“Actually it’s useful sometimes to step in”

How best to use a twenty-minute mentor meeting with a new teacher?  We recently filmed the approach taken by Izzy Leahy (’10 Ambassador) to support first year Teach First participant Sam Bower at Harris Academy Greenwich.  Izzy’s main approach was coaching Sam, supporting him to reflect upon his teaching and reach his own conclusions; she also included…

Celebrating success and building teams at Reach Academy

We visited Reach Academy in Feltham recently to film a professional development session after school.  We’ll show the session in a future post, but first we wanted to highlight how Ed Vainker (’03 Ambassador) began.  Vainker set aside the first few minutes for teachers to share recent successes, inviting them to link their achievements to…

What underpins an outlier’s success?

What does it take for a teacher to survive in a school which they themselves describe as ‘chaotic’, which may have seen numerous changes in leadership and direction, or might have suffered years of perceived failure?  This year, our team interviewed twenty-five Teach First participants (as well as their mentors and tutors), who had thrived…

New teachers in challenging environments: what support is crucial?

Understanding what support matters most for new teachers is critical for Teach First.  It formed one aspect of our ‘Outliers’ Study: interviews with twenty-five participants (and two colleagues of each teacher) who had thrived in particularly challenging schools. Every single case study highlighted the impact of practical support in aspects such as planning, assessment and…

“It’s marginal gains, isn’t it? The little things.”

There often seems to be a tacit assumption that your first year in teaching – and perhaps large parts of your career – are meant to be a bit of a misery.  Teaching is certainly incredibly hard but unhappiness is neither inevitable nor unavoidable. Recent research our team conducted found that the teachers who did…