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Make a difference to each and every one of your students

We often get asked why we do what we do. The simple answer is that we want to help teachers make a difference to each and every one of their students.

Dr Charles Wiles is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zzish, the company behind Quizalize. He is an expert in Robotics and AI (PhD, Oxford University) and below he explains WHY he built Quizalize.

‘I built Quizalize, because my son was struggling at school and his time-pressed teachers just didn’t have the time to give him the personalized help he really needed. I wanted to give his teachers a tool that would give them the time to personalize their teaching, not just to my own son, but to every student they teach, and so, make a difference to each and every one.

Most teachers I talk to joined the profession for one key reason, they wanted to make a difference. They are passionate about sharing the joy of learning and helping young people learn, grow and live fulfilling lives.  But the pressures of modern teaching make this so hard and many teachers get burnt out and consider leaving the profession. Sadly some do leave.

Building a product and company is hard too. I often work 80 hour weeks and have made many personal sacrifices over many years to keep Quizalize alive and growing. I have given up many weekends, Easters and Christmases with my family. I remortgaged my house to provide the company with funds when things didn’t go according to plan. It’s been a long, hard and challenging journey. But what makes it all worthwhile, and what gets me out of bed each morning ready to start the day, is when a teacher tells me about the difference they have made to one of their students as a result of using Quizalize. It makes me feel that I am making a difference.

The first time this happened to me was at SXSWEdu in 2017. It was the first time the company had a stand at an EdTech conference in the USA. It was a tiny stand and we were a small company and I really didn’t expect that anyone attending the conference would have heard of Quizalize yet.  Suddenly this lady approached me and in a strong Texan accent excitedly started telling me about how much she loved Quizalize and how much it was making a difference to students in her classroom.  She had made the one hour journey to the conference just because she had heard we were going to be there. The very first words she said were “Oh my god, I can’t believe you guys are here!”

A couple of hours later I sat down to lunch with her and her colleague, Carolina. Just as we were finishing lunch, Carolina said. “Thank you Charles. I was about to give up teaching, but Quizalize has brought new life to my teaching career.”  She was enjoying teaching again because she felt she was making a real difference to her students once again.

Her words also gave me validation. They told me that what I was doing really was worthwhile. Until that point Quizalize had been an idea that I believed could make a difference. I had poured my heart and soul into it for several years and although many teachers told me they loved our product, none had yet told me it was really making a real difference. Finally here was the proof that Quizalize actually was doing what I had set out to achieve. Her words gave me the determination to work harder than ever to turn Quizalize into an application that helps teachers across the world bring fun into their classrooms and personalise their teaching to every student in their class.

That day was one of the best days of my life and, on the hard days, I remember Carolina’s words and those of the many other teachers who have over the years told me about the difference we are making to them and their students. 

Our mission is to keep that passion you have for teaching burning and help you make a difference to each and every one of your students.  Every day I am inspired by the amazing work that you do helping our young people learn and progress. Thank you for being part of our teacher community. My team and I are here to support you and, together, we can make a difference.’

We would love to hear your story. Why did you become a teacher? Tell us about a teacher or person who made a difference to your education. Please email us, make a video, tag us on social media or comment with your stories. Let’s celebrate the incredible work you’re all doing.

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