A highly inspiring and motivating forum to bring together educators was held on Thursday 6 October at the Emporium Lounge in Bankstown organised by the Muslim Teachers’ Association (MTA).

The annual event attracted more than 70 passionate educators from all types of schools eager to continue to learn how to promote positive learning opportunities for their students.

The keynote address was given by an international guest speaker Ms Leila Shatara from Department of Curriculum, Culture and Educational Inquiry, Florida Atlantic University, USA.

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Ms Shatara, an adjunct professor and vice chair for ISNA education forum, focused on enjoining good and looking at our role as Muslims and educators to improve students and society.

ISNA, the Islamic Society of North America is the largest umbrella body of Muslims in the US comprising of people of diverse background.

Ms Leila Shatara, Florida Atlantic University, USA

Ms Leila Shatara, Florida Atlantic University, USA

Ms Shatara emphasised the important of teachers in creating a positive environment where dignity, respect and compassion are the norm, educators being the example for model behaviour through their own words and actions and encouraging reflection.

A Q&A panel followed with four experienced educators answering questions from the floor.

This included Ms Silma Ihram, Ms Alhame Ardati, Ms Leila Shatara and Sheikh Arshad.

The participants were broken into a number of focus groups to network and exchange ideas.

The formal session was followed by dinner and the event ended with prize give-aways.

The MTA is a not-for profit organisation that is run by teachers for teachers. It has been a pioneer in providing a platform of open communication, networking and discussion for teachers to address the needs of students through supporting teachers and schools for the last six years.

The MTA hopes to conduct further networking opportunities, develop culturally relevant resources for classroom use, conduct workshop addressing the needs of muslim students and create an avenue for communication and connection for teachers.

In order to join or find out more about the Muslim Teachers’ Association, visit their website at www.muslimteachers.com.au