Teach First Reviews

Updated June 5, 2015
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24 Employee Reviews

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  1. Far from perfect, but worth it

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Teacher in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Teach First

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Teaching is one of the most amazing jobs in the world; despite all the low points during TF (and there were some pretty nightmareish low points), I would still recommend it and would not change having done it. The network of other TFers is a huge strength. TF is fairly open to feedback and genuinely care about their 'mission' - you feel that this drives them. It is an exciting network to be part of and the other participants are great.

    School life varies massively, so see below.

    Cons

    Training is improving but still not good enough (although not sure it is any worse than a PGCE) - need more practical advice for teachers, proper, evidence-based teaching on practice and not potted versions of meaningless edu-theory and 'fun activities'. Just get everyone a copy of Doug Lemov, please.

    Schools vary hugely and if you end up with a dud mentor/school/leadership, TF are not helpful enough. They need to be far more demanding of the quality of mentors in schools, and also more challenging of school leadership and their behaviour. You can end up in a brilliant school, or a terrible school with a brilliant mentor, or end up having pretty much zero support in your school (like I did). In the latter case, TF need to be doing far more to make up for the shortfall, and to have more parity between the experience of different participants.

    Advice to Management

    Improve teacher training. Push for more research and evidence based practice. Demand better mentors in schools.


  2. English Teacher

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Teach First full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Good experience
    Exposure to new career
    Very challenging
    Can be rewarding
    Useful to gain contacts into other industries. TF has some excellent partners which offer summer internships.

    Cons

    Training is very rushed and poor. Often not very useful at all. Upon becoming a teacher, feel like it is all completely fresh.

    Large amounts of administration to deal with which can make life difficult.

    Very variable experience depending on what school you are placed in.

    Advice to Management

    Cut down on training, provide more in-school experience during the training that exists. Give more options in terms of what schools are available to candidates


  3. Working at TF

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Teach First full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Motivated; supported; driven; dynamic

    Cons

    top heavy; high turnover of staff; don't deal with line management issues quickly


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  5. Very supportive and helpful

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Teacher in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Teach First full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Encourage you to grow
    Supportive tutors and mentors

    Cons

    Can be placed anywhere in the UK


  6. Maths Teacher

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Teach First full-time

    Pros

    Support, atmoshphere, opportunities, and they genuinely care about your career.

    Cons

    Long hours, very low pay.


  7. 60 hours a week for poor money�� but very enjoyable if you're a workaholic!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teach First Participant- Maths in Rhondda, Wales (UK)
    Current Employee - Teach First Participant- Maths in Rhondda, Wales (UK)

    I have been working at Teach First

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I thought it would be developing relationships wort the pupils and watching them progress, but selfishly...
    Colleagues are great, time off is good, school days go so fast and the support I've had is the best.

    Cons

    The very worst thing is writing the assignments for your PGCE EVERY HALF TERM!
    There are more assignments than PGCE students with extra 2000 word reflective journals,
    A weekly reflection must be completed with targets.
    You have to go up to Leeds in your summer holiday to finalise your PGCE.
    PGCE students have a longer summer break.
    Many schools provide tougher experiences where the workload is doubled as they expect participants to plan a week ahead and produce lesson plans for approval- this isn't feasible and if it had happened to me Id have been out of there by now!
    The schools can be very difficult with poor leadership so you have to be very tough to cope with things without support sometimes.
    For maths, the pay is poor compare to all other options for maths graduates.

    Advice to Management

    Super Saturdays (training) are soul destroying after a full working week, taking up my planning day and leaving me with zero weekend. Luckily I found out these are no longer mandatory.


  8. The charity is fantastic but experience depends on your school and the level of support received.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Teach First full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    - part of a bigger movement with a shared vision
    - support network
    - training
    - people you work with
    - a challenge

    Cons

    - your experience is entirely dependent on what school you are placed in and whether this suits you
    - level of support you receive can vary greatly


  9. I worked at Teach First part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -heiped the youth in less priviledged communities to engage with other peers.assisted in night shelter by serving meals at a centre to people who sleep rough and prepare for them were to sleep.built purposeful relationships by providing one to one support to special needs children.

    Cons

    shortage of staff as staff cover has to be called out for cover.at night shelters youth can turn up in big numbers this then puts a strain on available resources

    Advice to Management

    more training for new volunteers is needed in order to be be able to deal with challenging behaviours.safe guarding policies should be made aware to new staff members by providing on going training when recruiting staff.


  10. Teach First LDP

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Teach First

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Excellent teacher training in the first year Feel that you are part of something bigger than yourself. Career progression can happen quicker in TF schools...

    Cons

    ...but this is because of high turnover in these schools as they are tough workplaces (and not actually because of the kids).Much less support available in the second year Not a great salary for the first year but this the government and schools' fault rather than TF's Not always sent to your best fit school


  11. Maths teacher

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Secondary Math Teacher in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Secondary Math Teacher in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Teach First

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great responsibility from a very early stage - opportunity to empower young children and make a difference to the lives of young people by encouraging young enthusiastic graduates to teach children in underprivileged areas

    Cons

    baptism of fire when teaching children, as you are thrown in at the deep end. very hard work for the pay teachers receive - however, it's a great cause for social good



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