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It’s Not Magic, It’s Creativity—And It’s Transforming Classrooms

The kid constantly drumming his fingers and tapping his pen is a future musician; the one always doodling will be an engineer, and her chatterbox friend, the CEO of a media conglomerate—if only their teacher can get their attention.

Of course, teachers know that discipline issues vanish when students are interested. So to support their quest for creative solutions, Al-Qasimi Foundation offers a wide range of courses taught for and by teachers—free to any educator in Ras Al-Khaimah, regardless of nationality.

Teachers themselves know the challenges that they face and [collectively] have the skills and expertise to address these challenges,” says the project’s implementing partner. “They may not have a lot of control over what they teach, but they do have control over how they teach it, so we try to help them come up with new and exciting ways to present material that will engage their students more.”

Covering everything from new classroom technologies to mind-brain research on multiple intelligences, the courses help teachers set up classroom blogs, develop podcasts and use collaborative platforms like Google docs. They also include a toolkit of micro-ideas tailored to all types of situations.

Muhammad Khader, a teacher who’s attended nearly all the courses, says they’ve “greatly benefited” his interactions with students. Besides creating a students’ blog, the theories of multiple intelligences inspired him “to use images and movies to increase their learning.”

For more info – boneducation.com/rak.html

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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