For Muna Salah, becoming a teacher, standing in front of a classroom, and teaching students were all lofty ambitions if her performance as a student was anything to go by. Not the best student herself, Muna Salah has gone through profound stages of self-realization and has found a path in her current profession to help her fulfill her dreams. Muna Salah is a passionate kindergarten teacher, putting in work to excel in her chosen career.
As a Palestinian-American born and raised in Bronx, New York, it took Muna her entire childhood to adapt to learning. Her grades were poor, and it made everyone tag her a bad kid. It took her teachers putting in extra efforts and looking out for her before she found a connection and began to enjoy her studies.
Over time, she got her grades straight, and now as a fully grown adult capable of making career choices, Muna Salah has chosen the teaching profession without minding all the discouraging remarks she has gotten from different people. Since she started teaching, Muna has displayed a sense of strong passion beyond the classroom.
She explains, “My passion is special because it is felt outside the classroom as well. My students and the other students who will never be in my class become a part of me and my purpose. Seeing them succeed and win is the greatest feeling. Although I work with kindergarteners, I’ve gained a HUGE connection and relationship with many students across grades K through 5th. To inspire my students to learn, I believe they need to love to come to school, so I’ve turned a lot of what we do into things they can connect to.”
Muna creates content for students to help them perform better academically and also build their character. Her goal is to help students and young people grow and make the best of their natural potentials. She believes she’s in her lane and is in no competition with anyone. “I believe in myself so much that I want my competition to see me and feel inspired. My current path is one that I never thought was possible, and rather than create competition in my head, I’d rather work with others to make the world a better place,” Muna says.
Muna’s teaching approach uses fun ways such as rapping Dr Seuss’s books, and she makes videos of them to post on YouTube. She also recorded the remix of Nas’s hit song, “I Can,” changed the words, and even shot a video for it. The video is available on YouTube and Muna’s goal is to inspire her students with the song. “I want them to choose themselves and dreams every time no matter what life throws at them,” she says. Using music as a teaching tool has helped her connect better with her students and also help them think better on their own. Muna’s five-year goal is to play her part in building organizations that bring children together and help them grow and learn. She hopes to play a major role in her community by creating the best foundation for children.
Making a difference in the world is Muna’s biggest goal, and she wants everyone to have a similar mindset. She strongly believes that anyone who wants to change things has to create new things they never thought they could.