With World Teacher’s Day approaching next month on October 5th, we wanted to profile some amazing teachers from around the world: Tarik Manfaa fits that criteria!
Tarik Manfaa has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, but most notably, he’s gone above and beyond to educate himself as well as his students.
He has worked with the school district of Philadelphia, served as a member of the World Language Department and has coached junior boys soccer.
Manfaa has also coached chess and track and field, making it to the state championships.
He’s a department chair French teacher and is also proficient in Spanish, Latin and Arabic.
He has taught Spanish and English in the past too.
That’s why we chose to interview Manfaa today for our special segment on teachers.
In today’s interview, we ask Tarik Manfaa his top five tips for teachers.
“The first rule is respect,” says Manfaa.
Manfaa says it’s important to respect students because despite their age, they have a lot to offer the world.
Many teachers treat students as if they’re inexperienced and don’t understand the world around them, but that’s not totally true.
Manfaa says although they’re learning and somewhat inexperienced compared to adults, they all possess individual traits and talents that should be nurtured by teachers.
“I learn a lot from my students,” says Manfaa.
“Treat your students as you would treat yourself.”
Manfaa says the second rule is to know your audience.
Manfaa says it’s important to understand that teaching is still a business and you need to customize your education plan to your students particular needs.
“Just like a client is king, your student is king,” says Manfaa.
Manfaa says the more a teacher knows about his or her students, the better they can teach.
He says knowing your students also makes it easier to gear your education plan towards individuals.
“Some students are visual learners and you should know that,” says Manfaa.
Manfaa says the third rule is: ground your lessons in real life.
“You want students to want to learn the subject because they know learning the subject will allow them to better their lives,” says Manfaa.
He says languages are a great example because students can use languages to communicate and make new friends.
Learning new languages also opens doors to business opportunities in the future.
“I’ve told my students that learning a foreign language or having some survival conversational skills in world language can help them with a job application. Anything from a McDonald’s application to a medical application,” says Manfaa.
“It puts you ahead of the others.”
Manfaa’s fourth rule is: communication.
“As a teacher, you need to make the expectations clear for your students so they can follow them and know what your lessons will be like. It’s also important to make sure your expectations are clear the parents or guardians.”
These skills are important to ensure the success for the student.
Manfaa’s last tip is: positive reinforcement.
“I try my best to use positive reinforcement to help students feel a sense of pride and continue striving for success,” says Manfaa.
“I don’t find punishments work.”
“A child should learn because they want to learn, not because they are scared,” says Manfaa.
A bonus tip Manfaa has is organization.
Manfaa says it’s important to practice what you teach and to be punctual on time.
“Students are like sponges. They see everything and you’re a role model for them.”
Manfaa continues to teach students and hopes his tips help teachers make a difference in the lives of their students.
“Students will see right through you.”
“Are you there to make a paycheck or are you there to make a difference in their lives?”