Musa Abd’Alim

Musa Abd’Alim hopes to work as a middle school teacher after graduation. When Musa isn’t studying, he enjoys spending time with his family, girlfriend, and puppy. 

Get to know Musa

  • Major: Elementary education
  • Class: Sophomore
  • Hometown: Ames, Iowa (Story County)
  • Career goal: To make middle school a little less awful
  • Clubs/activities: CHS Ambassadors, America Reads/America Counts tutor
  • Favorite place on campus: Friley Windows dining hall
  • Most influential ISU mentor: Carmen Flagge
  • Favorite class: COMST 218, Conflict Management; SOC 219, Sociology of Intimate Relationships
  • Why Iowa State: Big part of family history and close to home 

Musa Abd’Alim looks forward to instilling values of kindness and family in future classroom

Musa Abd’Alim, one of 13 children, believes in the power of family and treating people right. As a sophomore majoring in elementary education, he hopes to instill these values in his own classroom someday. 

When Musa was growing up, his family was continuously moving to different places. He even attended four different elementary schools in one academic year. After experiencing many different school districts throughout his childhood, he began to realize something was lacking. 

“I kind of noticed a common theme through a whole bunch of schools—almost no school had a big emphasis on how to treat others,” Musa said. “That’s one of those skills that people need to learn throughout their schooling because that’s a skill you have to have throughout your life. I feel like knowing how to treat people is more important than knowing how to balance a checkbook.”

Keeping his goal to cultivate kindness in his classroom in mind, Musa desires to work in a middle school setting due to the pivotal growth and change that occurs during that time frame. 

“I think [middle school] is the key time to teach those social skills,” Musa said. “When their relationships start changing and they’re learning how to deal with that, that is the most important time to teach them that you still need to treat each other well.”

Before arriving at Iowa State, Musa had already decided he wanted to be a teacher. After evaluating his passions, he figured out a way he could combine them.

“I thought, ‘Well, what’s something I’m good at, what’s something I enjoy, and what’s something I can do that combines both of those to make money?” he said. 

Musa’s decision was further confirmed through his experience tutoring for America Reads/America Counts, a program dedicated to enhancing the reading and math skills of local youth. Getting immediate hands-on experience in the classroom was incredibly helpful for him.

“I learn best by doing — more than by listening, or reading, or taking notes – I learn best by doing it,” Musa said. “So just the fact that in my first year [at Iowa State] I was able to get into classrooms and start working closely with teachers, I think that helped me.”

Family continues to be important to Musa as he looks forward to his future plans. He hopes to stay close to his family to help maintain and grow the strong bonds he has with them. Over the past couple years, Musa and his older brother have not been farther than two blocks from each other.

“I think one of the big focuses I’ll have with my students is acknowledging the fact that their families are a part of their life,” Musa said. “For me to effectively shape their life in any way, I have to also make a connection with that part of their life.”

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