The Black Muslim Times UK had the pleasure of speaking with educator, businesswoman and blogger, Nafisa Ahmedi who provides great advice and insight about working in the education sector, which I’m sure many of our readers will benefit from.
Asalamu Alaikum sister thanks so much for speaking with us! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Nafisa Ahmedi owner of MissPhDiva & Co – an Education & Lifestyle business. Professionally, I’m a lecturer in business, law and English and I’m also a UK based Education & Lifestyle blogger from London. I was born in Westminster, London but went to school in Kent. I have a passion for teaching and all things pink and glamorous!
What were your motivations for becoming a teacher?
The funny thing is when I was at school, college and university, I didn’t really have any plans of getting into teaching. After I graduated I worked in a bank which didn’t inspire or motivate me much so I went on to do my master’s in International Law. I ran my own business for a few years before I went to Saudi Arabia for Hajj where I met a special someone which led to doing my initial teacher training in ELT. Luckily, I loved it so much that I wanted to teach my subject Law as well as EFL so I continued and did a diploma in lifelong learning (PGCE). And here I am today pursuing Doctoral research in the field of academic writing.
You also have a lifestyle and education site, missphdiva.co.uk, which I have become a regular reader of as it is filled with a great range of content and incredibly inspiring masha’Allah! What inspired you to create it?
Thank-you. Initially I started my blog to document my PhD journey and as a sort of teaching and learning hub for both students and teachers. In one of my blog’s introductory posts, I said that the direction of the blog may shift according to audience responses and demands.
Alhamdulillah, today my blog’s readership has really widened and it receives daily visitors from many different countries worldwide. I now blog about both education and lifestyle topics ranging from study skills, daily routines, planning, British life and culture and Islam.
What challenges have you faced as a teacher and a blogger?
If I’m completely honest, I’ve faced more challenges as a blogger than as a teacher. Alhamdulillah, since I stumbled into teaching, I fell in love with the profession immediately and have been very successful in my career. Blogging on the other hand is far more challenging. When I started my blog I had visions to make it into a business which required a lot of hard work and consistency in the sense that I have to constantly create original content which is not easy. I do all the blog post photography and try to make it tie in with my Instagram feed which is in itself a full time job! I also designed and manage the whole site along with my blog shop and my other websites. It takes time and a lot of motivation which can be difficult especially if you have your fingers in a lot of pies, it becomes a case of trying not to get any of them burnt!
Do you have advice for those who are looking to go into the education sector?
If you have a genuine passion for a subject/subjects and enjoy talking about it, I believe that’s the starting point to becoming an amazing teacher. It’s that simple. Teaching can be highly rewarding and lead to many other exciting things like research and becoming an expert in your field. There are many different routes into the profession so if you are interested, explore and find which is best for you as everyone is different so what may work for someone might not work for another. Understand that you’re an individual and you have your own unique style of teaching and learning. Embrace that and build on it and you’ll enjoy your teacher training and a prospective teaching career.
Is being a teacher something that you see yourself still doing in the next five years, or do you have other plans?
Absolutely- I love teaching and the joys it brings me and I can’t imagine being paid to do any other job but that! However, I love writing and have done since childhood. I’ve already written and published my first book ‘An Easy Guide To Writing Essays’ and plan to continue writing books on both teaching and learning English in sha Allah.
Where can we find you on social media?
I’m @MissPhDiva on both Twitter and Instagram, NafisaPrecious on YouTube and MissPreciousGem on Snapchat.
Many thanks to Nafisa for speaking with us!