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How does it work?

How does it work?


Recruiting outstanding individuals

We recruit outstanding individuals with academic expertise as well as a range of skills and experiences. Our participants and alumni all have one thing in common - the drive to lead change. 

When you join Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu, you join a community of like-minded people who are committed to having an impact on the lives of the students they teach, and the wider community.


Initial Intensive

Your Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu journey begins in November with an 9 week Summer Initial Intensive programme. This is a live-in learning experience delivered in partnership with our tertiary provider, The Mind Lab. The focus of the Intensive is on developing the skills and knowledge to prepare you for working in the classroom from the beginning of the upcoming school year.

The Intensive balances learning and development with plenty of social activities and fun. Over the Intensive, you will form strong and lasting friendships with your cohort members who are a main network of support and learning for you throughout the 2-year programme. Over the Intensive, your accommodation, food and travel costs are covered by Teach First NZ to allow you to focus on getting the most out of the 9-week programme.



Exceptional teachers

After the Intensive, you’ll begin teaching in your host school on a full salary.

We make sure you are fully supported to be the best you can be from day 1 in your new school. To do this, you will teach 60 percent of a full-time teaching load to allow you to complete your Masters study. The learning for this is ongoing, and includes regular workshops to support your practice and personal development.  You’ll also begin regular contact with your personal support team, including an in-school mentor and coordinator, Teach First NZ Kaihapai and visiting lecturers. 


Over the course of the two years, you will work towards completing your Masters in Teaching and Education Leadership. For this, you will receive a full scholarship that covers all costs associated with your studies. 


"The Teach First NZ Programme offers hands-on training, the opportunity to learn from those in the classroom, and a commitment to the community. It has given me the opportunity to challenge myself and to work with enthusiastic and forgiving people everyday."

Mitchell Denham, Teach First NZ 2015 Cohort, Teaching English at Northland College



Inspirational leaders

After two intense, challenging and unbelievably rewarding years, you’ll have completed the Teach First NZ Programme and be awarded a Masters in Teaching and Education Leadership from The Mind Lab.

Equipped with an impressive array of skills and experiences you have gained through the programme, it is now up to you to choose whether you to stay in the classroom, or into other sectors where you can have a greater impact.


The bigger impact

For some of you, the end of the programme will mark the next step in your teaching career as you strive to continue making a difference in the classroom and mastering the art and science of being a transformational teacher. 

Stepping up into a leadership role within a school is common among our participants at the end of the programme. For others, it’s the opportunity to launch an exciting new phase of your career, taking with you the invaluable skills and experience that you have obtained from the classroom and moving into a different context. Our alumni movement is designed to help you to achieve positions of influence across a variety of sectors and in a wide range of contexts in order to help orient you towards making lasting contributions to an equal Aotearoa New Zealand.