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Teacher helping schoolgirl

There are several questions that can easily come to mind. However, let me assure you, it is not “How well have your students performed this year?”

As teachers approach the end of the school year they are asked and they ask themselves many questions. At an educators’ conference recently held in Abu Dhabi, teachers were asked to reflect on their biggest weaknesses during this school year. An awkward silence fell over the room as teachers began to beat themselves up internally over all the things they did incorrectly this school year. One could see the feelings of discomfort manifested in the teachers’ body language as they shifted uneasily on their seats.

Well, I am not about to ask any such question.

I believe that teachers are beaten up enough by all the expectations and pressures placed on them by students, parents, education policy makers and the society.

Why do you teach?

This is not one of those trick questions you find on psychometric tests. All the most successful teachers are able to answer this question immediately. Knowing why you teach means that you know yourself and your purpose well and that’s what makes you great at what you do. Knowing the answer to this question means that you have thought long and hard about the impact you have on students and it will also help you to answer those curveball questions you might be asked at your next interview.

If you are not able to easily answer this question or if your answer does not sit well with you, there is no better time to think about why you do what you do, than now. Maybe the answer will prompt a career change or it will push you to take your teaching to the next level. The important thing is you will know what your next move is.