Posted on May 17, 2018

Mr. Alistair Routledge (pictured left), President and General Manager for ExxonMobil Qatar, took part in the Teach For Qatar (TFQ) “Be A Teacher” campaign last week. Mr. Routledge taught a group of secondary school students mathematics at Qatar Academy.

“Be A Teacher” is a national campaign launched by Teach For Qatar that provides leading public figures and decision makers with the opportunity to teach in Qatar's private and public schools. Through the campaign, the organization aims to promote awareness of the educational system by highlighting the role of the teacher in supporting academic achievement in various disciplines. It also highlights the challenges faced by a teacher in the classroom, and presents campaign participants as an example to motivate students to join the teaching profession and help create a conscious and educated generation.

TFQ filmed the participant’s experiences through hidden cameras to provide the audience with a glimpse of the difficulty of the teaching profession. As a key local and inspirational figure that has a strong personal interest in education, Mr. Routledge was invited to take part in the campaign, and was one of the first individuals to agree to participate and teach a secondary school advanced math class at Qatar Academy. Speaking about his experience, Mr. Routledge said, “The lesson I taught as part of Teach For Qatar’s ‘Be A Teacher’ campaign has been one of the most rewarding and meaningful things I’ve ever done - I’m honored and grateful that I was chosen to support this effort.”

Mr. Routledge stressed upon the enormous responsibility a teacher has. He explained that it is important for a teacher to create a link between the subject and every day life to lead students to realize that everything taught at school plays an essential role in life. Mr. Routledge used a car engine as an analogy during the lesson, and gave several examples. “Teach For Qatar is doing a fantastic job in making sure that Qatar’s education system meets the expectations of students and the requirements of employers by capitalizing on the unique knowledge of individuals in the public and private sectors. These individuals are an invaluable resource and can make a huge difference to teaching,” he added.

“Teaching as we know it is grounded in a very deep appreciation of the true relationship between communicating knowledge and developing the learning experience, but the real challenge is in getting the message across to students so that it’s interesting and understandable – and to do that, you need the right skills and knowledge. This is why we see great value at ExxonMobil Qatar in ensuring that teachers in schools are well trained. If we’re going to equip students with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century who can help build sustainable societies, we must invest in our teachers and education systems today,” added Routledge. He also spoke about his own life and how his education helped define his academic track in engineering, as well as his career in oil and gas.

ExxonMobil Qatar’s President 2 [].jpg

Mr. Nasser Yousef Al Jaber (pictured right), the Chief Executive Officer of Teach for Qatar, said, “Teaching is not currently considered a top career choice in Qatar and is undervalued by society as a profession. So, through this campaign, we want to promote the valuable role teachers play in our society - they are responsible for nurturing the next generation of doctors, engineers and other important professions in our economy. By taking on the role of teacher, the key figures taking part in our campaign are helping to remind us of the greatness of our teachers. Not only are teachers important academically, they foster creativity, shape mindsets, and build character as well – this is a great responsibility,” he added.

“We place great value on our relationship with partners like Teach For Qatar that share our commitment to improving education outcomes for young people in Qatar – this is a key component of our community outreach programs,” said Saleh Al Mana, Vice President and Director of Government and Public Affairs for ExxonMobil Qatar. “The ‘Be A Teacher’ campaign provides wonderful opportunities for students to talk and interact freely with the presidents of major businesses, well-known scientists and policymakers, and other leaders from the local community. It is such a great way to impart knowledge, and really make a difference in the lives of students. We’re very pleased to be part of Teach For Qatar’s work and to share their goal of helping young people build their future careers.”

TFQ handpicks graduates and professionals who wish to give back to the country by positively impacting student learning, whether nationals or residents, by providing them the opportunity to inspire students through full-time employment in one of its partner independent schools. The TFQ program, known as the “Leadership Journey”, equips Fellows with transferrable leadership skills, adaptable to whichever career path they choose to pursue at the end of their Journey. The organization strives to change Qatari society’s perception of the teaching profession, and to highlight its importance. TFQ makes every effort to help the community realize the critical role teachers have in developing motivated and innovative students who can drive Qatar’s progress and help achieve the national vision for 2030.