Staff Spotlight – Fatima Taha

Meet Ms. Fatima Taha | Special Education Teacher | KIPP DC Legacy College Prep

We want to recognize Ms. Fatima Taha as KIPP DC’s February Staff Spotlight! She is a special education teacher at KIPP DC Legacy College Prep and joined KIPP DC in 2019 as an instructional assistant. Ms. Taha, a Sudanese native, has quite a diverse background. She was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, but grew up in Saudi Arabia before returning to Indiana. She received her degree from Purdue University, studying elementary education and global studies.

What led to your interest in pursuing a career in education? 

“I originally wanted to be a pediatrician and go into the medical field. My grandmother always called me a teacher in our native Arabic language. In many countries, a teacher holds a massive weight of respect. As a middle and high school kid, I found a passion for tutoring my peers. I give her credit for planting the seed of my purpose.”

What have you enjoyed the most about working in your position at KIPP DC? 

“Honestly, it’s the true connection with my students. I enjoy the introduction stage and building a relationship with incredible students. I’m in a unique position where my classroom is self-contained, which creates a safe haven for them. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my students grow academically and personally. They’re a unique group of students with a unique way of approaching life. My students and their families are why I continue to stay and do this impactful work for KIPP DC.”

How do you establish a sense of trust and belonging among your students? 

“I’m a firm believer that you get what you put out. You must be authentic to foster a great sense of belonging in this space and be candid, open, and vulnerable with your students. Sometimes we create a wall that prevents them from seeing us as real people with similar interests and difficulties. I pay attention to the small things that make their day a little bit harder or happier. I intentionally show my awareness so that each student knows they are valued and seen. Leading with kindness and being a good person to the people I’m responsible for as a teacher is my top priority.”

If you could take your students on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you take them? 

“I would take them to my home country, Sudan. It would be an excellent opportunity for students to get outside the DMV walls and experience the world. Going back home has always made me energized and ready to take on the world when I leave. It would be a great time because it’s such a beautiful country, filled with the kindest people. Sudan provides a sense of belonging and love for people. Sometimes our students are dealt with odds that are difficult with their disabilities. Going back home to Sudan, you see that everything you have, good or bad, is a blessing.”

If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share with them? 

“Don’t let how the world treats you affect how you see yourself, treat others and your character. The world is complex, but you should always remember that kindness always wins. Everyone is going through something, so I believe in kindness above everything. You might not get everything you deserve in this world or life, but if you’re kind, it’s never unseen! I always tell my students just to be kind and believe in themselves.”

KIPP DC is proud to recognize Ms. Taha as this month’s Staff Spotlight. She has made a massive difference in the lives of many students, and we look forward to her many positive contributions to our students’ education.

Posted on February 16, 2023 in Awards & Recognition