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Great Beginnings

Tell us a bit about your background:


My name is Lana Hallal, I am a passionate, caring, and dedicated educator with 15 years’ experience in teaching Mathematics for MS and HS students including AP Calculus and IB Math SL and HL. I have also had the opportunity to teach Chemistry and Physics, in addition to French and yearbook for HS students. I have taught in Lebanon, the US, and Kuwait.


Tell us one moment from your teaching experience that was particularly powerful, interesting, or funny:

I don’t know if the moment that I am going to describe is powerful, interesting or funny, however, it reminds me of my beginnings in teaching and how much I have grown as an educator. It was my first day of teaching, in a grade 9 Math class at a French bilingual school in Lebanon. I remember feeling very nervous when I entered the class with only boys that look older than me all staring at me, I was 21 years old. To avoid talking to the students and showing them how nervous I was, I gave them a piece of paper and asked them to write their names, in this way, I thought I could waste some time hoping I would feel more relaxed. That trick did not work and I found myself five minutes later in front of staring faces waiting for any move or direction from me. With great trepidation, I started teaching, all the time trying not to make eye contact with the students. The result of my feeble effort was that the class dissolved into chaos.


What teaching and learning goal are you most excited to achieve by the end of this school year? Please explain.


I believe that no matter how diverse students are we can create the right learning opportunities that support them, despite their background or intellectual level. It is “Through the choices you make, you shape your destiny” (Canter). My goal this year is to help teachers stay positive by “constantly focusing on the strength of the kids” (Canter) and believe in their abilities to succeed. For students will follow the teacher’s lead and act and behave upon his/her expectations of what they can achieve.


Do you have any inspirational words and/or specific sites, organizations, strategies, or links that you’d like to share with other teachers?


“The more you know about who you teach, the more you know how to teach them” – Jim Knight.




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