It’s been almost two months since I had the interviews and last month I met with the grade level team teachers at the schools that the principals had invited me to. My fears and nerves almost overcame me again as I looked at the school profiles online. There was very little, if any, diversity in teachers at the schools, and I couldn’t detect a Muslim face or name. Would these teachers like me? Would I get any “looks” or raised eyebrows when I enter the room? Astaghfirullah. I quickly put my trust back in Allah and reassured myself that if the principals were able to see beyond the hijab, the teachers will too.
Alhamdulillah, my meetings with the teachers at the four schools all went well. But there was one school that stood out, just as I hoped and prayed one would. At this particular school, after chatting with the teachers, one teacher pulled me aside in the hallway. “I like you,” she started. “I like you a lot. I want to know more about the teaching methods you were talking about.”
I followed her into her room, where we engaged in a discussion that lasted over an hour. We found ourselves finishing each other’s sentences and repeating, “I know!”, “exactly”, and “absolutely!”. The principal would pop her head in every 15 minutes or so, wink at us and flash a great, big smile. At her last “drop by” she interrupted us by saying something along the lines of, “I knew you would be a perfect fit here.” Since I know I can talk for days on end, I chose that moment to thank the teacher that I quickly grew so fond of, we said our goodbyes, and I walked out her class with the principal. On my way out with the principal, she stopped several times to introduce me to staff members. The way she was introducing and talking about me to the staff members made me feel like a celebrity!
Hoda is a wife and a mother to a stillborn daughter in heaven and a one year old son. She is an elementary school teacher in public school and lives in Virginia.