Habibullah Saleem's life is a fascinating story. The educational therapist, consultant, poet, and activist has tutored Muhammad Ali’s children, run a literacy program for Magic Johnson, and traveled with Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King III on the "Acts of Kindness Tour" during the 1990s. Most recently he added a visit to Waldorf School of New Orleans to his list of experiences, as our students had the opportunity to to learn from this captivating community leader.
What brought Mr. Saleem to our school? Why, History, of course!
“The Roman Empire has fallen and we are now at the time in history that we are learning about the life of Muhammad and the rise of Islam” says Grades 6 and 7 teacher, Ms. Nelson,"I am not as well versed in Islam, so I needed someone of that faith to present to the class and answer questions."
Bringing in an expert is a great teaching tool when a Waldorf teacher feels it's warranted. Ms. Nelson came upon the opportunity to invite Mr. Saleem while visiting a local mosque in preparation for this current History Block.
“I want the students to see the beauty of this faith. It is so often misrepresented in the media and popular culture," Ms. Nelson says, "I didn’t expect to get a local poet and fascinating person, but I’ll take it. I kind of feel like I won the lottery!”
Being a part of our new historic home at the Rose Collaborative in the 7th Ward has given us the opportunity to learn from leaders like Mr. Saleem, right here in our community. Our students enjoyed his lively poetry and presentation immensely. We feel so fortunate to have welcomed him as a guest and a teacher .