال
أول تحدي قابلته في المجال هو نظرة المجتمع للتمريض في الوقت ده الناس كانت متخيلة ان المهم في المجال الطبي هو الطبيب فقط ـ لكن اللي مش واخدين بالهم منه انه التمريض هو اللي بيفضل مع المريض بيلاحظ كل عرض وعلامة جديدة في تحسن أو سوء حالته الصحية وانه له دور عظيم جدا في عملية اتمام الشفاء
مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية: ايه المهارات اللي بتميز شخص عن التاني ف المجال ده؟
السرعة في الأداء بشكل متقن لأن مش كل الناس عندها ميزة انها تلحق مريض على بعد دقايق من فقد الوعي وتكون سبب انك تعيده تاني للحياة بسرعه وده بيتمثل في انك تعمل الاجراء صح وتكون مركز جدا في كل حاجة حواليك زي أداواتك كاملة و
cooperative staff without any tensions
وحاجة تانية برضو هي
How to solve problems during work intelligently
مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية: هل ممكن يكون في كلاشات بين فريق التمريض والأطباء، ايه ممكن يكون سببها؟
ممكن يحصل مثلا كلاش على أساس ان بعض من طاقم التمريض غير مؤهل بنسبة كافيه للعمل أو توضيح أكتر انه على قيد الدراسة أو فترة الامتياز أو حتى حديث التخرج ويبدأ العمل في وقت لا يوجد به افراد اساسيين من الطاقم في وقت حرج فبيسبب ان العمل لا يسري بشكل جيد أو مش بكفاءة عالية
مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية: في ظل الظروف الحالية هل طبيعة العمل في مجال التمريض متغيرة مع الكورونا وايه المراحل اللي بيمر بيها المريض وازاى بتتعاملوا في كل مرحلة من المراحل دي؟
طبعا اتغيرت وأصبح الأمر شبيه بحالة الطوارئ وأصبحت كل الفرق الطبية على استعداد لاستقبال الحالات المصابة بكورونا وتم توفير الواقيات الشخصية في جميع اقسام المستشفى وتم تدريب الفرق على كيفية لبس وخلع الواقيات بطريقة صحيحة حسب تعليمات مكافحة العدوى اما بالنسبة للمراحل اللي بيمر بيها المريض خلينا نعتبرها الأعراض اللي بيحس بيها المريض على الاغلب بيكون تكسير في الجسم وصداع نصفي مؤلم جدا وارتفاع درجة حرارة الجسم عن 37.5 درجة وبيحصل ضيق في التنفس وجفاف في الحلق وبعض الاعراض اللي بتصيب الجهاز الهضمي زي الاسهال مثلا وحاليا بيتم معالجة الأعراض ومش لازم كل المرضى يكون عندهم نفس الأعراض لا ساعات بيكون تلت أو أربع اعراض متجمعة ف مريض أو عرضين فقط
بالنسبة لدورنا في المرحلة دي هو اول حاجه اننا نطمن المريض انه هيكون كويس في أقرب وقت ممكن واننا بنحاول بقدر الامكان نكون سبب في شفاؤه بجانب طبعا التحاليل اللازمة له والأشعة والمسحة اللي بتأكد لنا المريض ده ايجابي ولا سلبي وتوزيع كورس العلاج المناسب له على حسب الاعراض اللي حاسس بيها
مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية: كيف تم تأهيلكم للعمل في نطاق الحجر الصحي وايه هيا التدريبات اللى لو كنتم اخدتوها كانت هتساعدكم أكتر في شغلكم؟
أولا احنا اخدنا دورة تدريبية في كيفية التعامل مع مريض الكورونا من أول معرفة أشكال الواقيات الشخصية المختلفة وكيفية ارتدائها وخلعها بالطريقة الصحيحة على حسب تعليمات مكافحة العدوى بمنظمه الصحة العالمية واتعلمنا ازاي نحط خطة نشتغل عليها في نطاق الحجر في المستشفيات
اظن ان من اهم الدورات اللي مفترض تكون في خطة مواجهة الفيروس عموما سواء في نطاق العمل مع مرضى الكورونا في المستشفيات أو خارجها هيا كيفية مراعاة شعور المريض لان نفسيه المريض بتساعد على تحسن حالته الصحية بنسبة كبيرة فمن وجهة نظري اننا لازم نتعلم كلنا ازاي نساعد المريض نفسيا انه يقدر يتخطى المرض ده
مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية: هل تم اصابة ناس من فريق التمريض وكيف تم التعامل معها؟
للأسف تم اصابه بعض الأشخاص من الفريق المعالج ودة أمر وارد انه يحصل بسبب بعض الأخطاء اللي ممكن تحصل في عدم توخي الحذر اثناء خلع الواقيات الشخصية وما شابه
لكن تم عزل الزملاء اللي اتصابوا وتم بدأ عمل تحاليل ومسحات لهم وبدء كورس العلاج لهم حسب الأعراض وهكذا
مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية: ايه أكتر الحاجات اللي بترهقكم في شغلكم أيا كان صحيا أو نفسيا أو عقليا؟
أحيانا اللي بيرهقنا نفسيا هو حالة المريض اللي بنحاول بكل طاقتنا اننا ننقذه من الألم والمرض اللي هو فيه وبنتابع معاه من أول ما بيدخل المستشفى مرورا بالعناية المركزة وبنحاول نوفر له أكياس الدم والبلازما اللي محتاجها مثلا وبيصارع الألم بعدها وبنكون مقدرين كل الألم ده وللأسف مبيكملش حياته والأمر بيكون مسألة قدرية بحت وطبعا على الجانب الاخر ضغط الشغل نفسه في المستشفيات الحكومية بيكون عالي جدا وعدد الحالات الكبير لما بنشتغل معاهم بننسى نفسنا وساعات مبناكلش كويس مثلا ومبنهتمش بالتغذية السليمة اللي تدينا الطاقة الكافية اللي نقدر بيها نكمل شغلنا ـ أحيانا ده بيعود على الفرق الطبية عموما وبيأثر على صحتنا بالسلب للأسف لما ناخد عدد نبطشيات كتير دة بيخلينا مرهقين جدا وممكن يأثر على كفائه الشغل نفسه فبنحتاج نفصل أو ناخد بريك يخلينا نشحن طاقتنا تاني عشان نقدر نواصل مسيرة شغفنا واختيارنا للمجال نفسه 🙂
مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية: ايه الحاجات اللي ممكن تحصل عشان تساعدكم في صحتكم النفسية والجسدية وايه الحاجات اللي لو اتغيرت تخلي شغلكم أحسن؟
أظن ان من أهم الحاجات اللي ممكن تساعدنا في استعادة صحتنا وقوتنا في العمل هو تخفيف عدد النبطشيات في الشغل وتظبيط الاجازات وزيادة عدد العاملين بالمجال وده هيضمن كفاءة عمل كويسة جدا وهيكون سبب في شفاء عدد كتير من المرضى
وهيضمن مستوى صحي بجودة عالية وطبعا لازم يكون في تجديد وعرض لكل ما هو جديد في المجال زي ما حصل قبل كده واخدنا كلنا دورة كيفية السيطرة على الحريق ودي حاجة فعلا كنا محتاجينها جدا
من الحجات المهمة جدا اللي مش كتير واخد باله منها هيا نظرة المجتمع للأطقم الطبية لأن ده بيأثر بنسبة كبيرة جدا على تقديم مستوى أفضل للرعاية الصحية
مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية: هل بتلاقي وقت في روتين يومك تعملي الحاجات اللي بتحبيها؟
“Great things never come from comfort zones.”
دي عبارة اخدتها كمبدأ في حياتي
ان فعلا الحاجات أو الانجازات العظيمة مش بتيجي أبدا وأنا مريحه وكسلانة
في حاجات أساسية في روتين يومي زي قراءة الكتب مثلا ومشاهدة حلقات ل تيديكس، والتمارين اللي بعملها ف البيت، اختيار الأكل الصحي المناسب ليا
بجانب بقا اني بتعلم لغة جديدة ومؤخرا اكتشفت ان التعليم الالكتروني ممكن فعلا يكون أكثر فاعلية واستفادت منه كتير جدا
ساعات مثلا أصور صورة حلوة واشيرها مع أصحابي كنوع من أنواع المحافظة على دائرة الصداقة اللي خارج نطاق العمل بتاعي
بعمل مثلا تطوير للمعلومات بتاعتي في مجالي ولو اتعلمت حاجة جديدة مثلا بروح ادور عليها أكتر وأتفرج على فيديوز عنها وأفهمها كويس جدا
أنا بحاول بكل الأشكال اغير من شخصيتي للأفضل بأخلق وقت لقراية كتاب جديد أو لعمل اكلة جديدة حتى وأنا في المواصلات مثلا
اهم شيء هو اني أمشي ورا الشغف بتاعي، لأن ده اللي هيخليني أوصل للي أنا عايزاه وهيخليني أنجح وهيفتحلي أبواب كتيرة جدا بالسعي في الطرق دي
مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية: نصايحك ايه للناس اللي حاسة انها مصابة ومش قادرة تروح المستشفى؟
أول نصيحة هيا الاهتمام بالنظافة الشخصية بتاعتهم والتزام البيوت وعدم الخروج الا للضرورة
غسل الايدين لازم يكون أكتر من مرة في اليوم بعد كل عمل بتعمله ولو خرجت برا البيت لازم تلبس الماسك ويكون معاك كحول ايثيلي 70% سواء جيل أو سبراي واي تعامل مع أوراق مالية أو تعامل شخصي مع اي فرد برا البيت لازم تستخدم الكحول بعدها مع مراعاة المسافة الآمنة بين الافراد
واتمني السلامة للجميع
شكرا جدا يا سلمى على الإخلاص في عملك والمقابلة الصحفية الهامة دي
Interview with Sally Khalil – Teacher and Librarian at New Horizon School, USA
Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi
“I’ve always wanted to be an actress and students are my beautiful audience who admire my tales with their wide-open eyes and curious questions. I like reading out loud and roleplaying from picture books to the little ones. This is when I know how rewarding it is, just from the happy look in their eyes…”Sally Khalil
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE
Sally is an ESL teacher, tech and media associate, and librarian at an elementary and middle school in California. She has a BA in English from Alexandria University, Egypt, an MA in English from Chapman University and an MA in Arabic from Middlebury College in California. She worked briefly as a Google rater and shown interest in the tech field and became a Certified Microsoft Administrator in 2004. She has worked as an ESL/ESP teacher for 20 years in different work fields.
1-HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Sally, it is very interesting that you have been through a lot of career experiences that all revolve around “books”, as a learner and an educator and now you work as a Librarian. Do you consider this as a career shift?
Sally Khalil: I sure do think it’s a shift, and I am all the happier because of it. I have always been curious what Americans like to read. There was this huge gap of knowledge that I needed to make up, because I haven’t lived in the US all my life. Now I have a decent idea what children love to read, and I make sure that I have those books in my library. While teaching, I used books as tool. As a librarian, they are my treasures.
2-HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What other duties do you do as a school librarian? Do you enjoy them?
Sally Khalil: I read to students aloud from Pre-K to fourth grade when they do their weekly visit to the library. I’ve always wanted to be an actress and they are my beautiful audience who admire my tales with their wide-open eyes and curious questions. I like reading out loud and roleplaying from picture books to the little ones. This is when I know how rewarding it is, just from the happy look in their eyes. I also enjoy choosing books related to the various monthly themes. For example, in February during Black History Month, we read stories about the history and lives of African Americans.
Now the fact that I’ve majored in English literature, it becomes easier for me to do storytelling of a classic story to the older students. Sometimes I show short documentaries or scenes related to a book. They totally appreciate that and love their competitive spirit when they attempt to quickly answer the questions.
3-HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: In your current role, you have led a couple of projects which include book fairs. How did you prepare yourself for these projects? What were your challenges and how you assured it was a success?
Sally Khalil: My school hosts a book fair every year. When they told me that I had to contact a certain book fair company to set up a book fair, I panicked. I’ve never done that before. Luckily, another teacher, who had worked previously as a librarian, provided help and suggestions. Things went smoothly soon after, and the book company came with several transportable bookshelves organized by genre. The students and teachers were able to purchase books for themselves and their classrooms.
Another challenge was the fact that I’ve always been a teacher since graduating college and have never worked a cash register job in my life. But during the fair, I had to learn quickly the first day. And thank God I did because the book fair was a big success. Depending on the company, the book company gives a certain percentage of the profits that you make selling their books and allows you to select books for your library for free. Because of my efforts, the school made a good profit that hadn’t happened in years. I felt proud and accomplished. Then the school made me arrange and host a mini-book fair for only one day. I thought it was going to be impossible to achieve any success, but it was another big one with another profit. I think I have a hidden talent in marketing.
4-HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: It is not usual to have an ESL teacher who works in tech and media. How does it feel to be working in an area a bit far from your expertise? What are your duties as a tech support in school? Were they affected by Covid-19?
Sally Khalil: Sometimes it feels challenging but I’m a fast learner. Luckily, I am patient, and I love doing troubleshooting. As a young kid, I used to fix our VCR, cassette recorder, my uncle’s PC and even my friends’ laptops all the time. I think I was destined to be doing that type of technical work one day. As for my duties, it is basically setting up laptops, iPads, and Chromebooks, installing security settings, troubleshooting, and doing inventory. I also teach Computer basics and office. My tech supervisor has always been very supportive, because she understands the many different responsibilities I have to juggle. She always fixes what I can’t fix. My duties changed a little bit as we switched to online learning. Teachers would report the students’ technical issues. I would give them a call and try my best to help, something like Vodafone customer service in Egypt.
5-HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How has Covid-19 affected your job as a librarian and a teacher?
Sally Khalil: I’m sure that it affected all teachers everywhere. The school closed, so my role as librarian temporarily came to an end. As a teacher, I applaud for my school supervisors who organized the remote learning process and always kept teachers and parents updated. The school faculty did a great job providing the same quality education online. The teachers and students worked hard to make sure everything works despite some technical issues that the students encountered. Beside uploading assignments, we had online Zoom sessions. We had to submit weekly assignments, fill in the pacing guide for the rest of the academic year and the learning gaps if there are any affected by the online work.
6-HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How are the American students different than the Egyptian students?
Sally Khalil: They’re basically the same. Most of American students are of an Arab origin, and they are the most adorable well-behaved students. I consider myself lucky teaching them. I’ve had similar exciting experiences teaching Egyptian students. What I noticed is the authority of teachers in US is different than in Egypt, that is it is not accepted that the teacher has a complete authority over them.
7-HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Last but not least, we would love to take some “reading tips” from a librarian.
Sally Khalil: I would have started by saying visit your local public library, but it is not an option now. Use technology to your advantage. There are many free e-books. You can also rent or buy from Amazon and read on Kindle. Listen to audiobooks through audibles and iBooks. Now there is much time staying at home, this is the perfect time to commit to reading by dedicating a certain time for reading every day. Joining a book club will also motivate you to read.
THANK YOU SALLY
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