Interviews

Saeeda Salim is the Director and Principal – School of International Studies in Sciences & Arts (SISA)

Saeeda Salim is the Director and Principal - School of International Studies in Sciences & Arts (SISA)
Saeeda Salim is the Director and Principal - School of International Studies in Sciences & Arts (SISA)
  1. Tell us about yourself and your qualification?

Ans. My schooling was at Presentation Convent School Rawalpindi and I got my undergraduate degree in Science from Government College and then I pursued my professional degree of Pharmacy from the Punjab University. Attended various courses in Supervisory and Educational Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and Deakin University Australia and achieved my Master’s degree in Educational Administration.

2. When did you decide to become a teacher and why did you choose this field?

Ans. Teaching comes naturally to me, as I have younger siblings. Whilst living in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA for 15 years I loved teaching my two kids at home and also worked as a substitute teacher occasionally in their school along with helping out my husband at his pharmacy. Finally, we decided to return to Pakistan and here I made up my mind to go into teaching. I joined a local school in 1991 as a science teacher and worked my way up to be the principal and then eventually went into partnership to build their secondary school. In 2006, I was determined to establish my own school named SISA. By the grace of Allah Almighty, I have been able to deliver meaningful education with my strong team of passionate and dedicated teachers for 12 years at SISA now.

3. What is your favourite subject to teach? Why?

Ans. I don’t know for some reason Chemistry became my favourite subject to teach. This subject I was never very fond of in school, but as I taught my students they responded so well that I loved teaching it. I get so involved when I am taking a class that I lose track of time which students sometimes do not appreciate. Apart from Chemistry, I teach other subjects like Biology, Environmental Management, English and Food, and Nutrition.

4. What do you like most about teaching as a career?

Ans. Well, there are a lot of reasons but I feel most proud when my old students, successful in their professional and personal life, come back to me and say,” Ms. It’s all because of your guidance, grooming, and teaching that we are at this position”.

5. Please tell our readers about SISA.

Ans. SISA is the culmination of my dream and hard work to provide quality education and co-curricula’s to young minds. In order to make Pakistan a better place, we at SISA take our responsibility towards the youth very seriously. The younger ones have a fun-filled childhood of learning, while the older students are groomed to be sensible, hard-working, well-rounded, progressive citizens who aim high and achieve what they have set out to.

6. Why should parents choose SISA for their children?

Ans. Parents should choose SISA because the school environment is safe and secure. Teachers are experienced and willing to go the extra mile to help out students with their academics and co-curricular activities. Our curriculum is effective which enhances knowledge of the students.  Actions speak louder than words are our motto and we are true to its letter. Every child matters here and we try to bring out the best in each student by unlocking their creativity and resourcefulness.

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7. How do you help students experience success?

Ans. We strive to provide young boys’ & girls’ knowledge and skills to reach their academic and social potential by providing a stimulating and supportive program for self- education. They turn into well-groomed individuals ready to face the challenges of adulthood. Our students are strong in academics as well as in co-curricular activities which turns them into highly successful and well-rounded individuals.

8. What is your approach to classroom management?

Ans. Classroom management and behavior management are two different things which are taken as one generally. Classroom management is often an area of concern. It is basically the instructional environment which relates to the climate for learning (routine tasks and procedures) whereas behavior management is when a student fails to meet the expectations and disrupts the classroom environment he/she must be prepared to face the consequences which the teacher must consistently enforce. I train my teachers to deal with these two tiers separately by demonstrating in the classrooms and it works.

9. Describe your professional development career.

Ans. I keep myself continually “switched on” and “tuned in”, to issues and developments affecting my profession. Teaching and managing one school for 15 years taught me the skills that were further polished at SISA. I feel that a person keeps on developing and learning the ropes until the end. I believe in Continuing Education, doing research on professional development and involving myself in online courses.

10. What could a visitor to your school expect to see?

Ans. Clean and disciplined environment – children can be observed during recess or after school with teachers on duty. Morning Assembly time conducted by the Headboy or Headgirl and the student council of the school.

Children playing in their physical education period with the sports teacher or swimming with the coach in the pool. Smooth transitions between classes in middle and high school. Extracurricular classes going on after school for students interested in chess, debating, swimming, table tennis and football.

11. Any message to the readers of the informal magazine?

Ans. My message to educationists and readers would be to help students to succeed in life through quality education which is a prerequisite to establish the future we want in Pakistan. We need to nurture leaders for the future – a generation of internationally minded and technologically aware global citizens who retain Islamic values. We can transform our society by producing informed citizens who have skills of enquiry, communication, participation, and responsible action.

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