Q&A with applicant C. J. Appleby
C. J. has been accepted into the summer 2021 cohort of trainee teachers with the Teach First programme. She specialises in English and hopes to teach in secondary schools before applying for a PhD in creative writing. The development centre she attended was virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Watch the video to find out more about the charity funding for teaching courses or visit their website.
How did you find out about the opportunity?
I had been considering working in schools for a few years. As most people would, I did an internet search on teacher training. The big names that came up were Get Into Teaching (GOV) and Teach First.
What was the application process like?
That’s a good question. I had applied on multiple occasions actually. This was due to relocation, education and other personal circumstances that impacted the process. It’s fairly simple if you have all your documentation from your degree. The transcript of results seemed to be most important. It seemed almost guaranteed if you achieved a 1:1 in your undergraduate, which I did. My MA is just a bonus.
What preparations did you make for the development centre?
Outfit choice was extremely important considering it was 100% virtual. Visual aspects will be more important than they would usually when you’re on-screen with XYZ other applicants.
As a level 3 teaching assistant, I had already completed a lot of self-study at home training courses throughout lockdown whilst work was lighter. I’d also undergone a series of mandatory training programmes with my new employer.
What did you do for the group task?
I can’t provide any specifics. This is to ensure the selection process remains fair to all applicants. What I can and will say is that despite my anxiety, I decided to take a leadership role to prove my capabilities. To my surprise, the other applicants followed the ideas I put forward and responded more than positively. It was a moment I felt proud of myself.
They are most likely looking for people who demonstrate problem-solving, support (to those who are less inclined to participate) and help proactively bring out the best in a group.
Where does it go next?
After being offered the spot for 2021 training, I also applied for a role as an academic mentor with Teach First as this is a paid role where I can get the experience I need to work within secondary schools prior to starting the course. This is due to commence in January and feels more secure as a role with the organisation I will be studying with.
I am excited to start working in disadvantaged areas to provide high-quality education to those deserving it most.