I was recently contacted by TeachFirst and asked to meet their teachers and understand more about the area in which the new teachers were to work in. The idea behind TeachFirst is to shorten the amount of time students are at University and instead put them into schools earlier on for some ‘on the job’ learning, in schools.
Often the schools the students are sent to are schools in deprived areas or ‘problem’ schools. The student is to teach with another teacher for a few months and then the class is their own to teach – there was a program a few years back on TV called ‘Tough Young Teachers’ and it was about students through the TeachFirst organisation.
I met with the students on Monday night to explain to them what I do, what brought me to Peterborough, why I have stayed in Peterborough and the sorts of things that are in Peterborough. The students could then ask the panel (made up of me, a head teacher, a Muslim from a local mosque, a parent and a teacher that had done the TeachFirst program herself) any questions they had about Peterborough and such like.
It was a really great event and it was clear early on these teachers were more concerned about the children in the schools, issues the children they are teaching may be facing and things for children to do in the local area.
After 90 minutes of questions being thrown at us we went for a curry with the students. I was so impressed with the passion, attention and care that the students clearly had for their upcoming jobs, they are off to their schools today for the first time, and then it’s 3 more weeks training and after the summer holidays they join the school to teach for the next two years.
I genuinely feel we, as Peterborough, have been blessed with some fantastic upcoming teachers who will do some wonderful things for the children they will be teaching over the next few years and hopefully onwards after their placement.