Full time university student
I absolutely loved the placement within the school, we were really immersed straight away and the training really helped us to feel well prepared to go into that environment. However, I did struggle a bit with the training week prior to the school placement, finding the tasks relatively tedious and laborious.
I felt extremely valued. We were well catered for in every aspect of the course; including freebies throughout, opportunities to socialise well and also constant support and contact with staff members throughout the time within both our learning environment and within the school placement classroom. We were well looked out for.
The first week, despite getting relatively tiresome really did prepare us well for the classroom environment. We had lessons, workshops and seminars within that first week to cover the every aspect of life as a teacher. Additionally, whilst on the school placement we were paired up with specific teachers for support.
Following the program I really do feel inspired to go into teaching as a career. Due to this, I know how a greater motivation to do well in the final year of my degree. In addition, whether I train to be a teacher with Teach First or not, I feel I have gained excellent qualities from the course.
The layout of the entire program was very thorough. However, I would say that some speakers and activities weren’t necessary; making the days exceptionally intense and long. Therefore I think that slots for activities and speakers should have been slightly reduced in order to account for the fatigue of participants.
The atmosphere was great. Teach First clearly know how to pick great candidates and people working within the charity. It was so amazing to meet so many like-minded, driven people who just want to give 100%. We all worked hard, but at the end of the days were able to bond and socialise.
It was clear that Teach First wanted us to thrive and join the scheme. They gave us very thorough training and good contacts for our futures in teaching. Additionally, they gave us many other ideas about what to do with our futures, not just stopping at teaching; clearly caring for us.
The first week where we were being trained, did give us a good idea about how to cope with a number of situations that might come up within the school environment. However it was only once on the placement in the school that we got the full insight from teachers.
Again, the first week gave us a great insight into the ethos of the charity; in combating educational inequality. However, it was only once in the school environment, interacting with teachers who had completed Teach First, that it was evident the type of characters and culture that the charity has.
The entire placement has really shown me how much I want to be a teacher, so in that regards it has been very very valuable. However, it has not been successful in showing me which path I want to take to get into the career, which I need to investigate.
We were generously paid for our time on the placement. Additionally, we were reimbursed up to a particular point for travel on the placement days. As well as this, our accommodation and travel to the placement base was paid for. However, we weren’t reimbursed for any food bought, but this wasn’t problematic.
A number of teach first employees did come in to speak to us, however we didn’t get to interact with them a huge amount outside of their lectures or seminars, so weren’t able to network with them to a great extent. Those that we were able to were very valuable.
There weren’t enough of these I didn’t feel. However, after such long days I’m not sure that any of the participants would have been overly keen to stay even later to chat, without first having a rest and some food. But it would have been nice to make contacts with people.
No, there was very little talk about work life balance, and even little about the particular ways in which this can occur. It was clear that all current employees are a close knit group who do things outside of work, so it seems that this is an important thing to the charity.
Yes, definitely! It was such a valuable experience. Whether you know you want to be a teacher or whether you really think that you don’t, it really opens your eyes to educational inequality, which is something that I believe everyone should know about. You also meet amazing people and make great friends.