Mind Maps



In the course of the professional development program of the school this year 2013-2014, I conducted a workshop on “Mind Maps” for the school teachers. The main objectives of the workshop were:

  • to identify and clarify the concept of mind maps, how and when to use them
  • to identify the advantages of using mind maps im teaching
  • to display “mind maps” designed by the school teachers
  • to design “mind maps” for different school subjects


When I first thought of how to present this to teachers, I came across a very nice video on “Teaching in the 21st Century” which I decided to use as content to discuss in the form of mind maps. I designed a worksheet in the form of a “mind map” with gaps to fill. The trainees were to watch the video and complete the missing information in the mind map. The exercise was very useful as it helped the trainees (the school teachers) to acquire information about teaching in the 21st Century and how mind maps can be useful in getting all trainees involved in a learning activity.



The workshop was successful as all objectives were achieved and teachers were capable of producing mind maps of their own and that could be used later in their teaching.


You can download the presentation used here.

Professional Development in our School


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School’s vision for professional development

Professional development in our school (Ahmed Bin Hanbal Independent Secondary School for Boys) is an essential process that aims at developing teachers’ performance. This is always reflected in the performance of students and raising the level of learning outcomes. Professional development fosters teaching that depends on the use of the latest tools and teaching methods, the activation of technology in education and student-centered teaching.  The school’s vision, in this respect, is summed up in the preparation of highly qualified (academically and professionally) teachers who are armed with modern technology to serve the educational process and to contribute to the preparation of good citizens who meet the requirements of society in the light of Islamic education.

Target group of professional development at school

Professional development in our school makes sure all staff are involved including school senior management team, middle managers (subject coordinators), teachers, administrators, social workers, receptionist, secretary and workers. The main aim behind this is to familiarize them with how to deal well with students.

How to take advantage of school professional development

School benefits from professional development in many ways. The most important of these is upgrading teachers to provide them with the latest methods of teaching and evaluation and the use of technology in education. And that will certainly be reflected on upgrading the performance of students and increasing their educational attainment and thus improving school outcomes.

Types of professional development for school workers

Multiple types of professional development take place in our school where there is a professional development plan prepared by the school and approved by the SEC (Supreme Education Council). It includes internal professional development  (inside the school) programs as well as professional development programs provided by the SEC, such as those programs of curriculum standards, professional standards and preparing professional portfolios of leaders and teachers, along with other external programs in collaboration with various training centers.

The work of the school professional development committee:

There is special school committee for professional development and it has weekly meetings as it is responsible for the preparation of a school professional development plan. The committee also follows-up the implementation of the plan. Every Tuesday is dedicated to workshops for staff. Workshops are assessed on the same day by the committee. Committee documents of all professional development activities are kept in special files for future reference.

National Professional Standards for Teachers and Leaders – Module 4

I must apologize for not writing for some time as I was busy preparing for Qatar National Day Celebrations on the 18th of December. I just wanted to complete writing about the series of modules on the National Professional Standards for Teachers and Leaders.

Tuesday 6th December was the last day (Day 4) of the training course on the National Professional Standards for Teachers and Leaders. It all started with an interesting game called “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” to check what we have learned about the National Professional Standards for Teachers and Leaders. Ian Smith, the trainer, has created a very helpful tool to guide teachers and leaders, correlating between the National Professional Standards statements and the Evidence Guide for the Entry Level (Teachers). The trainees checked the tool and suggestions were made for modifications. There has been a request to have the same tool made for the other levels for teachers and for leaders as well.

It was a good chance to brainstorm “Coaching”;  focusing on the following questions:

What is coaching?

Why do we use it?

Who coaches and who is coached?

How is it done?

When is it done?

There was also a discussion on “How coaching works” with a focus on the role of the coach and that of the coachee.

The last session focused on preparing a general action plan for presenting the National Professional Standards at school. Most of the candidates were interested and took it seriously as it is their responsibility to make NPSTSL clearly understood at school and to help teachers and school leaders to develop their professional portfolios.

I have to say that the course, in general, was very beneficial and has added a lot to our knowledge and skills about the National Professional Standards for Teachers and Leaders.

To download useful material related to this topic, visit the following link:




Professional Development for the New Academic Year 2011/2012

It has been long since I last wrote as I was on holiday and all professional development sessions stopped for a while. Now since we are back at school, and our PD sessions have already started, I will do my best to provide a brief summary about each session and give some feedback about it. I will also make it possible for anyone to download a copy of the presentations used.

On Wednesday 7th September, 2011 Mr. Jameel Al-Shammari, the Principal of Ahmed Bin Hanbal Independent Secondary school for Boys, presented the vision and mission of the school and discussed with all employees how to deploy the vision and mission of the school in the community. This was of course useful as it introduced the new teachers to the vision and mission of the school.

On Tuesday 13th September 2011 Mr. Reda Saad Elmahdy, the Academic Vice Principal of the school discussed the school’s policy in the evaluation of student’s performance and how to apply it. The participation of the colleagues was effective and it helped in giving a good image to the new teachers about the nature of work at the school in the light of the vision, mission and philosophy of the school.

On Tuesday 20th September 2011 the Academic Vice Principal also handled the topic entitled: “Practical Applications on Cooperative Learning”. The workshop included a number of activities designed mainly for cooperative learning and the trainees were active participants and discussed the meaning of cooperative learning, the basic requirements for cooperative learning, reasons for using cooperative learning and finally the advantages of using cooperative learning in the classroom. The workshop also tackled strategies like: Brainstorming – Think, Pair and Share and Group discussions. The workshop has been divided into two separate sessions. Session 2 of the workshop will focus on the practical side of designing cooperative learning activities.

The workshop of Tuesday 27th September 2011 (Session 2 of the “Practical Applications on Cooperative Learning workshop) was successful and effective as it focused on the conditions necessary for applying cooperative learning, problems that might face teachers during cooperative learning as well as teacher’s role. To consolidate the concept of cooperative learning, this was followed up with a task getting trainees to design cooperative learning activities for a starter or a plenary. Trainees came up with interesting and creative ideas.

If you are interested, you can download a copy of each of the above mentioned topics presentations here.