Active learning takes place when we are ready to receive knowledge with open eyes, active mind and an enthusiastic heart.
Q: Please tell our readers about yourself.
I’m Assistant Professor in FGEIs, Ministry of Defence, serving as Head of English Department in FG College, Lahore. I’ve taught English in Government College University, Punjab University, Education University and University of Lahore. I’m the first CSS mentor who has her own website for English coaching. I’ve one of the largest Facebook student bases. My YouTube channel is one of the foremost CSS related channels that were launched in Pakistan. My student base is in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Middle East and other countries.
Q: Why did you choose this profession?
Well, as a kid, teaching was off the chart, but as I grew up, I realized the significance of teachers as torchbearers in my life. Being taught by the most competent and well-versed teachers in GCU motivated me to join the profession.
Q: How do you motivate your students?
I usually start my lectures with anecdotes selected from the lives of renowned personalities. Motivation comes when students realise that the most widely known philosophers, scholars and scientists were once students like them, struggling with boring concepts and tedious homework, yearning to fulfill their own ambitions and their parents’ dreams. When a student relates with another person, the desire to study and the hope to succeed come naturally.
Q: How do you like to communicate and build relationship with your students?
I make my students realise that all I want from them is hard work. When I am doing my part, I expect them to do theirs; and as long as they finish the work assigned, I am content with their performance. I’ve discovered that in the absence of undue expectations and emotional burden a student does his/her best.
Q: Tell our readers about a time when you faced difficulty in life.
Well, it was in 2016 when I resigned from GCU and joined UoL. At the same time, I was teaching at Law College and Institute of Communication Studies in PU, and was also coaching CSS students in the evening. Commuting between two universities and an academy was so time taking and hectic that every day I decided to quit. Anyway, it was Allah who gave me strength, and I was able to meet my commitments. Interestingly, the tiring cycle ended when I stood first in FPSC exam in 2018 and was sent to Multan as Head of English Department where I served for three years. Now, I’m posted in Lahore and have my own academy with a student base that is spread all across Pakistan.
Let me tell you that difficulties do not come to mar us; they help us get shaped into who we are. As students of life, our job is meeting day to day commitments with dignity, honesty and dedication, and the mundane will, one day, pile up into the most extraordinary achievements.
Q: You have a very active social media. How do you manage?
When I started off as a teacher, I became active on social media as I wanted to interact with my students. Because I lacked training, I learnt SEO, Digital Marketing, WordPress, etc., to understand how different platforms worked. Gradually, I developed a knack for it and expanded my business. Now, my team looks after the daily posts while I develop exclusive content for the weekly videos.
Q: Writing essay, why is it challenging for students. What do you recommend them to do?
Well, that depends on the exam that one is preparing for. In IELTS, essay writing is relatively easier and more basic. The essay question becomes difficult in CSS and other government job exams due to competition. Overall, a 100 mark essay is usually easier for the ones who come from Cambridge system because of creative writing courses they’ve taken. Despite having vast knowledge on different topics, students preparing for Board exams often struggle with English proficiency. However, language is just one facet of essay writing; there are many others. It is consistent work in the right direction that unlocks the key to success in essay writing paper.
Q: What is active learning?
Sometimes we open a book only to send our mind on a snooze. Sometimes we open a book, and we are wide awake. Active learning takes place when we are ready to receive knowledge with open eyes, active mind and enthusiastic heart. If we cannot enjoy a book now, it does not mean that we would never enjoy it. We develop taste with time, and we must keep returning to the subjects that we find difficult. In this way, we will one day receive the treasure of knowledge that they hold for us.
Q: What is your favourite subject?
Chemistry! I love the fact that humans have not only discovered the elements that are spread all across the universe but also devised ways to arrange them in a predictable periodic table. I adore the chemistry of elements with and against one another.
Q: Was it easy for you to reach the position that you have today?
The position that I enjoy today is the outcome of the labour that I might never be able to express in words. But, if given a chance, I’d make the same choices again for the respect that I’m bestowed with today.
Q: Share with us a moment that you are very proud of.
There are many such moments, but if you ask as a teacher, I take immense pride when the hard work of my students has rewarded. You have no idea how disadvantaged and deplorable the circumstances are for students, yet the spark to prevail upon the circumstances makes them achieve what many can’t even dream of.
Q: Any message for our readers?
The secret lies in growth. Keep growing; keep learning. You’re in a world that has been advancing day and night. Learn as much as you can, and consult as many resources as you can. Never stop believing in yourself. Stay focused, channelize your energies in one direction, and remember there is nothing that can defeat you.