Zeinab Bazzi makes a difference, one student at a time.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn senior will have a lasting impact on hundreds of children in the years to come, but one kid she encountered during student teaching stood out.
“I was placed in a classroom, which was filled with students who craved love, attention and a chance to grow and learn,” said Zeinab, who plans to graduate this April.
One child particularly tested Bazzi’s patience, so she spoke with him about his disruptive behavior.
“I asked him why he was giving me such a hard time and his response took me by surprise,” she said. “He said, ‘Nobody cares about me, so why would you care and want to help me?’ I told him if I didn't care about him, I would not be having this conversation with him. From that day on, we worked together to help him become a better student, deal with situations in a positive manner and, overall, become a positive role model for the entire student body.”
That moment solidified Bazzi’s impact on students and helped her earn her the title of Difference Maker.
Her career path, however, wasn’t typical. She initially planned to study biology, with the idea to enroll in medical school after graduation. But her passion for teaching took precedent.
“I fell in love with teaching and the impact teachers have on children,” she said. “I fell in love with how students were overcome with joy when they finally understood a concept after several failed attempts. I fell in love with how a teacher can open the minds of students in so many different ways.”
Cyndi McAuliffe had a front-seat seat to witness Bazzi’s impact on children at UM-Dearborn’s Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC).
“Zeinab was determined to learn all she could about working with children of all abilities,” said McAuliffe, a lead teacher at the ECEC. “In doing so, she made a difference to all of the children in our class this fall and will continue to make a difference in the lives of all the children she teaches.”