"I would not be a teacher if it was not for Teach First and I wouldn't still be teaching if it wasn't for the students."
Kate Campion-Smith ('07), (winner of the Outstanding New Teacher of the Year Award, London and the South East, Teaching Awards 2010)
"I think Teach First is the best opportunity that you can have as a graduate coming out of university and particularly what's been so good about the primary programme, which a lot of people don't know about as it's a very new programme, is the variation that you have. You get to teach all these different subjects to children who are very young and the impact you have on young children is so great, because they're at such a crucial stage of their development."
Frances Perrin ('09), The Business Academy Bexley
"I couldn't think of a better job to be honest. It's got the right blend of something challenging for you to do with the lessons and how you deliver them, and also it's the relationships with the pupils and other people, which I don't think you would have doing some other jobs."
Martin Powell ('08), Burlington Danes Academy
"I think since I've started teaching, although I've grown in confidence I think the students have grown in confidence as well, and that's really shown both in their work, in their attitude, and in the relationships that I have with them, both in the classroom and in the corridor."
Clare Humphreys ('08), Manning School for Girls
"Teach First is almost like a constant reminder that there's a wider mission out there and there's an opportunity to learn new skills, go to events and meet new people. I think also it constantly reminds me of the Teach First mission, so that I'm not just plodding through my day job, I'm kind of thinking that there is a sense of urgency, there is a desire to see change in these inner-city schools."
Steve Adcock ('03), Burlington Danes Academy
"I think that for me, the power of Teach First is that eventually it will seep into the fabric of society and help us all recognise the real importance of what teaching is."
Ndidi Okezie ('03), Burlington Danes Academy
"I decided to stay in teaching after my two years because I love that I get time to look into, think about and discuss the issues surrounding the curriculum. Now I am in a position to design a curriculum! I feel empowered and I enjoy having a closer relationship with parents. My Teach First experience equipped me for success in my current role. Teach First is a really good experience for learning to deal with other people and encourages you to have confidence in your ability."
Jenny Sutton ('04), taught English at Highbury Grove School, currently Assistant Head teacher
"The exposure to business, through internships and the Foundations of Leadership course sounded great and I found the list of supporters very persuasive. It's certainly been hard… but Teach First has changed me. It's given me so much more confidence. I feel I could happily present to a room of 100 people now."
Sarah Tough ('03)
"I think Teach First is really important in terms of the kind of people it recruits - it's breaking the mould of stereotypes of teachers which I think is really important, because teaching has always been an incredibly hard profession, teachers have always been incredibly dedicated, but it hasn't always had that social respect that it deserves."
Emily Hourmouzios ('08), The Business Academy Bexley
"I think quite a lot of people come into Teach First because they know someone that's done it and they've had an amazing experience, and you know no matter how tired you feel, when you've had a low day and you might cry in a class, you know you have to keep persevering, and when you do have those lows, the highs you feel are amazing because of that. And you know no two days are the same, and in many other professions you don't get that sense of reward that you're doing something that is actually worthwhile."
Astrid Fieldsend ('09), The Business Academy Bexley
"I liked the way we were all brought together for a common purpose and were integrated into the school environment well. All sessions were constructive and I found it easy to ask questions. I got on well with all staff I was in contact with and they were all too pleased to help me."
Tom Charman ('10), Capital City Academy, London