Taghreed Al-Jaafreh’s love for Islam, math, and her students shines through both her actions and words. As a math teacher who has been teaching at IANT Qur’anic Academy for more than a decade, she views math as a subject that is challenging and interesting, through which one learns more about Allah’s laws and creation. In her view, “Allah created this world, and we’re discovering the rules He used to create it. Every time you learn something, you say Subhanallah.”
It’s not uncommon for students to come to her class uninterested or afraid to learn. In fact, many students find math intimidating and consequently distance themselves from the subject. Yet, by the time they leave her class, these same students become engaged and, at times, find themselves excelling in the subject they once feared.
How does she connect with these students?
“You put yourself in their shoes,” she responds. Sister Taghreed uses this technique to understand students’ struggles and perspectives. She finds that it helps to approach students as a “murabby,” which can be described as someone who is a mentor, teacher, and friend, all in one.
In addition, Sister Taghreed quells disciplinary issues by creating an environment that is conducive to student success. Her policy? “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” Her students clearly know what is expected of them, and she applies the rules consistently with love.
But on those especially tough days, Sister Taghreed has a simple trick she uses to get reenergized. She renews her intentions and reminds herself that this job is an amanah, or a trust for raising the next generation.
As a math teacher, the equation for her is simple to understand. Excellence in her teaching will result in exponential and infinite rewards in the next. As she says, “Don’t just get the job done. Get it done right.”
Interview and Photos by Ayman Taleb