hema’s sphere

Archive for March, 2007


Posted by hema on March 31, 2007

It is said that the Arabic word Taqwa can never really be translated as it encompasses a range of emotions, the fear of Allah being only one of them. but i wanted to talk a little about this topic becasue fear is a very powerful emotion.

Here are a few things that scare me

There will be more women then men in hell

A woman who wears tight clothes will never even smell the scent of paradise.

Out of every 1000 muslims, only one will go to paradise without first having to go to hell.

Whoever misses the pre dawn prayer intentinally even once will enter hell for at least 50,000 years.

I could talk about Allah’s mercy next. But I don’t want to. Because I think I for one could do with a bit more taqwa in my day to day life.


Posted in islam | 6 Comments »

every child matters

Posted by hema on March 31, 2007

I know every child matters, that is why I wanted to teach in the first place and definitely why I wanted to be a personal tutor! But what I don’t get is why I have to waste time proving it on paper for the benefit of other people when I could be working on actually doing it!
Our college is being inspected next month, (I will no doubt be ranting a lot more about this soon) and so the college has decided that every single scheme of work has to be moved on to a new format with a separate column for every child matters. Now, I don’t want to turn into one of the cynical old men that were being quite rude to the management team in the meeting we had on this topic in the meeting this morning,
but I can see their point.
I teach English .why should I have to mention the every child matters agendas in every single lesson?

A bit of background.

Every child matters
came about due to the death of Victoria climbie, an eight year old girl who was severely tortured by her aunt and boyfriend. The shocking thing about the case was that no one noticed how bad she was being treated until after she died, even though all the signs were there and she had had numerous contact with the police, social services etc who all failed to notice or acknowledge her suffering.
The government’s response to this was to make it an obligation for every professional in charge of children to look out for a child’s welfare. In terms of teaching this means we have to show how we are incorporating the following in to lessons plans:

• Be healthy
• Stay safe
• Enjoy and achieve
• Make a positive contribution
• Achieve economic well-being

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in the agenda and deal with these issues all the time in tutorials. (we did food diaries one time! I had to ..stretch the truth…ok blatantly lie on mine so I looked like a good role model!) I suppose they can be done in English as well. For example, when analyzing a persuasive writing text you could use a piece on why alcohol consumption is bad for you , or any language quizzes would come under enjoying and achieving or you could set an activity where students have to write an instructive piece on how children should cross the road.
I suppose I can see the benefit of it then. Just wish I didn’t have to change all my schemes of work
For those of you thinking of applying for teaching, or about to go for an interview, every child matters is high on the government’s agenda at the moment and so a big thing in schools, so it might be worth mentioning what you know about it on application forms.


Posted in teaching | 6 Comments »

an interesting experience

Posted by hema on March 29, 2007

we had some visitors from a special needs school today at the college. they set up a stall outside the refectory and the theme was “walk in my shoes”, and you basically had to try to do an everyday activity but from the perspective of a disabled person e.g walk around the college with with your eyes closed (with a guide.)

the students were annoying the hell out of me because they refused to participate. i know it is embarrassing doing something like that in front of everybody, but that was the whole point: to experience how some people feel every day.

so anyway, after a while we figured we should lead by example and the staff had a go. it really was an interesting experience. i had a go at writing my name with my teeth, with both hands behind my back and got laughed at ALOT as it was completely illegible. then had a go at reading a story as fast as i could.. backwards. finally had to try and pick up a cocktail stick with six pair of gloves on.

it was very frustrating, and an excellent reminder of how grateful we should be for what we often take for granted.

after much nagging some of the students had a go, but think i might try it again in tutorial when it is not so public, especially the dyslexia awareness ones. it will encourage people to be a lot more patient i think, and remind them that dyslexia has nothing to do with ability.

i picked up lots of useful resources too. i will post them as soon as i figure out how.

Posted in teaching ideas | 5 Comments »

safe driving

Posted by hema on March 28, 2007

i haven’t had an accident in five years, alhamdulilah. hhm i do not think this is due to my own safe driving actually. i have made some very stupid mistakes and i can’t park(at all, really, ask anyone. sometimes i have to get out and let me sister in law do it. hanging my head in shame at this , but i attribute it to all her years of london driving)

anyhow, the reason i am talking about safe driving is because i nearly died yesterday. in fact you’re all lucky i am able to still talk to all of you good people (oh and mishy) because my darling little sister thought she would try and steer round the corner in third gear.

i think this is why women should be banned from driving. and yes, that is supposed to provoke a reaction from you and encourage you to share your driving experiences. saudi stepford wife, where have you gone, you have a feminist streak, if your last post is anything to go by:)

drive safe

Posted in personal | 6 Comments »

the daughter of the prophet, peace be upon him.

Posted by hema on March 27, 2007

Went to a talk the other day delivered by Shaykha Aysha Scott from Malaysia. The topic was the prophet’s sallahu alayhi wassalm (saw) daughter, Sidi Fatima. I’ve been waiting ag-es for a talk on a topic of this nature, so was super excited and the talk was as good as expected. Thought I would summarise and share my notes, although they do not seem to be doing justice to the passion and enthusiasm of the speaker.

Sidi fatima was the most beloved of the prophet’s (saw) children. Her status in the eyes of Allah was manifested when she saw the angel Gibreel during the night of mirage in his true form. Other than the prophet (saw) she was the only person to be granted this privilege.

When the time for her marriage came, the prophet (saw) requested everyone interested to recite the whole qura’n in one night. No one managed this task except for Ali. He recited surah ikhlas three times and was granted Fatimah’s hand in marriage.

Sidi Fatimah lived in poverty until the day she died. She found it difficult to complete her household duties but did not complain. Once Ali took pity on her and asked the prophet (saw) for a servant. The prophet (saw) stated that reciting subhanallah 33 times, alhamdullaih33 times and allahu akbar 34times was better then the help of a servent. Until their deaths, Fatima and Ali never failed to do this.

When the time came for the prophet (saw) to return to his Lord, he called for Fatimah to come to see her. He whispered something in her ear, and she cried. He whispered something again and she laughed. After the prophet (saw) passed away sidi aysha enquired about what the prophet (saw)had said. She said the first time he (saw) called her over he had told her he will soon leave the world, so she had cried. The second time, he told her that she would be the first to join him,so she laughed.

Six months after nabi’s (saw) death, Fatima lay down on her bed and peacefully passed away. Along with sidi Aysha, she is buried next to the prophet (saw) in her house.

In the ahadith it is stated that she will be the leader of all women in paradise.

All truth is from Allah alone and any mistakes are due to my own limited capacity for understanding. If you notice any discrepancies, please give me a shout so it can be changed.

Posted in islam | 6 Comments »

It’s nearly easter!

Posted by hema on March 24, 2007

And no, I’m not excited (that much) because of all the chocolate, but because it means two weeks holidays, which are much needed. Usually I don’t like long holidays, I end up missing my students (largely because I have no one to boss around) but I have been quite cranky recently, and have been taking it out on the students which I usually hate. Oh and before anyone starts complaining about how many holidays teachers have, I have a LOT of marking to do.

Which is partly why I’ve been so cranky probably. If there is one single thing I hate about my job it’s all the useless unnecessary paperwork. Actually I don’t mind the marking as much but it’s having to do endless lesson plans and schemes of work that no one checks. One thing they don’t tell you about in the recent adverts with the pretty interested students anyway, I shouldn’t complain too much, some people do nothing but pointless paperwork all day in offices and have no interaction with other people. Imagine.

Probably shouldn’t get too excited yet. Have got a week of giddy end of term mentality to put up with yet. So does anyone have any ideas for lessons that don’t involve my dictionary challnge! Which doesn’t go down well for some reason.

Posted in personal | 5 Comments »

what i did today

Posted by hema on March 23, 2007

i did the be-est thing today, you will have to email or text me to find out what:)

Posted in personal | 7 Comments »

lemon-honey chicken

Posted by hema on March 22, 2007


chicken wings (about 8)
lemon juice (about 50ml)
honey (about 50g)
salt pepper


marinade the chicken with the lemon and honey and sprinkle with salt and pepper. leave overnight.
place chicken mixture in a baking dish and roast in a prehated oven for about 45 minutes.
serve with lemon wedges and leftover sauce.

apologies for the vaugeness regarding measurements, but i haven’t actually tried this recipe, but have tasted it:) to give credit where it is due, i tried it as umm arwah’s house, and she assures me it was very easy to make. actually, it is because of arwa that she probably isn’t reading this even. (i love arwa) anyway, let me know if you try it:)

Posted in recipes | 1 Comment »

5 weird things about me

Posted by hema on March 21, 2007

1. i can move my ears without touching them. i mean just my ears without moving the rest of my face. it’s a skill i’m quite proud of as a matter of fact.
2. i share the exact same birthday as my sister. we were born one year apart.
3. i tend to sing a lot whilst i’m moving around the house. it annoys my family a lot.
4. i learnt how to play the drums in school.
5. my students think i’m Kenyan. i thought it was funny so never bothered correcting them.

ok, so i’m very new to the blogging world, but i do know that now i’ve done this, i can “tag” other people and they have to do the same thing on their blog? so i tag ymiss and umm maymoona. the rest of you can just do it on my comments section of course:)

Posted in personal | 8 Comments »

the last time i cried

Posted by hema on March 20, 2007

“you’re not a real teacher until you’ve cried anyway”

when i first arrived at the school i used to see this innocent looking blonde boy standing outside in the corridor. i couldn’t believe he had been sent out of so many classes as he was always polite and looked sheepish when people walked past.
anyway, i ended up teaching this boy in my year 7 class and he was very quiet and always got on with his work. then one day as i was walking past his desk, i noticed that the task he was so engrossed in had less to do with learning spellings and more to do with drawing cartoons. so:
me: X, put that away and get on with your work.
X: leave me alone, everyone is always picking on me, i hate you. your work is boring anyway, i’m going to tell my dad over you.
i kept him behind at break, and he decided to mumble on (mostly about setting his dad on me for some obscure reason)so that his 15 minute detention soon turned into a 45 minute detention. he finally mananged to remain quite for 2 minutes, and then i had to let him go to get to my next class.
i walked into the class (year 9) and burst into tears. the classroom teacher quickly escorted me in to the staffroom, amid cries of “we didn’t do anything to her” from the year 9s, where i wailed lke a baby for about half an hour. that’s when my mentor told me “you’re not a real teacher until you’ve cried anyway”, which made me feel heaps better. i really do think having a good mentor can make or break your pgce year. anyway, she also told me that X can be very aggressive when it comes to his cartoons (it’s what he wants to do when he grows up) and also, as i’ve learnt since, boys have to put up a macho image in front of their friends when they are being told off in public.
i don’t know why X got to me so much, i think i just needed to cry to get it out of my system. i haven’t let a student get to me that much since (well at least i haven’t cried since!)
i think you just have to remember that in the classroom, it is not a “real” situation and the students rarely hate you, just what you represent. plus, most (but not all) of the time students only misbehave when they’re bored or the work is too difficult for them. that’s why supply teachers have such a rough time, the students feel that the member of staff doesn’t care about them and won’t be with them long term so don’t bother making the effort.
one good thing to come out of it was that the year 9s were really nice to me for the rest of my placement:)

so, when was the last time you cried…

Posted in personal, teaching | 10 Comments »