Mohammed Abdalah

I am inspired by travel, and the immense amount of learning that happens when authentically and respectfully immersing myself in another place and culture. I am a bilingual, mixed-race son of immigrant parents, and I bring those aspects of myself to my practice often. Derivative of that, I believe one of my strengths is connecting with people no matter their background. This is the mindset I bring to my work; I seek connection and understanding before anything. I love working with the little ones because I find their lack of preconceived notions refreshing, and it contributes to my successes in connecting with children in this age range. 

When I started grad school, I was immediately inspired by the words of Malaguzzi, and his perspective of teaching as less of an imparting of knowledge, and more of a walk in a vast forest, guiding children through mutually unknown territory. In that way, I guess I see myself as a park ranger/frontier person of life; my only advantage over kids is my years of experience. Knowing the world will be their own someday, my job is to ensure emotional and physical safety (with some tips and tricks), while also experiencing with them the wonder and mysteries of the world/universe (things I don’t claim omniscience over). I also would mix in a bit of Yoda (Star Wars). Not because I believe I am the wisest being in the universe (far from it), but because I also think about the big picture and seek connections between people, all living things, and the physical and non-physical aspects of the universe. So I guess I would be a field guide that helps children steer their own ship, journeying through themselves and the world around them- with a bit of humor of course.