Luqman Abdur-Rahman

Luqman Abdur-Rahman is a 2008 Metro Atlanta alum who studied Physics and Mechanical Engineering at Morehouse College and Georgia Tech. He has taught high school math and physics at South Atlanta High Schoool and 7th grade math at Kipp Ways Academy.  He is currently in a Principal Fellowship program in Atlanta, pursuing his Masters in Education Leadership at Columbia University.  

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This post marks National Engineer’s Week. Luqman Abdur-Rahman is a 2008 Metro Atlanta Corps Member and 2008 Amgen Fellow.

Five years ago, I was about to graduate from Georgia Tech with my Master’s in Mechanical Engineering. I had plenty of job offers with a bountiful financial outlook. But I still was not sold.  

My Teach for America recruiter offered a new challenge and perspective. Of course, I viewed it through an engineer’s lens:

  • What is the data given?:  Educational inequity exists. (Numbers don’t lie.  It is what it is.  Remove the emotion.)
  • What is the unknown?:  Could we actually “fix” this problem? What could our country be?  
  • What equations or models do I have at my disposal?:  Teachers and researchers have identified what works.  I have read tons of books on promising models and seen examples of schools that defy the stereotypes. Plus, I have gathered my own anecdotal evidence of student brilliance in the toughest of circumstances.  
  • How do I simplify my task to achieve the goal?:  Institute.  Five weeks of training and I will know how to become an “effective” teacher.
  • How do I solve this problem, given the process I chose?:  Just get out there and do it. How can I not help when others did it for me?

Photo provided by Luqman Abdur-Rahman.

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