Teacher Spotlight — Alaa Jadir Yunis, Teacher of Identity and Culture at Sindiana – The Arab Youth Village for Leadership

This is one of a series of profiles of THE EXTRAORDINARY teachers and administrators at Society for Advancement of Education High Schools in Israel, prepared by limor Ben Nathan in Jerusalem.

Alaa Jadir Yunis, Social Education Coordinator, Educational Counselor and Teacher of Identity and Culture at SAE’s pioneering Sindiana – The Youth Village for Young Arab Leadership, whose favorite thing is to develop the imagination, emotion and personal identity of her students.

Alaa Jadir Yunis, Social Education Coordinator, Educational Counselor and Teacher of Identity and Culture at Sindiana – The Arab Youth Village for Leadership.

Why did you choose to engage in education and teaching?

At first, I thought of being a psychologist. On the day my son was born, I wanted him to get the best education in the world, so I decided to give the best education possible not only to him, but to all the children in society.

Why did you choose to teach this profession?

I became very attached to the issue of culture and identity. When I wrote the syllabus, my ultimate goal was to make students understand their identity and its various components by developing personal qualities, strengthening positive qualities, learning about the self and the decision-making process, developing meta-thinking and deepening knowledge about different cultures in the world and Arab culture in particular.

What do you like most about the profession?

The most fun thing is developing the imagination. The whole thing of how to feel and convey that emotion. I also add the respect of the students within the class and their understanding that it is possible to speak without fear that I may make a mistake in the answer, because there is always room for trial and error, and they understand that they have a responsibility to express their opinion always as it is part of their personal identity.

Tell us one fact that students do not know about you?

I really like to paint.

On the day my son was born, I wanted him to receive the best education in the world, so I decided – to give the best education possible not only to him, but to all the children. 

What are your hobbies?

I do a lot of meditation and mindfulness exercises. I like to immerse myself and be in my imagination.

If not a teacher and an educational consultant what do you think you would do?

Maybe I would have stayed home and not done much. I believe there is a huge role for a woman in the home, although not sure I would have succeeded in that!

What would you like to do when you grow up?

There is a lot to do and lots of planning in mind. First of all, I am very excited about the thought of opening a private clinic of cognitive-behavioral therapy. I also plan to be active when it comes to social entrepreneurship in order to develop caring and solidarity within society.

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