I’m Reine. I have three jobs: I’m a teacher, an entrepreneur and a mom. I have been teaching math for around 8 years. I started Dirassa, a small startup to support educators in Lebanon and try to bring them students from abroad so they could tutor online.
Due to Covid, parents weren’t willing to bring tutors into their homes to teach their kids, and with online learning, students will need a lot more assistance. If tutors were teaching online, kids could benefit from the one-on-one help they need while staying safe. I had the idea but didn’t know how to do it, how the teachers would get paid… and then I found oktopi and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start this business.
It’s hard if you don’t plan your day or your week. But when you organize well or do a to-do list for each day, it’s easier. Every Sunday, I plan my whole week and what I’ll do each day. When you have a plan, you know you have a number of tasks to finish and you get them done eventually. That includes time for my kids, for my husband, and for myself.
I like to teach. I like to make someone learn something new. And because I love math, I love to teach it. A lot of my students used to hate math, but when I explain it in a specific way, they fall in love with it as well. This impact I have on them, making them love math, is what I like the most about teaching.
The fixed hours. I usually don’t like routine, I like to always change and modify my plan. Always being at the same place at the same time isn’t something I enjoy. This is why I like online teaching, as it gives you more flexible hours.
I was teaching Grade 3 one day, it was very close to Christmas time and the children were excited about the holidays and I had to explain something very important. The class was chaotic, and at some point, I realized I lost control, so I left the class and went outside and cried and asked another teacher to fill in for me because I couldn’t take it anymore. This was my worst day as a teacher, and I can never forget it. I learned that this was the cumulation of being too friendly, if I had been stricter, this wouldn’t have happened.
I think online teaching is more an opportunity than a challenge. Teachers were limited before to teach in the classroom. Now they expanded their knowledge, know how to use more resources, create quizzes online, which will make them succeed more in the future.
For students, the system needs to stop focusing on just explaining lessons and ask them to memorize them and should include more activities, outdoor workshops, focus on students’ personalities and improvement because they are the future of our society.
For teachers, more trainings need to be done to meet students’ requirements. Better teachers will lead to better students.
The educational system is going to completely change after Covid. Going to school is still very important, but the benefits of online education are here to stay. If for example a student is sick or has to stay at home for different reasons, he would usually have to miss weeks of school and be at a disadvantage. With online education, he can now follow up with his peers, have all the material he needs. All schools should maintain the methods they are using now in the long term and benefit from all the advantages of hybrid learning.
I discovered oktopi while searching for platforms to help me create Dirassa. I saw a post about oktopi.ai and spoke to Donia, the academic manager and we started with the idea. I think oktopi is a great platform, I created 3 of my own classes on it and could put all my lessons and assignments on it instead of sending them to my students by mail, WhatsApp, and sometimes even WeTransfer. Thanks to oktopi, I could put everything on the same platform and even create my own quizzes and directly see my students’ results instead of correcting every copy by hand.
Oktopi is also very beneficial for Dirassa as well, I can see all the classes we have and what every tutor is doing, and we can receive payments easily from all over the world.
I would like my students to change their perspective towards math and learn to love it as I do.