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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 fulfill these requirements you must:

• Be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand

• Not already have a teaching qualification that allows you to teach at a secondary school in New Zealand;

• Must not have received a TeachNZ scholarship in the past;

• Be eligible to teach one of our seven subject areas which are; English, Mathematics/Statistics, Chemistry, Physics, Te Reo Māori, General Science or Digital Technology. You can find the study prerequisites for each subject area through this link.

You can also read Teach First NZ's full admission policy here.


Our core competencies

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

Sets aspirational goals and consistently reaches them; motivated to exceed expectations.

Ability to affectively engage and lead others towards a common goal.

Perseverance and resilience
The determination to reach goals, even when confronted by obstacles and challenges.

Influencing and motivating
A confident communicator who is able to motivate others to act in a desired way.

Humility, respect, and empathy
Is humble and respectful of others, values, diversity, and displays high emotional intelligence.

Organisation and planning
Able to plan and prioritise effectively with a focus on successful outcomes.

Problem solving
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
Passionate about contributing to tackling educational inequality and displays belief in the potential of all students to succeed, regardless of socioeconomic background.

In addition to the 10 core competencies listed above, we also assess for evidence of cultural awareness.


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