Having worked with a textile designer in Hong Kong for five years, and having her children there, Shaheen and her husband decided to return to the UK so that both children acquired a British education and grew up amongst their family. On her return and alongside her work within textiles, Shaheen decided to take up some voluntary work in a local school. She was offered a Teaching Assistant post in the school, whereby she carried out baseline assessments with children in their mother tongue. This instigated a new found passion as she began studying, firstly as a Teaching Assistant, and the, invited by the school to acquire a HLTA qualification.
Having her own children at school, Shaheen took a greater interest in teaching and decided to pursue her career further by enrolling for a Foundation Degree and graduating with a BEd Honours with QTS. She worked as a Year 2 teacher in inner city Bradford, where she was working as a HLTA at the time. Shaheen also took on the role of ICT Coordinator, RE Lead and Staff Representative on the School Governing Body. She has taught in every year group and became the Key Stage 2 Phase Leader, Year 6 teacher and NQT Mentor. After working at the same school for twelve years, Shaheen decided to explore opportunities internationally and acquired her first post working for the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) as a Grade 2 teacher and Leader. Two years later, Shaheen took on the position of a Year 2 Leader at BISS and when the opportunity for leading the EAL Department arose, she took the position of the Head of EAL and is in her third year of her current role. Shaheen has a passion for teaching and takes every opportunity to keep updated in new theory and practices as they emerge within EAL and within education as a whole. She tutors a Nord Anglia University course ‘EAL in the Mainstream Classroom’and is currently studying for her Master's in International Education. Shaheen is researching ‘Translanguaging in the EAL Classroom’ and piloting the study in her own practice, and hopes to share the outcomes with her colleagues in the near future.
Outside of school, Shaheen enjoys hiking and spends some weekends exploring the surroundings of Shanghai. She also very much enjoys travelling. When time allows, she likes to read for pleasure, in particular the works of the 13th century Persian poet Rumi. Shaheen also likes to cook, enjoys calligraphy and drawing and continues with her passion for designing and sewing.