Why did you choose this company?
I've always known that I wanted to have a positive influence on the world around me, but I never knew how. During my Year Abroad, I worked as an English Language Assistant and I loved it. Before this point, I'd always heard about TeachFirst, but never really considered it, but having working in education, I started to really consider teaching as a profession. I'm not interested in spending another year studying, so a PGCE was off the table. TeachFirst offer a sort of"train while you earn" programme, so that's what I went for. Not to mention TeachFirst's role as a charity that aims to eradicate education inequality.
How did you find the application process? Were there any bits you particularly enjoyed? Or found challenging?
The application process is quite thorough, but they really do support you through the process, and it's great that you're not in direct competition with anyone. They reiterate the fact that if everyone who applies is good enough, everyone will get a place. There are two stages - an online application including a situational judgment test, and a "Development Centre". The Development Centre was particularly enjoyable. You get to mingle with other applicants, you have a one to one interview, a group activity and deliver a short lesson which you prepped before. At this point you'll receive your conditional offer. To get a confirmed offer, there are a few tasks you need to complete to prove you're able to teach, for example a maths and literacy test and a curriculum knowledge assessment. As you can see it's quite thorough, but it all takes place over an extended period of time, and it's all meant to make sure you're prepared and ready to start teaching.
What three tips would you give to BN members looking to follow in your footsteps?
Be yourself, be enthusiastic, and if it's what you think you might enjoy, go for it! I know a lot of people hear the negatives about working as a teacher and are instantly put off, but Teach First offer a really unique opportunity for you to be thrown into a leadership position straight out of graduation, to get a teaching qualification, to work as a teacher and see if it's for you, all while earning a salary. It can be a daunting prospect, but if you're tossing and turning about it, go for it. You've nothing to lose!
And finally, what was the toughest interview question you faced?
To be fair, all of the interview questions were pretty standard! I guess the toughest part of the interview day was the fact that you're required to evaluate your performances after you've done them. For example, "how do you think the group activity went? Is there anything you could have done better". It's an interesting process though, as usually you just do these tasks and wait to get told how it went, so it was nice to be involved in evaluating myself.