Our mission is to be the unifying federation of Islamic organizations of greater Chicagoland, the leading advocate of Muslim community interests and a catalyst for enriching American society.


Yusra Mann, Teacher

“We all saw the school’s closing for the rest of the year coming. It’s not a surprise, yet here I am in a state of shock.

I am heartbroken for the goodbyes I didn’t get to say. I am deeply saddened that I couldn’t experience my first year in it’s entirety. My first group of students will always be special to me. Whether they know it or not, they made me not just a better teacher, but a stronger person. They tested, poked, and prodded to the point where my patience was wearing thin. But they also cared, inspired, and loved to the point where I was excited to be shaping our future leaders.

Going back to my classroom last week was difficult as I scanned the room and played back the memories: the clown pranks, the singing Disney Songs at the top of our lungs to practice our Figurative Language, the daily high fives, the team work, the standing up for what’s right, and all the beautiful smiles. Only to be welcomed to the image of a lifeless classroom which has been stuck in my brain since. Things changed so quickly and so drastically. I just can’t shake it. 

I’m emotional, not only because I miss those monsters like crazy. But because this opportunity at OLHMS came to me at a time in my life when I needed it most. My students and I created such special relationships between those four walls. I’m emotional because rewinding back to March 13, I didn’t think that would be my last goodbye to them. If I knew, I would have told them how proud I was to be their teacher and how THEY changed ME for the better.

My kiddos are writing poems for their eLearning this week. Many have written about how sad and confused they are, about missing their friends, and about realizing now how important school was for them. Some of these poems are raw. They are real. And they are powerful.
I worry for the kids and families that don’t have enough resources. I worry for the kids who saw school as their safe haven. I worry for the individuals that struggle with their mental health. 

I pray that my kiddos and their families are safe and healthy. I hope they know they matter. I hope they know they are loved. And I hope they believe in themselves.

I hope that next year, will be a new beginning for all of us where we never take for granted a single day. I hope we remember to laugh with our students and realize sometimes, it’s not about the academics. I hope this all ends soon. 

Author’s Update: A friend and I wanted to do an Instagram Live or some sort of conversation where we discuss the current state of education and all the things we think about as educators. This idea spawned from a post that was made by CIOGC about e-learning continuing in the Fall. We also had a second idea…