Like many Islamic schools across North America, the Islamic Academy of New England in Sharon, Massachusetts strives to integrate Islamic learning throughout its curriculum. Founded in 1996, the school currently serves students in Greater Boston and Northern Rhode Island. Yet, the school is also a place where learning occurs spontaneously across religious divides.
Raised Catholic, Kathleen Kelley recently obtained her master’s degree in education and now teaches first grade at the Academy. In our conversation below, she shares her insights on teachable moments, on Islamic schools looking to diversify their staff and students’ exposure, and on her own growing familiarity of the cultures and faith of her students and their families.