On Writing: How my writing journey began (Part 1)

Being Head of Department is a power trip: no-one can stop you from forcing encouraging students to partake in whole school/external English events. And the best part is the kiddos have zero choice. Recently, our students took part in an international writing competition. It prompted lots of eye-rolling followed by, "Miss, we don't have to… Continue reading On Writing: How my writing journey began (Part 1)

Being Mrs. Kubra

“Miss, where’s the model answer?’ syndrome’: a reflection on TEFL

I've often toyed with the idea of setting up a second blog dedicated to resources on teaching English. Whenever a lesson just clicks or a strategy works wonders, I think about sharing it so others can benefit too. Heaven knows how much I've relied and continue to rely on TES and teacher blogs during major… Continue reading “Miss, where’s the model answer?’ syndrome’: a reflection on TEFL

31 Day Challenge October

Day 14: One ‘law’ for all

The only house with a light on at 2am is Amna's home. Rigid in bed, she's listening to the sound of her mother's sobs in tahajjud. Laying in bed is a progression from sitting on the stairs listening to her parents fighting, knowing the sudden silence means to run for help. Her father sent divorce… Continue reading Day 14: One ‘law’ for all

31 Day Challenge October

Day 2: ‘Hunger’ a cautionary tale

Before anyone could follow, she hurried over to a particularly crowded corner of her bedroom. It wasn't that she felt worried about what she was hiding, more that she didn’t want her secret hiding places discovered by others. Anyone could walk in and catch her; she had to move swiftly. Had she known the aroma… Continue reading Day 2: ‘Hunger’ a cautionary tale


On Writing: Finding the will to carry on

When school ended two weeks ago and I found myself with ample time to write, I envisioned myself as this super productive being who would tick everything off her To Do list while simultaneously updating her blog every third day. Instead, I found that actually, all this free time was counterproductive. Apparently, I write best… Continue reading On Writing: Finding the will to carry on

Diasporic Identity

The Oldham Riots: 15 years on

Let me just get this out there: it's a really bad idea to complete a dissertation about your hometown whilst preparing to leave. It's even worse if you already harbour a love/hate relationship with the place! I spent the summer reading about the 2001 Oldham riots which, until now, were fuzzy recollections of newspaper stills… Continue reading The Oldham Riots: 15 years on


On Writing: dissertation struggles

I've been working on my dissertation (by 'working' I mean thinking a lot and writing very little), and my brain is aching! I need to write something - anything - before my mind explodes. Ramadan coincided with the start of the summer holidays. It's super hard to switch your brain on during these long summer… Continue reading On Writing: dissertation struggles


On Writing: productivity and inactivity

The beginning of 2016 had me swinging between productivity and inactivity. Productive in completing errands that are (extremely) dull but necessary in order to live, and putting off tasks that are enjoyable (reading for pleasure, writing with purpose) but only possible in a dream world where all the aforementioned don't exist. In short, I have… Continue reading On Writing: productivity and inactivity