August 14, 2020, by stykjsk
Teach First: The Taster Experience
By Katy Skillen, MNutr Nutrition and Dietetics, second year student blogger
Two full days on Zoom? Yes, it is as exhausting as it sounds.
But that was exactly what I signed up for when I enrolled in Teach First’s Taster Programme. Teach First is a UK charity that aims to tackle education inequality in the UK. Its mission is to build a fair education for all children, regardless of their background, ethnicity, wealth or social class.
Teaching is a career that I am semi-interested in. After learning about Teach First, I looked into opportunities that I could make the most of while at University. I came across this two-day taster experience, which allows students to learn more about Teach First, develop important skills like communication and leadership, and get some experience teaching a lesson. Normally, this experience takes place in London, but was moved to an online format due to COVID-19. This was a slightly different experience to what I was anticipating, but it was still super interesting.
Here are a few things that I learned…
The importance of teachers
The value of teaching cannot be emphasised enough! The necessity to recruit inspiring and engaging teachers has been highlighted even more in the light of the current pandemic. COVID-19 has restricted the ability of pupils to attend school and widened the education inequality gap. It is clear that it is vital to ensure that careers in teaching and education policy making are filled by passionate and dedicated people.
Opportunities in teaching are endless
I, like most people, assumed that if you do a teaching qualification, you are destined to end up in a classroom. But no! Teaching opens up so many doors. Teach First ambassadors can work on education boards, become head teachers, and some even work for corporate companies such as Deloitte and PwC. There are opportunities to work abroad as well. The options really are endless.
Taster days are worthwhile
This experience really emphasised to me how important it is to make the most of the little experiences and taster days provided by companies. It is the best way to ask questions directly, find out extra information, and show your interest. If I ever come to apply for Teach First as a career, being able to say that I attended this taster experience will be a great way of standing out from the crowd.
Not everyone has a career figured out
I tend to think that everyone knows what they want to do except me. However, taking part in this taster experience, with lots of other students, reminded me that loads of people are in the same boat as me. Most people at the taster were also unsure whether teaching is something they want to do, but were there to explore different options. There is nothing to lose by just turning up and showing an interest. Plus, you don’t have to be 100% sure of your career path to give something a go.
The Teach First experience sounds pretty cool
The Training Programme ran by Teach First does appeal to me, to be honest. It is a two-year programme where you earn a salary teaching and gain your PGCE alongside it. It sounds intense. After just five weeks of learning to become a teacher you are suddenly in the classroom. But importantly, it also sounds like a career that would be interesting, exciting and of course, very rewarding.
Find out more about careers in teaching including routes in, gaining work experience, funding and how to apply.
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