Hannah Lees, 2013 Cohort (English)

Voices - 21 June 2013

“Being a learner and a teacher at the same time is very empowering; I am not only making a commitment to my students, but also to myself”.

Attracted to Teach First NZ by the vision to tackle educational inequalities from within the classroom and beyond, Hannah comes to Teach First NZ with a passion for her teaching subject, English, and a desire to share her own learning with others. Hannah Lees was born in Dundee, Scotland and moved to Auckland when she was 13. Inspired by one of her own English teachers at high school, Hannah pursued her passion for this subject at The University of Auckland, where she graduated as a Senior Scholar with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy. Her roles as a volunteer phone counsellor at Youthline, and as a mentor for new students at The University of Auckland, provided her with a greater understanding of the inequities which exist within our communities.

These experiences, along with her taste for educational leadership as Head Girl and Dux at her high school, helped lead Hannah to the realisation that while her passion and successes were personally gratifying, they would be even more rewarding if she was able to share them with others, and inspire other students to create their own successes.  While Hannah was always interested in teaching and viewed it as important, it was Teach First NZ’s mission and vision which inspired her to become a part of the programme and tap into the transformational and liberating potential of education. In particular, she was drawn to the idea of being part of and connected to a group of like-minded people who are committed to social justice within education.

Hannah featured on TVNZ's Breakfast show on 23 May 2013. Watch the video here.