Professional Life and Education
I'm a physics teacher, but I wasn't always...
I received my bachelor's degree from Georgia Tech in 2006 in Mechanical Engineering. During college, I interned (actually, "co-opped") for a Railway company called Norfolk Southern -- for a total of about 12 months. Having graduated from there, I began a career in that field working for Toyota in Ky. as a production/process engineer. After about 6 months, I became increasingly interested in the business/finance side of things, so I pursued a different career path that led me back to Atlanta to work as a Valuation Consultant. First with Navigant Consulting, then a year later joining Marsh & McLennan Companies. I spent a total of almost 6 years appraising tangible assets, from buildings and furniture to all sorts of machinery and equipment in industries spanning from manufacturing to energy to healthcare to hospitality, in places all over North America as well as many other regions of the world. This provided me invaluable "real world" experience which I hope to continue to bring with me to the classroom to everyone's advantage. I may inject these experiences into the curiculum whenever I feel that it might provide a unique perspective that you may not get from a career-long physics teacher.
When I felt the itch to leave the corporate world for a more rewarding and fulfilling career (nothing against it, it just wasn't for me anymore), I enrolled at Kennesaw State University to pursue a Master's degree in teaching physics. I was awarded the Noyce Fellowship to do so, as I was a "STEM" professional interested in making the career change into teaching science in a high-needs environment (qualified STEM teachers are hard to find these days). I am grateful to be at Lakeside HS now, with its high academic standards that remind me of my own high school alma mater. My previous schools where I have taught (and student-taught) were both in Cobb County: Pebblebrook HS and Walton HS. I've taught all the grades except 10th (but I did have a 10th grade homeroom). All of these experiences have helped culminate in the type of learning environment I will continue to work to create here at LHS -- a positive classroom atmosphere, inquiry-based, and active (think labs). Most of all, I hope to teach everyone physics in a way that you find it relevant and interesting. I believe that learning physics is not only about learning the specific content, but rather, I think one of the true goals of the subject is teaching people how to think. This is a challenging and rigorous course no doubt, but ultimately will prepare students for what's next and I hope we find it to be worthwhile in the end. Positive can-do attitudes are essential!
My family is originally from the Punjab province in Pakistan. My father is from Lahore and my mother from Sialkot (which is a little closer to Kashmir). My dad is a physician (NOT a physicist!) in Charleston, WV, and my mother - who is an excellent painter (mostly oil paintings) and obtained a graduate degree in English Lit. - stays at home and helps watch after my grandmother, who lives in the same home and is actually quite a bit independent for being in her 90's! Dad arrived in the U.S. in the mid-70's, and Mom moved over after their wedding in 1980. They moved around the U.S. quite a bit before finally settling in W.Va., just a few months after I was born (in Nev.). I also have two older brothers, making me the youngest of 3 boys. We all essentially grew up the bulk of our upbringing in West Virginia, which I still consider "home."
I currently have been married to my lovely wife Reem for 8 years now, and we have two sweet little girls. My daughters are Zineera (just turned 7) and Anisa (4.5), who love to play together and are both involved in after-school gymnastics once a week. There's a 3rd girl due in August of this year! Reem's family also comes from Pakistan originally, but her childhood was actually in the Middle East - primarily Abu Dhabi, UAE. They are somewhat newer to the States than my family, and she and her siblings recently finally attained US citizenship, after over 15 years of residency in Georgia! Reem was a 2nd grade teacher in south Fulton County before having kids; now she stays home to take care of them. (Additionally, she works part-time at a non-profit, does photography on the side, and is finalizing her third published children's picture book deal, with a publishing house!) We live in the city of Atlanta, and we enjoy going outside with the kids, taking them out to eateries (including outdoor food trucks!), biking, swimming, playgrounds, and other activities that make us move a bit. We also do watch some reality shows together (somewhat ashamed to admit that), and the occasional movie that we can both agree on. Being from WV, I'm a proficient skier (though it has been a while). I also enjoy playing basketball and flag football whenever I can. I watch lots of football and a few other sports for fun; play fantasy football, though my overall sports knowledge is below average, probably. My musical taste has evolved over the last 20+ years, with 90's radio pop/rock music obviously being my earliest preference, then I got into a big hip hop phase throughout my teens, then took several turns, ultimately coming full circle back to 90's, 80's and even 70's music. I rarely negotiate on the playlist in class, just so you know... I enjoy supporting as many good positive causes as I can with my family, by attending walks/runs (such as Race for the Cure), volunteering (e.g., Habitat for Humanity), and advocating for various movements and fund drives (neighborhood improvement, etc.).
I really enjoy travel and a bit of adventure. I hope to get some more of it in soon. Other commitments I partake in include having been on the board of my neighborhood association, more recently the local chapter of the Engineers Without Borders as a member volunteer, and being in a Noyce Fellowship PLC (Professional Learning Community) through KSU where I continually take part in professional development activities for physical science teachers.
The last teacher blog I had was a couple years ago (one of my first posts was about the Winter Olympic Games of 2014... was excited to find some cool Physics-related articles about the '16 Summer Games last year! ...but I digress), but if anyone is interested in looking at that, here is a link. I hope to keep up somewhat regularly with the teacher blog this year. There are always fun / cool / interesting current events and articles & videos which pop up, that tie in with our study of physics, but we don't have time to discuss in class. You will occassionally see me posting those links above. So this will just be for kicks and giggles, no official class business need be discussed here (that's why I have the O365 group and the website)!
click this photo for a cool KSU news article :)
Attached here is the .ppt presentation I used to show new classes (no longer current)...