More DW Blogs DW.COM

Education for all

Five bloggers, five countries, one dialogue

Strokes of luck


Each year, students at the Ranya Institute's festival show off what they can do

I graduated from the Music Department at the Ranya Institute of Fine Arts in June 2008. Of course, I was happy to be done and excited because I thought that I had a job lined up for right afterward. I did everything necessary and met the requirements for a position teaching in a primary school. But it turned out that we recent graduates were unlucky – and not just in my field. No one was finding jobs in Iraq.

It turned into a very long year for Iraq’s recent grads. And those who had graduated from high school without high marks and no eligibility for universities struggled too. Many felt hopeless about their future in Iraq because they thought that the government had no plan for them. A lot people left the country as a result with some moving to Europe as refugees.

My stroke of luck came through the Ranya Institute where I had studied. They let me work there as a tutor. It’s not a permanent job, and you just earn money based on how many lessons you teach in a month. That doesn’t amount to much, and you can’t earn money in the summer. But my supervisors went on to suggest that I also teach orchestra there because they knew I wanted to start one – a good experience as it turned out.

That’s when I decided it was time for me to develop more of a teacher’s personality – one that would suit me and draw my students to me, helping them to see me as someone they could confide in. Building trust between students and teachers is very important in my opinion, and I think this is the key thing to think about in dealing with students. I’ll be talking about this subject more in future entries.

Building trust between teachers and students is key

Anyway, that’s how I spent my first year after college. The next summer, there were elections, and that offered hope for unemployed people. Those of us who wanted to teach got another chance to fill out our papers and fulfill the requirements, and we got to choose the schools where we wanted to interview. Since I was ranked first in my department in college, I got to go first with choosing an interview. I had decided to choose the best school, but I felt bad about competing with my lovely friends for jobs. I think the whole system is a bit corrupt.

Ultimately, I decided to make a sacrifice for my friends. When all of us gathered to begin the interview process, the school officials asked me about which school I had chosen. But I said I wanted all of my friends to choose theirs before me. That surprised the officials for sure, and they couldn’t quite believe I was serious. But I stuck by my choice, and I’m very satisfied with it.


May 11, 2012 | 3:30 pm