My second day at the Regina Huda School was another great day. I was able to meet the school Principal and while our conversation was short, she seemed to be a very caring and involved Principal, I look forward to our further conversations. Our school has a very unique dynamic as I mentioned in my previous post, with it being the only private Islamic school in the city it has somewhat of a different make up as to a typical public school. The school is very connected to the Islamic community as the majority of the front office staff are members of that community and seem very connected to the schools on goings. They offer the facility (gymnasium and multi-purpose room) to members of the community to use for events. Friday prayer is also open to the entire community and they also invite students from other schools who would like to come to prayer.
The links between the school and this community have been establish by the front office staff as well as the Principal. The Principal is obviously very inclined to expanding the students experiences outside of the just the school. While she is aware of the requirements she must attain to, she appears to be trying to give these children a social experience along the way with intramurals and also sports teams that play again Public Schools in Regina for Volleyball and Basketball.
Their commitment to the Islamic community is also very apparent in the construction of the beautiful building in which they now reside. All of the trades that are used to complete this construction are members of the Islamic community, and while that is a great concept as it gets people involved, it can also affect timelines, as your pool of qualified trades is greatly reduced. This is apparent the most at recess as the parking lot and landscaping are not yet completed, resulting in the teachers having to guide the students around the school away from construction areas and to the playground area. This construction compiled with the rapid increase in students resulted in classes to be held in construction trailers for up to 6 years! I spoke with a few teachers about this experience and the comments were quite interesting. Imagine coming out of University and your first classroom is a construction trailer, due to space requirements desks are set in rows only 3 deep and 8 wide. You have approximately 4 to 5 feet of space in front of the desks to conduct your lessons. Talk about working with a unique set of circumstances. While the conditions were challenging at times the teachers I spoke to all have the same answer as to what the biggest perk was…temperature control.