Mohammed Azim: The Guiding Light of Tomorrow!

Mohammed Azim

“Let me assist people to think well and find their true passion in life,” believes the Head of the English Department of Al Siraat College, President of the Australian Muslim Youth Leadership Association, and Director of Azkha Resources Pty Ltd. Being driven by this mission, he is broadly acknowledged for his passion, summed up in the above line alongside his humility, inspiration, and hard work. His close acquaintances often view him to be a guide, a person to stick by, and a true friend, who helps ignite enthusiasm, inspire a large audience and help them acquire pearls of wisdom through his long-acquired knowledge.

Often choosing to remain as a ‘hidden talent’ who prefers to be away from the limelight, the epitome of a truly inspirational educator and a person of knowledge and wisdom— Mohammad Azim has served as a teaching professional for 34 years. He is one such leader who has worked in silence and let his work speak wonders.

During his grand three decades of serving his knowledge, Mohammed Azim has taught at primary, secondary, vocational, and tertiary levels with passion, care, dedication, and integrity. He just did not teach at institutions but kept himself busy in the service of his wider community.

We, at The Education View, feel elated to have encountered Mr. Azim while on our hunt for enlisting the 20 Most Influential Thought Leaders of 2022

Without further ado, let’s delve into Mr. Azim’s inspiring story and learn more about his dedicated work.

The Impassioned Educator

Mohammad Azim believes in keeping himself busy in serving his wider community. He has won many accolades in serving institutions, non-profit organizations, and youth services locally and nationally. In his professional field, he has won teaching awards at state, national and international levels. Not just driven by the passion of working towards his community but also serving the Australian community at large, Mr. Azim keeps himself busy in teaching, coaching, mentoring, empowering youths, serving the society in which he lives, leading his staff, and supporting any good cause that brings benefit to humanity.

Being one of those rare individuals who have stretched their wings far and wide to serve the Australian community, Mr. Azim works as a full-time educator, and after hours, he takes pride in serving his own community in its educational, youth, and community development programs.

His major work recently includes guiding new teachers teaching at the secondary level, supporting senior students who are on the verge of finishing their senior years at secondary school, scouting for youth leaders and training them for leadership roles in the community, assisting educators with resource and personal development and above all – providing advisory service and training programs and opportunities to teachers, students, and community groups.

Mr. Azim is also an English Exam Marker working for the country’s state and national level assessment authorities. Moreover, he is well known in educational circles as he has won many major awards in the past, and some worthy of mention include the Teacher Excellence Award in 2011, State Winner of Teacher Award 2012, National Winner of Teacher Award 2012, Featured in the Top 50 Australian Educators Hot List of 2017, Featured in the Global Educational Influencers of 2020.

Values that Help Grow

When asked what keeps Mr. Azim motivated, he emphasizes on mission and vision he believes in. In his words, “To enjoy life, to keep learning and being of utility to others,” is the mission he works for.

And for the long run, Mr. Azim believes in the vision— “To inspire everyone in the true spirit of education.”

Besides the mission and vision, he works on the Five C’s, which he labels as his core values— Commitment, Creativity, Compassion, Collaboration, and Consistency.

Excelling through Inclusive Leadership

Mohammad Azim believes that he has learned a few things over time that he keeps closely knitted with himself when it comes to leading his group members. For him, the primary thing is building trust. In his words, “If we cannot bond together, we cannot build trust!” He emphasizes that true leaders should reveal their authentic selves, while everyone in the group should be closely acquainted with each other revealing their true feelings and vulnerabilities.

Apart from trust, Mr. Azim believes that connecting genuinely with people is another leadership trait. He states, “Never try to ‘fake your words or actions. As the saying goes ‘good people bring out the good in others so be genuinely good and listen to those who approach you.”

The third point of inclusive leadership, according to Mr. Azim, is about being a positive influence. Emphasizing this, Mr. Azim explains, “It is such a blessing, and as educators, we need to know this pretty well as to how a positive attitude in class makes the day for our learners.”

In addition to building trust, connecting with people, and positive influence, Mr. Azim feels providing support and guidance to those we lead is a must. He states, “The only thing that your team members will remember about you the most is how you made them feel while you were their leader. You have gone through the process; they are going through the process – so the best support and guidance you can provide is to ensure that you become the ‘catcher in the rye’.”

Mr. Azim concludes these traits with the last point, which is ‘empowering the team’. He believes that a leader of this century can only be successful if he or she can empower others. Once the ‘feeling of oneness’ resides within a team, a lot could be achieved. Mr. Azim adds, “Every member on your team has something unique they are bringing to the team. You, as a leader, need to discover that and provide the ray of hope that everyone in the team will be duly recognized and empowered.”

Talking about all the above traits and principles, Mr. Azim says, “Honestly, I have lived by these principles and done all these with my team members and achieved nothing but success only. I was able to become a great influencer as a result of just doing these actions on a daily basis.”

Adversities Faced as an Educator

When emphasizing the challenges faced as an educator, Mr. Azim says that there are three things that come his way.

The first and foremost is challenging students. In his initial days, Mr. Azim used to be quite reactive to such students. But after studying and working with them, he realized that he was an adult and they were children! “I needed to alter my approach if I was to make some breakthrough. All I did was acknowledge that these challenging students needed me the most. They had stories that led to those misbehaviours, and when I started to know them, I realized I was actually winning them. These challenging students just needed someone to hear them out, someone to love them, someone to understand their perspectives, and someone to make them feel better,” added Mr. Azim.

The second challenge as an educator was to manage the excess workflow. Mr. Azim shares that he would get overwhelmed with the different roles and tasks he’d need to perform on a daily basis. From marking papers, completing plans, finishing administrative work, yard duties, attending meetings, participating in professional development sessions, meeting with parents, and answering many line managers, the list is never-ending.

Mr. Azim has different sets of roles and responsibilities, and thus he decided to carry them out professionally. He shares that deciding to plan his day and using all opportunities at school to attend to things according to priority helped him manage the workflow.“My check listing did help, and I was able to be less stressed,” shares Mr. Azim.

The third key challenge faced by Mr. Azim was the workplace culture. He emphasizes strong cliques, whingers, fault finders and gossip in the staffroom. Seeing this, Mr. Azim chose to associate himself with those staff members who were very positive and wanted to do something to change the toxic culture. He shares, “With few of us, we began to talk positive things at all times, we did things that made a difference in the school, and in all staff meetings, we only talked about school improvement and student engagement. Within a semester, I could see the number of teachers switching camps increase! And before the year ended, we had only a few whingers left, and the whole workplace culture had changed. I learned that if we need the workplace culture to actually change, we should not just complain; we need to become agents of change.”

Talking about fault finders, Mr. Azim simply put it thus, “You must continue to see the good in them, despite the fact that they see the flaws in you.” He emphasised that often times, there will be those who envy you, be jealous of you and often on a mission to discredit you. Mr Azim stressed that when any staff member or colleague hates you, it is because you have got something they want – so he has a simple principle – “Give no time to hate people who hate you – continue being busy in loving people who love you.”

Challenges as a President

As the President of the Australian Muslim Youth Leadership Association, Mr. Azim faced different challenges than that as an Educator.
The first and foremost was getting a working team to spearhead the association. The idea of starting the leadership association resonated well, and the fact that the organization was bringing close colleagues together was the strongest motivation for all. However, Mr. Azim believed few individuals within the executive had to carry the burden of work while others weren’t doing the expected work. But the good thing that prevailed was the immense support that was forthcoming from many well-wishers and friends, including family members. “I believe we had to be strong when it came to our determination and focus on getting started with the association and its few programs.”

The second challenge was with respect to getting the finances for the leadership programs, while the last was lack of support. Talking about this, Mr. Azim shares, “We rely heavily on schools to subscribe to our association to get the necessary support and help for the potential student leaders. So far, very few schools are on board supporting the cause. We continue to explore ways to get more school membership, as well as student leaders, signing up to become members of the leadership association.”

Challenges as the Director

Being the guiding light of Azkha Resources Pty Ltd, Mr. Azim faced another set of key challenges. Firstly, the operational difficulties; secondly, the marketing of the unique business; and lastly expansion of the products and services.

Overcoming Obstacles

Ending up the talk about challenges, we asked Mr. Azim about the major factors that keep him motivated and going despite the obstacles. He shares, “My ultimate motivation is the people in and around me! They are the reason that I want to be at my best.”

Apart from this, he states, “My motivation is also my parents and family members. They have all instilled in me the values of hard work, sacrifice, dedication, perseverance, and compassion. I believe I am at that stage of my life where I am most productive, and I want to give it my all so that I get the contentment in life.”

Addressing Global Students

When asked about Mr. Azim’s thoughtful message to the students, he states, “My message to all students is to love learning and never stop learning. Secondly, just remember that we are what we do. So, do only good and be of benefit to your family, community, and humanity at large.”

Scaling Future Heights

Mr. Azim believes that he will provide a pathway to students so that they can be positive contributors to society and faith.

And lastly, Mr. Azim concludes with a very personal note for the thought leaders and determined individuals, stating, “to improve the world, don’t wait for others – just begin yourself – no matter how small the action is in the name of improvement.”

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