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Who we look for

Who we look for

We believe that New Zealand needs great people working as teachers inside the classroom to raise student’s aspirations and achievement levels. We also need leaders working in all parts of society to provide equal opportunities for students and their families to succeed.

At Teach First NZ, we develop people into teachers that make a real difference at school, and who go on to help lead and inspire a real difference in society.

This starts with our two-year leadership programme that develops top graduates and career-changing professionals into highly effective teachers and inspirational leaders.

Eligibility and selection criteria

Our participants do not start out as teachers - in fact, they come from a range of academic disciplines and backgrounds. At Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu we are looking for well-rounded, passionate individuals who meet our eligibility requirements.

To meet our eligibility criteria you must:

  1. Hold New Zealand Citizenship or a Permanent Residency Visa;
  2. Have completed a Bachelors Degre (by the start of the programme in November)
  3. Not hold a secondary teaching qualification;
  4. Not have received a TeachNZ scholarship in the past;
  5. Be eligible to teach one of our nine subject areas:
  • Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, General Science)
  • Mathematics
  • Technology
  • Digital Technology
  • Te Reo Māori

Check your eligibility here.


Ako Mātātupu ngā āheitanga: Teach First NZ competencies

At Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu we have no ‘ideal’ candidate profile. We believe that great teachers and leaders demonstrate some key dispositions, and a range of skills, abilities and understandings and have used these to form the basis of our competency framework. Throughout the selection process, candidates are assessed for evidence of the following:

Interpersonal relationships
Develops relationships and makes connections with a wide range of people

Cultural competence
Is developing a culturally embedded understanding of identity and power and their relation to inequality in Aotearoa New Zealand

Humility, self-awareness and openness to learning
Is self-aware, able to self-reflect and actively learns from others

Empathy and respect
Is willing to be compassionate and empathetic towards others

Leadership and service
Is willing to serve and take on responsibility for the benefit of others

Adaptability and flexibility
Is willing to be adaptable and flexible in different situations, whilst maintaining integrity

Organisation and planning
Is willing to plan and prioritise effectively with a focus on overarching outcomes

Commitment and resilience
Has demonstrated commitment and resilience when facing challenges and setbacks

Sets aspirations goals and is willing to go over and above to consistently reach them

Commitment to the Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu mission and vision
Has genuine aroha for the communities and students that we serve and is committed to the Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu mission and vision



Weirdly Quiz

This short quiz is designed to give you a taste of the kinds of qualities we are looking for – find out how well aligned with the programme you are.



“It doesn’t matter if you are just graduating or have already started your career, what matters to us is who you are. We want to hear from interesting people with bright ideas, awesome communication skills and leadership potential.”

Liam Munday, Recruitment and Marketing Manager, Teach First NZ