EDS 133 Blog # 2: Perspectives on Prayer

Surah 1. The Opening

  1. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
  2. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
  3. Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
  4. Master of the Day of Judgment.
  5. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
  6. Show us the straight way,
  7. The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

The words above that can be seen above is derived from the first chapter of the book of Qur’an specifically from Surah 1:1-7. The opening prayer above is also the one uttered by Muslim individuals around the world for the obligatory five daily prayers.

In this blog, I will be discussing about the parallel and also the distinction of the Surah opening prayer above with that of mine as one of the Jehovah Witnesses. Similar with the Surah opening prayer, I also begin my prayer to Jehovah God by means of also uttering praise to him and specifically mentioning his magnificent qualities such as love, undeserved kindness, mercy, humility, and brilliance shown through creations in nature. The Surah prayer’s 5th and 6th line also presents the indication of offering oneself to God by means of seeking and worshipping Him. This part is also what I can say as similar to what I utter to Jehovah God and in addition to this, I also include in my prayer the request for His holy spirit to be able to guide me and also put in my heart Jehovah God thinking of what is right and what is wrong through Bible principles.

In the part of the distinction however, I have seen that the Sunah prayer are verses to be exactly uttered by Muslims compared to my prayer wherein I can openly say my feelings to my God. However, even though my prayer is freely expressed, a format is also followed based on the model prayer given by Jesus Christ and this is also similar with the Sunah prayer wherein it begins with the giving praises to God, thanking Him for everything that He has done and also asking for repentance for sins that have been committed. In conclusion to this blog, I as a Jehovah’s Witnesses have truly developed awareness and respect for fellow humans from the Islamic community. Through the Sunah prayer, I have truly been reminded to always give praises to the Most High God because this is what He truly deserves. –Revelation 4:11


Surah 1: The Opening. Retrieved from: http://www.islam101.com/quran/yusufAli/QURAN/1.htm

EDS 133 Blog # 1: Islam and the Islamic World View

  1. Reflect on the major worldviews of Islam. How are they alike or different from your personal worldview/s?

For this question, the major worldview of Islam that I would like to focus on is one of the pillars of Islam which is about the Shahadat answering to the call of the prophets, especially of Prophet Muhammed to worship God alone. Shahadat as one of the pillars of Islam also is composed of the phrases: “I bear witness there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammed is Messenger of Allah.” primarily uttered by the ones embracing Islam. The utterance of these phrases of Shahadat is an everyday must for Muslims. Utterance of the Shahadat is for the Muslims should also be done with sincerity and that the saying of these words also means their responsibility to fulfill their vows as ones embracing Islam.

I chose to reflect on this major worldview of Islam on the Shahadat because this also has a similarity with my beliefs and principles practiced as one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. As one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I am worship my God, Jehovah and just like the Muslims putting in mind the not only the utterance but also the practice of the Shahadat, I make sure in my whole life to also follow the greatest commandment from the Bible recorded in Matthew 22: 37, 38 which says: …“‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment.” Although it is not mandatory as one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to utter this commandment compared to Muslims’ practice of the pillar of Shahadat wherein the phrases should be uttered every day, the putting in mind and heart of worshipping of God alone is the similarity that I can observe between Islam and that of the religion that I have vowed to follow in my life.

  1. Go to the website: http://www.names4muslims.com. Choose a name you would like as your pseudonym or pen name for this course. You may want to explain why you decided on your particular pseudonym.

For this subject, I really enjoyed this activity of choosing a Muslim pen name because I have been able to explore the beauty of names and delve into the realization that every name presents a precious identity of a person. Based on the initials of my first names, T and N, I chose 2 Muslim names and the pseudonym that I have formulated is Thufailah Nahid.

An explanation of my pseudonym, Thufailah Nahid:

Thufailah– This name that I have chosen means “elegant with good respect for her elders”. When I have read this from the list, I felt something special from this name as this is close to my heart because of my upbringing to have deep respect for the elders. This upbringing is based from a special guide in my life, the Bible wherein one scripture states from Proverbs 16:31 about gray-headedness being a crown of beauty because it is based on righteousness. From my upbringing, I was also taught to have elegance that is not based from the outside like having ladylike poses, but from the inside by means of being humble and treating others with deep respect.

Nahid- The name Nahid means “Persian name for the planet Venus”. I have decided to put this in my pseudonym as my second name because it really interested me as my mother’s name is Venus. By means of choosing the name Nahid, I feel like I have more of a connection with my mother, the beautiful individual who has truly brought a wonderful impact in my life.


Cooke, Bradley J. (ed.), (2010) Classical Foundations of Islamic Educational Thought,

Utah: Brigham Young University Press

Irving etal (2004). The Qur’an: Basic Teachings. Leicester: The Islamic Foundation

Muslim Names. Retrieved from http://www.names4muslims.com.

Matthew 22: 37, 38. New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

Teach Awesome! # 2- Effectively Use Positive Reinforcement

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What makes positive reinforcement special and very important to be used inside the classroom? Based on many teaching experiences, positive reinforcement is related to “timely encouragement” because with this technique there is “encouragement that follows good behavior.” This kind of reinforcement is also “done in order to emphasize the positivity of the action.”

Positive reinforcement is very effective to be used by teachers because this technique is hassle-free to execute, therefore leading the pathway to good behavior and positivity of action and performance on the part of the students. Compared to other types of techniques like the use of harsh words to discipline a student, positive reinforcement can truly be an effective way to raise great students inside the classroom because not only does it makes them aware of their strengths, but it also helps improve them even more for a long standing time.

This article connected to the field of learning in the subject of behavioral theories present tips that can be useful to teachers on how the technique of positive reinforcement can be effectively used inside the classroom.

  1. Act it and say it out loud

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Positive reinforcement used inside the classroom can even be more effective when this is in the form of verbal praise through phrases like “Good job”, “Well done””, and “Nice work”. The saying out loud of the positive reinforcement can also mean how the good words directly come from the teacher. Listening to these words can even more push and drive the students towards the accomplishment of a positive action. Despite the different setting of being in distance learning, I can really feel encouragement from my online professors when I see remarks or feedback that indicate how well I have done with regards to a specific task that has been assigned. Reading these kinds of positive feedback truly reminds me of the good result of the hard work that I have done leading me to do more for my next performance.

The technique of positive reinforcement does not only come in the form of verbal praise, but this also comes in gestures such as smile, nod, thumbs up, or high-five. With the use of body language through these types of actions, the sincerity of the teacher with his/her sharing of positive reinforcement will truly be seen and genuinely felt by the students inside the classroom. With my experiences as a learner in the traditional classroom, I really am encouraged when the teacher smiles after I have recited something. Through this encouragement,  I do not only feel the drive to participate more in the next discussions, but I also feel that the teacher takes a genuine interest with me as an individual.

2. Vary its forms

To enjoy a meal experience in a buffet, not only one type of food is served as there are several other choices of courses to choose from. Same with the experience of enjoying the essence of learning, the use of positive reinforcement inside the classroom can prove to be effective when teachers also take the time and initiative to vary its forms.

Positive reinforcement is not only in the form of praise and gestures just like what has been mentioned in the first tip, but with the creativity of a teacher, he/she can think of creative ways of using tangibles. Teachers can use tangibles ranging from different choices such as stickers, new pencils, stamp, or buttons that show positive remarks just like what is seen in the figure above.

A teacher’s sincerity with his/her giving of positive reinforcement can also be shown by taking time and effort to write the student a personal letter or note of how he/she did well with his/her performance or positive action. If this is done by the teacher, the losing of the value of praise will be avoided as the note will be personally addressed for the specific student. For this technique to be effective, the teacher should also make sure that these appreciative comments immediately follow any good deed to strengthen the encouragement for the student to repeat the positive action.

3. Base it on students’ individual needs

For positive reinforcement to be effective, a teacher should also take in mind that classrooms and student groups also have their own culture to consider. The tips presented in here may be commonly applied for pre-school and elementary students (on the use of tangibles) but it is also notable to consider what can be effective on the part of high school students. Children from the age group of the level might want the kind of positive reinforcement to be heard by everybody in the class, but this might not be the case for high school students.

With another shift in age and culture, positive reinforcement used in pre-school and elementary students might not be effective on the part of high school students. Some high school students might feel that verbal praise heard by the rest of the class is a negative one.  High school students may prefer quiet positive feedback through forms like signs, gestures, or notes. With the important consideration of the culture of each class, the more effective the technique of positive reinforcement can be with regards to the blossoming of students inside the classroom.

4. Share it with the families of students

The growth of a child can also be contributed by the strengthened link of school and home. According to Laura Merrick, a school psychologist, who has been in the educational field for the past 10 years, she has seen how one of the most effective uses of positive reinforcement includes that of  the sending of a positive note or a positive phone call to the home of a student. Merrick states that the child’s behavior is not only being reinforced but the parents are reinforced as well. On the part of the parents, it really is refreshing to hear something positive about their children, therefore connecting the missing link between school and home.

5. Give it with tact

Students may receive positive reinforcement but be unsure of how to accommodate this because of their rejection of praise caused by low self-esteem and doubt whether they really deserve the praise or not.

An effective positive reinforcement can be given when blended with tact. A tactful positive reinforcement means that this is directed strategically towards the provision of information to the students about their competence or the attribution towards success to effort and ability. Examples of statements that show tactful positive reinforcement include:

  • “That was a wonderful paragraph you wrote because …”
  • “That was a kind thing to do when you helped Ms. Fisher carry those bags. I know it made her feel more welcome in our school.”
  • “Your studying really paid off. That’s a good mark on your math test. It shows you really nailed problem solving.”

To help students learn the acceptance of positive reinforcement in this regard, a teacher may also use the tactful technique of “drop praise”. “Drop praise” is done when a teacher walks by and quickly “drops” a praise in the midst of a student demonstrating a positive action. “Drop praise” will also require the teacher to walk away at once before the students are given the chance to deny or argue with the praise given to them.

By means of tactful positive reinforcement, the encouragement of the doing of positive action will be strengthened even more and will truly benefit the inside of the hearts of the students not only for their growth inside the classroom but also in the real world.


Bain, K. (2007, July). Key Element 6: Positive Reinforcement. Retrieved from: http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/inspb1/html/6_positivereinforcement.html

n.a. (2015, March 16). Positive Reinforcement in the Classroom. Retrieved from: http://educationgy.org/web/index.php/teachers/tips-for-teaching/item/1385-positive-reinforcement-in-the-classroom

Charlie, S. (2016, September 16). How to Effectively Use Positive Reinforcement in the Classroom. Retrieved from: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/positive-reinforcement-in-the-classroom.html

Merrick, L. (2016, February 5). Learning to Use Positive Reinforcement. Retrieved from: http://www.discoveringhiddenpotential.com/learning-to-use-positive-reinforcement/






IQ vs. EQ- Weighing in What’s Important


This article seeks to investigate the two terms of IQ (Intelligence quotient) and EQ (Emotional quotient) and see how both of them can contribute to the benefit of an individual.

The Definition of IQ and EQ

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Investigating the competency of IQ

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Is IQ enough to guarantee success? – This question often arises because of the system in majority of schools wherein the factors of intelligence and achievement are commonly based on the score in standardized assessment tests.

One of the advantages of people with high IQ include the ability to handle work easily than others. Nevertheless, in real world situations such as that of being in a workplace, high IQ may not be enough, as EQ is also essential with regards to team work. A criticism of having high IQ and low EQ, especially on the part of teenagers include that of deceiving parents and other adults that they already a mature person whereas the inside reality reveals that they are still emotionally fragile. With this lack of emotional stability also comes the unpreparedness for adult responsibilities.

The Carnegie Institute of Technology conducted a research study wherein it shows that “85% of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering”, personality, and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Surprisingly technical knowledge only accounts for 15%.” The skills in “human engineering” is referred to by emotional quotient represented by skills that are personally driven such as empathy, leadership, communication, and etiquette and the technical knowledge is referred to by the intelligence quotient marked by hard skills learned such as reading, writing and mathematics. The study mentioned shows that both of the factors of IQ and EQ are crucial to success but EQ tends to have the contribution of a higher percentage.

Observing the Importance of EQ

Based on the definition of emotional quotient in the first part of this article, it can be seen that an individual who is highly emotionally intelligent are more self and socially aware, organized with managing their lives, and are in relationships that are healthy. These actions are brought forth because emotional intelligence enables one to touch his/her own emotions and that of others.

As we humans are created with both the rational and emotional mind, not only IQ is important but also EQ is because this factor guides us to control our emotional mind to make the right choices and avoid the negative consequences. Intellectual maturity should therefore come with emotional maturity as it is very crucial to going through the most important decision makings in life ranging from situations such as handling relationships, conflicts, criticisms, praise, and discipline.

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Remove the “vs.” Between IQ and EQ

In my opinion, saying that IQ is more important than EQ and EQ is more important than IQ does not really help with regards to determining what is more important. To achieve success in life, both of these factors share their part of contribution and so both also have their unique significance to consider. Modern neuro-learning research such as that from Mary Helen Immordino Yang and other cognitive neuroscientists reveal that thinking and emotion WORK TOGETHER.

In conclusion, we should not debate whether IQ or EQ is more important as the truth from modern research reveals that the formula of both of these are crucial for the success of an individual. Today’s education may focus the most on IQ but the change that should probably have is to also pay attention to the important of the nurturing of the EQ of students.

EQ IQ Success


n.a. (2015, November 19). IQ vs. EQ: which is more important in career success?
Retrieved from: http://vnmanpower.com/en/iq-vs-eq-which-is-more-important-in-career-success-bl219.html#QJgF60dGTVVZA4ho.99.

Business Woman Media. (2016, January 13). Is EQ more important than IQ for your career?. Retrieved from: http://www.thebusinesswomanmedia.com/is-eq-more-important-than-iq-for-your-career/

Macpherson, E. (2013, November 15). 10 Ways to Inspire a Love of Learning in Your ClassroomRetrieved from: https://www.weareteachers.com/10-ways-to-inspire-a-love-of-learning-in-your-classroom/

Chancellor, J. (2016, October 17). EQ vs. IQ. Retrieved from: http://www.diffen.com/difference/EQ_vs_IQ

Elmore, T. (2010, April 7). EQ and IQ in StudentsRetrieved from: https://growingleaders.com/blog/eq-and-iq-in-students/


Quintessential Management Solutions. (2015, June 24). EQ IQ Success [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://qmsboston.com/personal-development/developing-emotional-intelligence/


Teach Awesome! # 1- Nurturing the Love for Learning


It may be no surprise to you if you have already encountered a child who is asking many questions. Children can be a fountain of questions and ask things from matters about why the sky is blue, what stars are made of, why birds sing and many others. The word “why” in their questions also implies the overflowing curiosity they do have with regards to how eager they are to learn and dig for the answers they are looking for.

Another chapter of transitioning into a different learning setting of being in a school can however drastically affect a child with regards to the eager attitude in learning. With the standards of assessment in school that causes intense pressure, stress, and anxiety, it really is sad to observe how some of the students’ attitude towards learning becomes bland therefore leading to just being treated as a part of a routine compared to their early attitude towards learning which is marked by eagerness. As an elementary student, I really love to learn and I will even reach the lengths of borrowing almost every book in the library as these contain the materials where I can be able to learn more about the world around me. As I transitioned to my tertiary level in education however, it has really saddened me as to how I lost time to read more books in my school library as academic load increased because of additional responsibilities not only in accomplishing challenging tasks inside the classroom but also with regards to reaching the desired grades to maintain being in the honor roll and complying to responsibilities of positions in my school’s organization.

As I have transitioned to my college journey, it has been another tough challenge for myself to bring back the fire and real passion in learning. Just like in eating, I try to make the goal to not just gobble up the meal in front of me, but chew it carefully for me to enjoy every piece of what I am eating. In this college journey of mine, I have realized how getting the essence of learning is really important to prove how the information acquired from the topics can be beneficial throughout my life. As a full-time student with things to balance like being a volunteer of being a Bible teacher however, trying to enjoy the essence of learning is never been easy. Sometimes, I feel bad that I can’t keep in pace with readings and papers because of the juggling full load courses and outside responsibilities.  Nevertheless, I know that despite being the turtle in this academic race, I can say that I ENJOY LEARNING.

The effect of the declined attitude of a child towards learning which is influenced by stress and anxiety in school can also be brought upon inside the classroom, therefore affecting both of the crucial processes of teaching and learning. With careful thought in mind however, a teacher can bring forth solutions before matters gets worse. Some of the essential tips that a teacher can follow with regards to nurturing the love for learning include:

  1. Always instill love

An effective teacher takes in mind that students are diverse in their abilities and skills. With this point, the book Thinking and Learning Skills also connects that children are threatened by failure that can spring from schools’ pressure with regards to assessment and the point of view of the society wherein one’s personal value is marked by competitive achievement inside and outside the classroom. Teaching with love therefore means that labeling of students of negative remarks such as “dumb” or “stupid” are avoided and that the feelings of students should always be considered.

Image result for site:jw.org teach with loveJesus’ love for children drove him to take time to teach them. -Mark 10:13

The magazine India Today also reports that anxiety from academic pressure can lead to teenage suicides. The instilling of love of teachers for the sharing of knowledge inside the classroom can indeed be a very significant factor not only for the students, but also for the more positive flow and interaction of the processes of teaching and learning. As a future teacher, I would like to imitate the Greatest Teacher who lived on Earth, Jesus Christ, because I want that my drive to teach others is not for the salary, but for the love and want to help others learn more.

Another great principle to follow is the one mentioned in the ancient book of wisdom, the Bible, wherein 1 Corinthians 13:4 says: “Love is patient”. Yes, one key to awesome teaching is to love by means of having patience and tact for the students wherein their natural desire to learn is supported and their own pace at succeeding in learning is being guided.

2. Communicate with students effectively

The book Inside the Brain reveals that some of the ways that can help students have the love for learning include praising of their accomplishments, responding to their questions, providing of guidance rather than command, and using of different words in a variety of combinations. These ways show that different methods make up the effective communication of teachers with students.

Image result for enthusiastic teacherEnthusiasm about the opening of learning to all children is shown by preschool teacher, Lori Haggerty. 

One of the most crucial qualities that a teacher should show in order to nurture the love for learning for his/ her students is ENTHUSIASM. The picture above shows Ms. Lori Haggerty enthusiastically teaching her preschool students. This beautiful quality of hers led to her to be a recipient of the 2014 Inclusive Education Practices Award and those who nominated her stated that Ms. Haggerty makes sure each student feels part of the classroom community and alongside her enthusiastic attitude are her “huge smiles, warm greetings, compassionate care.” The formula for the effective teaching with enthusiasm therefore starts with the teacher showing that he/she cares about the knowledge he/she is sharing to others. In the end, this attitude will glow through the teacher and will lead to the bright beam of the whole class.

3. Teach in various methods

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Going back to a point from the previous paragraphs, another emphasis is that children have diverse attitudes, skills, and talents. With this in mind, an awesome teacher will also incorporate various methods of teaching ranging not only from spoken/ verbal, but also transitioning to the power of visuals to help students have a grasp on concepts that are difficult to imagine in the mind (an example includes math concepts that are abstract). The figure above shows 3 various methods that can be considered by the teacher to help students nurture the love for learning:

  1. Use of technology such as projectors to flash informative video presentations or films
  2. Use of charts or diagrams
  3. The creative use of tangible objects to help learner understand abstract concepts such as those discussed in Math classes

For this part, it indeed is beneficial to consider what Dr. Mel Levine stated in his book, A Mind At A Time: “ “To treat all children the same way is to treat them unequally. Different kids have different learning needs; they have a right to have their needs met.”

4. Show students that you love learning as well

Children are great imitators. With this, teachers in the classrooms should be the first individuals to show their own example of nurturing of the love for learning. Showing a good example of this aspect can also be seen in direct or indirect ways. Direct ways can include a teacher’s share of personal narratives to the class about his/her favorite topics to research and learn about. For the benefit of the class, a teacher can also discuss his/her own ways about the types of  studying or researching that have proven to be effective to him/her. Indirect ways can also include a teacher spending her free time on reading, writing, or learning new things. These positive examples of a teacher can indeed contribute to the fueling of the students for their love of learning.

5. Relate academic lessons with life situations

Based on my observation as a learner, my classmates during my elementary and high school days dislike some of our subjects because of the issue that these are not practical to be applied in the real world. An effective teacher can therefore meditate on his/her topics in the subjects to be discussed and with this, he/she can develop some notes on how these can be applied in real world situations. One thing to be taken note as well is that real world situations referred to in this part do not only refer to routines of the everyday life, but also to the essential part of us as humans about the wise making of crucial decisions that can affect us.


Watchtower Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. (2004).How to Nurture a Love for Learning. Awake!. Retrieved from https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102004562?q=learning&p=par#h=26

Watchtower Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. (2003). Learn From the Great Teacher [E-reader Version]. Retrieved from https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102003021

Watchtower Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. (2005). What Does the Bible Really Teach [E-reader Version]. Retrieved from https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102005131?q=learning&p=par#h=6

n.a. (2015, February 27). Preschool Teacher Receives Award For Inclusive Education Practices. Retrieved from: http://www.isd191.org/isd191/news/201502/preschool-teacher-receives-award-inclusive-education-practices#.WWiAV4jyvIU

Macpherson, E. (2013, November 15). 10 Ways to Inspire a Love of Learning in Your ClassroomRetrieved from: https://www.weareteachers.com/10-ways-to-inspire-a-love-of-learning-in-your-classroom/


Philstar Global. (2015, June 15). Philstar.com file photo [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2015/06/15/1466151/challenges-basic-education-dealing-k-12

Watchtower Online Library. (n.d.). Jesus surrounded by children [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102003021

One 91. (2015, February 27). Lori inclusion award 2015 web [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.isd191.org/isd191/news/201502/preschool-teacher-receives-award-inclusive-education-practices#.WWiAV4jyvIU