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My path, my way: Yusuf's story

03 May 2019 - Yusuf Dirie

I’m Yusuf and I’m a teacher at Kaplan International College London. I was born in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and was raised in London from a young age.

I love telling stories and communicating different ideas, so I’ve decided to tell my own story in the hope that it will inspire you to follow your path, your way.

My background

My heritage means that I have had access to 2 very rich cultures (Somali and British). Over the years, I have been able to compare these influences and appreciate how we are simultaneously the same and different.

Growing up, I learnt to appreciate the importance of taking the time to listen to people’s stories. This helped me learn from them, but also taught me how to communicate with them, and I think that this has helped me a lot in my career.

“… I moved into teaching and I have never looked back.”

I love exploring the things that we all have in common, and how it unites us as people. This curiosity led me to pursue higher education, and gain 2 master’s degrees: I completed the first one in Mechanical Engineering in 2009, and the second in Technology and Innovation Management in 2010. After this, I moved into teaching and I have never looked back.

The power of education

I view education as a means of gaining the tools to live a good, productive life on your own terms. I’ve been teaching for almost a decade, but when I’m with my students I don’t see myself as a teacher; I see myself as a lifelong student who shares with others what I have learnt so far.

My path, my way: Yusuf's story

I think that learning (and teaching) is a journey where we seek the means to better express who we are. The more we learn, the more we can project ourselves into the world and embrace opportunities.

My main motivation in the classroom is witnessing students achieve that moment of clarity, where they understand something in a way that has changed how they look at life.

My teaching style

I focus a lot on theory because I think it gives us the language to better describe phenomena and the world around us. Having the right words to describe what we are thinking, feeling and seeing is powerful. Once you can express yourself, working through a problem becomes so much easier.

My path, my way: Yusuf's story

I believe in the power of storytelling to help convey ideas and make them stick better. I try to achieve this by using reference points that we can all understand. For example, my students aren’t surprised if I quote from a popular song to help drive home a point.

This storytelling approach is fundamental to how I share information in the classroom. I encourage my students to reflect on their own cultures, and compare that with what they find to be different about their experiences so far in the UK.

Yusuf's path to success

Studied a master's in Mechanical Engineering

at the University of Sussex

Studied another master's in Technology and Information Management

at the University of Sussex

Became a teacher at Kaplan International College London

and shares knowledge every day

To be able to connect with and share moments of learning with students from all over the globe is a huge privilege for me. I love the days when I learn about a place, culture or perspective that I hadn’t been introduced to yet. In the process I am becoming a better storyteller and communicator of ideas.

This is my path so far.

You can find out how to follow your path, your way by exploring the links below. 

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