Although math teacher Marwa Ali did not originally intend to become a teacher, she found herself as one of the latest members of the school staff this year. After working for her father’s company, Ali quickly realized that was not the path for her. She now teaches algebra 1, algebra 2 and pre-calculus.
When did you start teaching?
I started first as a mechanical engineer. To be honest, I wasn’t meant to be an engineer, because I never liked it. So, In 2001, a friend of mine who was a teacher told me to come try teaching, so I did as an assistant and substitute teacher. I liked it a lot so I went full time in 2003.
What inspired you to be a teacher?
I am from a big family and used to teach my younger brothers and sisters. When the opportunity arose for me to teach, I took the offer because I knew I had background experience. I initially taught third graders and it couldn’t have been more perfect for me. It reminded me of my younger brothers and sisters.
What is it like teaching math?
At the beginning of the year, I’m so excited to teach and then toward the end of the year, I think it was such a good year. But toward the end of second quarter and through third quarter I get the feeling like I don’t want to teach anymore because of the pressure. But the kids are what keep me going. I like being able to go through the school year with them, handle adversity and persevere with them.
If you could be anything other than a teacher, what would it be?
A basketball coach for elementary kids. Three years ago, I was a coach for my son’s basketball team. I was [also] a basketball player when I was in high school.
What is your favorite thing about Chantilly?
The teachers and the welcoming environment. There’s a lot of positivity in this building, and it’s hard to come and not feel welcome.