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Many teachers in schools across the world enter teaching with a strong sense of vocation, a ‘passion’ for teaching. Yet, whilst some survive and flourish, others fall by the wayside. In reporting on the results of a survey of 1,000 teachers with up to five years’ experience in American schools, Sonia Nieto (2005: 3) observed that:

96% said that they loved teaching and 72% declared that contributing to society and helping others was paramount to them. In most cases, they became teachers out of a sense of mission, for love more than for money. Their responses, taken together, define an idealistic group of people who share at least one significant quality: They have a passion for teaching, a quality that, according to the report, is, ‘palpable, vastly unappreciated and a valuable asset that money can’t buy’.