In November, representatives of more than 20 network partners gathered in Mumbai, India to delve deeply into the question of how fostering leadership and empowerment among students can enhance learning and lead to improved outcomes and expanded opportunities. The event brought together CEOs, staff, alumni, participants, and students from across the Teach For All network, representing a wide range of experiences, both culturally and professionally.
This week, Teach First proudly announced that the 6,000 teachers trained and supported by the program since 2003 have now taught more than one million pupils in low income communities throughout England and Wales.
In October, Teach For All was honored to be invited to present our network model and national approach to the Ministries of Education of the European Union and select European business and social stakeholders. Held in Brussels, Belgium, the presentation followed several meetings between representatives of Teach For All and our European partners and members of the European Commission (EC) that have taken place throughout the year.
On June 20, Teach First and 23 other leading organizations in the UK launched the Fair Educaiton Alliance, a new coalition for change in education that aims to end the persistent achievement gap between young people from the nation's poorest communities and their wealthier peers. Unified by a common goal, the Alliance will work collectively to find long term solutions to address educational inequality, and will annually monitor the progress made to narrow the gap.
Last month I spent a week visiting two of Teach For All's youngest partner organisations—Teach For Nepal and Teach For Bangladesh. Both visits were truly inspiring and further pushed my sense of possibility for Teach First's own work and the progress of other partners around the world.
It all started with one classroom in South London...
My biggest win as a teacher in South London happened in my second year when I started a student football team with a Teach First colleague. Suddenly, my relationships with some of my most challenging and disengaged students changed in a positive way. For me, leading the team allowed me to get to know my Year 10 boys outside the classroom. But the impact went much deeper, providing students with self-confidence and a sense of companionship that had a positive impact on their academic performance.
"Tough Young Teachers,” a documentary series produced by Victory Television and BBC Three with the support of Teach First, is giving audiences in the UK an unprecedented view of the challenges and triumphs new teachers experience. The series, which premiered on January 9, follows the journey of six Teach First trainees through one academic year working in schools in low-income communities of London.
“From the moment I found out about this honour last year, I’ve thought about how bizarre it is to single out any one person for work that, by definition, is the result of the commitment of thousands. Teach First would not be here without our original ‘Founding Ambassadors,’ or the brave pioneering 2003 participants who proved the skeptics wrong. We would not be making our current impact without the work of our hundreds of wonderful employees, university tutors, in-school mentors, trustees and supporters, financial and otherwise.