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Teach First comments please

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by jco, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. jco

    jco New commenter

    My friend's daughter is considering Teach First as a training provider for secondary mathematics teaching. Does anyone have any experience of this charity? I would like to hear about the way they gradually introduce classes and increase the amount of contact time whilst allowing time to observe or collaborate on planning or teaching. Any comments will be greatfully received.
  2. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    They are referred to in the trade as 'Cheap First'.

    They load you up with a lot of teaching and the training is front loaded. If she is interested in a salary from the get go and wants to move out of teaching after a couple of years then she should go for it.

    If she wants to be a teacher for life then she should sign up for a proper PGCE with masters credits which will train you slowly but well.

    The stress on the Teach First programme is very very high. On a PGCE they will stagger the teaching load focusing on quality of teaching rather than quantity.

    But be aware - you get what you pay for. If you pay nothing and take a salary, expect to earn it. If you pay £9,000 then expect training,
  3. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    I agree with Mr Media...
  4. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Teach First is a large initially London based provider for training teachers focused upon schools in areas of need - the training is very intensive and a lot takes place over the summer period prior to the September start. The big sell is that you do not commit to teaching for your whole career and the charity use their business links to offer other alternatives once your teaching commitment ( or draft period) - usually around 3 years is up.
    There is on going support and training from the charity during the NQT year and in some cases there are links with postgraduate development.
    A lot does depend upon the school and the department you are allocated to.
    As with everything there are pros and cons to this approach and comparisons can be made with the traditional training routes.
    I have found that the eligible schools do speak highly of the trainees and the programme generally. It will have variations however as it is expanding into different parts of the country and it is facing an increased demand.
  5. caitien

    caitien New commenter

    You won't be able to hear much about this, I am afraid. They don't 'gradually introduce' anything, at least for secondary. I did the programme last year, for a different secondary subject.

    As a previous poster has said, it very much depends on the school. I personally found it extremely stressful, but my school was very supportive. I know others whose schools were unable to give them the support they needed, and they had a terrible time. Sometimes Teach First trainees are employed because the school needs staff and can't afford more experienced ones - which doesn't bode well for your training.

    Having said that, if you manage to survive it, you end up having a lot of hands on experience in usually a challenging school, straight away, which means by your NQT year you have dealt with many of the issues (having an almost full timetable, having your own classes from the start, being solely responsible for all of it) that NQTs who have done a 'normal' PGCE often face. If you get a school which is used to the process and can offer genuine training and support, it may be worth it.

    If she would prefer to have things gradually introduced, definitely not TF! For me, for the subject I did, I would never have been able to get a bursary for a PGCE so the financial aspect was a plus for me - but for maths the bursaries are around the same as an unqualified salary I believe!

  6. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    You should note the bursaries are tax free. For some this is the equivalent of a salary of almost 50k before tax. Still no takers mind....
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Don't go anywhere near it.
  8. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    From your original post, I would tell your friend to ensure her daughter has read into this. It is not a traditional training course for teachers. It is a political policy to put 'high class graduates' from Russell Group and higher universities into challenging schools.

    I am not keen myself. If she is looking for a career in teaching then maybe there are better ways. Certainly you are not going to get a gradual immersion into teaching. It is a paid job from day one I am afraid.
  9. pwarps23

    pwarps23 New commenter

    My husband is wanting to do secondary maths teacher training and applied to Teach First. He got rejected on the basis he has a 'C' in his maths A level. However, his qualifications are as follows; degree, masters and PhD. The response was that his degree was not in a subject (it is a building surveying degree). Additionally, his PhD was in construction and economics! Furthermore, he has had lectured in economics. I am amazed that they are crying out for maths teachers and yet, based on his A levels he is not able to get on the course!
  10. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    He might not be able to get onto TF, but I'm sure other courses would consider him. I'd certainly want to look at his experience before rejecting him on those grounds.

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