Everyone in education has something to say about Teach First. It’s not always positive. The thrust of criticism seems to be that Teach Firsters are inexperienced, naive yes-men, all too eager to please Ofsted and SMTs at any cost.
I tend to let nay-sayers get on with it. I hope my results will speak for themselves when I get into the classroom.
The criticism does, however, put the pressure on us to perform. We’ve been told we’re “exceptional graduates” and there is a legion of people willing to sneer at us if at any point we are not “exceptional”. This has weighed heavily on my mind.
But, do you know what? My school has hired me as a teacher, not a miracle worker. They had a vacancy, and rather than hiring an NQT fresh from a PGCE or a more experienced teacher, they chose to go for someone from Teach First. Given the percentage of TF staff in the school is only a few percent, it’s not the choice they make every time.
They know that I won’t have sat in lectures about pedagogy for a year.
They know that I don’t have 20 years experience of settling a rowdy classroom.
They know that I will probably have an intense love of learning objectives and collaborative learning, knocked into me by Summer Institute, that teachers like @OldAndrewUK deride.
But for some reason – my enthusiasm, my high calibre degree, I don’t know exactly – they’ve still gone for me.
I won’t be perfect. Some days I’ll probably be shit. But that’s OK. No ones gone into that school thrusting me upon them unwillingly. I don’t have anything to feel sorry for, I just have to do the best job I can, like any teacher would.