We look for individuals who have the qualities to make a difference.
To be successful in realising the full potential of the students you teach – and to take advantage of the opportunities Teach First NZ offers – you’ll need to be someone with bright ideas, gritty determination, awesome communication skills and a desire to develop your leadership potential. You’ll be someone who combines a strong work ethic and self-discipline with warmth, empathy and humility.
You'll also have to be very resilient. We make no secret of the fact that the Teach First NZ programme is a huge challenge. You'll be pushed outside your comfort zone frequently and encounter a steep learning curve, so we are looking for exceptional individuals who recognise that the biggest rewards come from the greatest challenges.
We have identified ten core competencies that research tells us are the best predictors of effective teaching and strong leadership. Our selection process is designed to provide applicants with the opportunity to demonstrate these qualities in a professional but relaxed way.
Sets aspirational goals and consistently reaches them; motivated to exceed expectations.
Ability to effectively engage and lead others towards a common goal.
Perseverance and resilience
Determination to reach goals, and stick with a difficult task over a long period, even when confronted by obstacles and challenges.
Influencing and motivating
Confident communicator who is able to motivate others to act in a desired way.
Humility, respect, and empathy
Is humble and respectful of others, supports diversity in the broadest sense, and displays high emotional intelligence.
Organisation and planning
Able to plan and prioritise effectively with a focus on successful outcomes.
Able to analyse information and generate creative solutions.
Evaluates own behaviour regularly with a view to continuous learning and development.
Flexible in approach, adaptable in working style, and open to change.
Commitment to our mission
Focussed on tackling educational inequality over the short and long term; displays belief in the potential of all students to succeed, regardless of socioeconomic background.
• All applicants must have attained, or be on track to attain, a minimum of a Bachelor degree with strong grades.
• You must have completed at least one paper at 300-level (third year) or higher related to the secondary school subject area you wish to teach. For our 2014 intake we are only recruiting for participants to teach English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Te Reo Māori* (more subjects may be added in future years). * Te Reo Māori knowledge gained outside of the tertiary context is suitable if you hold a Bachelor degree in another subject with strong grades.
• You must be a New Zealand or Australian citizen or permanent resident.
• If you have already completed your university degree, you must have graduated within the last seven years (ensures your subject knowledge is recent and relevant).
• You must be willing to live and work in Auckland, Whangarei or Northland (more regions to come in future years), and be committed to doing so for the full two years of the programme.
• The Teach First NZ programme is specifically designed for individuals who have not completed a qualification that allows them to teach. In order to apply, you must therefore not be studying towards, or have already completed, a qualification that will allow you to teach or obtain teacher registration (primary or secondary). Please also note that if you have previously been awarded a Ministry of Education 'TeachNZ' scholarship or allowance, you are not eligible to apply for the Teach First NZ programme.
• Successful candidates must meet all University of Auckland admission and enrolment requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary Field-based), including a police check and declaration of any physical or psychological condition or disability that may affect your ability to complete the programme.
• Successful candidates must commit to an intensive six-week 'live-in' residential programme from mid-November 2013 to mid-January 2014. During this time you will be accommodated in a University hall of residence in Auckland.
To apply for the Teach First NZ leadership development programme you will first need to register your interest and complete our online application form. If your online application is successful, you will be invited for a phone interview where you will have another opportunity to discuss your background and demonstrate key competencies. Success here will lead you to our Assessment Centre, incorporating interviews, a group exercise, a sample teaching lesson and self-reflection. If you are successful at our Assessment Centre – congratulations! You will be made an offer to take the first step towards tackling educational inequality in New Zealand.
Stage 1: Online application
After you have submitted a registration form online, you will be sent a unique link to the full Teach First NZ application form. The application form is where you provide personal and academic information along with answers to some specific questions for us to assess your fit against our competencies. We would recommend you put aside at least 60 minutes to complete this step, and you can save the application form as you go and return to it later.
You will need to upload your academic transcript to your application, so make sure you have it to hand (An internal or unofficial transcript is acceptable at this stage).
Stage 2: Subject knowledge review
When we review your application, we will also check your academic transcript to ensure that you have sufficient subject knowledge to teach in the subject you have nominated. If you have applied to teach Te Reo Māori, you will be also required to undergo a verbal fluency test with one of our specialists.
If you don’t have enough of the appropriate course papers that qualify you to teach in your nominated subject area and you are in your first semester of your final year of study, you may consider enrolling in a relevant paper for your second semester studies. We can discuss this with you further if applicable.
Stage 3: Telephone interview
If you are successful during our first two stages, you will then be invited to a telephone interview. The twenty minute interview will be conducted by a Teach First NZ staff member, and will further explore your background and experiences along with your motivations for applying to our programme. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions at this stage.
Stage 4: Assessment Centre
The final and most enjoyable stage in our selection process is the Assessment Centre. Our Assessment Centre has been designed in a way that allows all candidates to demonstrate their strengths in a professional yet relaxed environment. Over the course of the day, each candidate will complete two interviews and a group activity with other candidates. You will also be required to teach a seven-minute sample teaching lesson, on a topic provided to you a week in advance. Finally, you will have the opportunity to learn more about Teach First NZ while interacting with our staff, our partners, as well as fellow candidates attending the day with you.
Offer and beyond
If you are successful at our Assessment Centre, we will conduct reference checks with your nominated referees. Then, it’s congratulations! You will be made an offer to join the Teach First NZ leadership development programme. If you are still studying, your offer will be conditional upon the successful completion of your degree.
On acceptance of your offer, we will work with you to complete your enrolment with our teacher education partner, The University of Auckland. The University of Auckland has specific entry criteria that must be met, but we will guide you through this process. Before you commence the Summer Initial Intensive residential beginning in mid-November you will also be required to spend a short time observing in a school (School Observation and Reflection - SOAR).
While you await the Initial Intensive, we endeavour to maintain close contact with you. You will have access to all the latest news from Teach First NZ including confirmation of your placement school.
Please note an offer from Teach First NZ is not an employment offer, as participants are legally employed by their placement school.
Click Apply Now to find out about our application closing dates
Teach First NZ regularly visits the major centres around New Zealand. Please see our Facebook page below for events and presentations happening on your campus or near your area.
We are committed to ensuring that all applicants to the Teach First NZ leadership development programme are treated fairly and with respect, irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, ethnicity, religion/belief or disability. We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you any reasonable adjustments required in relation to our application process.
Your application form is the first impression we have of you so you might want to consider the suggestions below prior to submitting.
Do your homework: One of our competencies is commitment to our mission, so take the time to review our website and read our recruitment brochure so you have a good understanding of the Teach First NZ programme and can demonstrate this knowledge.
Be specific and consider the best examples: You will be asked to provide information relating to your employment and extracurricular activities. Spend time thinking about the most relevant examples to your application, and try to be specific and concise in your description of your achievements and involvement.
Be truthful: Stretching the truth or providing misinformation is never a good idea. You will be required to discuss and substantiate your background and experience as well as provide referees as part of the selection process, so sticking to the truth is always the best policy.
Spell check! Don’t let your application down by letting spelling and grammatical mistakes slip through the net. Spend time checking your application or have someone else read it to check for spelling errors.
Igraine Ridley-Smith has been recognised for outstanding achievement in her school community by winning the “New Educator of the Year” award at the ACT Public Education Excellence Awards 2012.
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What do the two years on the Teach First NZ leadership development programme look like? Find out here.