Munam Ahmed and Abideen Jallow
October 23, 2018
Q. What were you doing before coming here?
A. So this is my thirteenth year in Howard County Public Schools. Prior to here, for the last three years, I was at Glenwood Middle School, as the Special-Ed team leader there, so I worked with our new principal Mr. Motley there. Before that I worked at Cedar Lane School, then Centennial High School for 6 years with their ALS program, then Bonnie Branch Middle School for 1 year before that.
Q. What are the best and worst things about this school?
A. I am excited to be back in high school. […] For me it’s a better fit, I like the environment. So the best things, I would say, are that everybody is positive and friendly. […] I feel like it’s a very welcoming place, being a new person.
The worst things would be that high school is so early; I am not a fan of the early wake-ups. Also, being in the hallways with such big people because you guys are all tall. That’s it so far.
Q. How is this school different from others you’ve worked at?
A. I guess I would compare this most to my experience at Centennial High School because they are most similar. The hallways don’t feel as crowded as Centennial, but overall I haven’t been here long enough to say much. Things are more similar than not, but I haven’t had enough time to be able to answer that fully.
Q. How do you keep your students engaged during the day?
A. My job is different from most of the teachers that work here. I am in a non-teaching position, so I don’t have classes of my own. I oversee and lead our special ed department. I work a lot with staff, with families, and I do get to work with students, but it’s not a daily regular schedule, it’s more of problem solving. I think keeping people engaged is certainly first in establishing relationships with staff and students. You need to make sure people know who you are, feel that you care, establish trust, and getting to know things about students is important.
Q. What college did you go to?
A. I went to a total of three. I went to Towson University for my undergraduate degree […] for four years. Then I went to Johns Hopkins University for my master’s degree. I am currently a student at McDaniel College, finishing my administration and supervision certificate.
Q. How long have you been teaching for?
A. This is my thirteenth year total in the school system as a special educator and my fourth year as an instructional team leader for special ed.
Q. What would you have done if teaching didn’t work out?
A. I always knew I wanted to work with people with special needs and disabilities, but at one point I wanted to be a physical therapist instead of an educator.
It’s important to me that schools and communities serve all members.
Q. Would you be your favorite teacher?
A. I would hope so, but I could probably pick a couple other favorites.
Q. What shows do you like to binge watch and what’s your favorite song or musical genre?
A. Well I am definitely a big fan of Stranger Things, I can’t wait for the next season to come out and I am so sad that I have to wait till February. I watch a lot of silly shows on Bravo.
I listen to mostly EDM for the most part, but I listen to everything. My daughter likes reggae, she’s only one, but still likes reggae, so we listen to a lot of Bob Marley in our house too.
Q. What is your typical Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks order?
A. From Dunkin’ Donuts I like a vanilla latte, usually the egg white, turkey, and sausage bagel and hash-browns.
Q. What inspired you to become a special ed administrator?
A. It’s important to me that schools and communities serve all members, so I enjoy the opportunity to expand options for people with disabilities and allow their families to be apart of their community. I have family members and friends with disabilities and I always think there is more that we can do. It can be a very isolating place to find yourself in life for the person with disabilities and their family, so I am passionate about not making that the norm and being able to give connections and options to people in life.
Q. What are your favorite sports teams?
A. I am a Redskins fan since I am from Montgomery County. That’s pretty much what I stick to, but I do like the Orioles, I guess it seems I just like teams that lose a lot. My husband is an Eagles fan, so we battle on that, and I am guessing my daughter is going to be a Ravens fan sadly.