Teacher writing on board

November 24, 2020, by Caroline Nolan

Teach First Q&A: The Teaching Experience

By Annie Brown, MA Creative Writing student blogger

Applying for graduate schemes can be difficult, especially when you’re not quite sure what to expect. After working as a counsellor at a summer camp, I considered the idea of teaching. I wanted to know more about this possible career path. So, I sat down with my friend Hannah (name changed for privacy) to find out what her first term teaching as part of the Teach First graduate scheme had been like.

What age group do you teach?

I teach English in a secondary school and teach years 7 to 10. I wanted to work with older children as I felt it would be easier to express my passion for English.

What made you want to teach?

I didn’t feel like I had the best experience in secondary school. We would often do textbook/worksheet work wherever possible and personally, I didn’t enjoy this method of teaching. After doing some work experience in different schools, and witnessing some outstanding teaching, I decided to go into it as a career.

Why in particular did you choose Teach First?

When I saw Teach First’s mission, I decided it would be the path I wanted to take. I strongly agree with their vision that everybody deserves access to high-quality education, regardless of their background.

What have you learned from your first term?

I’ve gained so much from the experience so far that it’s impossible to summarise everything I have learned since September. This job can be incredibly rewarding and it’s amazing how much of an impact you can make from being in the classroom. I’ve also learned a lot about myself. I’m a lot stronger than I ever thought I was in terms of what I am able to handle.

How is the working and coursework balance?

It’s an absolute must to be good with time management for your training year. You need to be open to the idea of working during evenings, weekends, and holidays like Christmas and Easter to get things done. But, there is still plenty of time to socialise if you manage your time wisely. You are also given lots of support from both Teach First and your University tutor, which helps in creating this balance.

Would you recommend the graduate scheme?

It has been a very challenging experience. It took a while to adjust but now I’m thriving. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone considering teaching. It has been a thoroughly rewarding experience and I’m excited to see what the next term brings.

Like any graduate scheme, teaching can take a little while to adjust to. But ultimately, anything you focus on and work for can be incredibly rewarding.  Explore current opportunities with Teach First on MyCareer.

Find out more about primary and secondary teaching careers.   Our website has more advice on interview and application support.

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