"When I found out about Teach First NZ, it was huge. I was blown away that something like this existed, and all the values they spoke of, I was like "Hey, that's what I think!" It felt like it was made for me.
I came across Teach First NZ quite fortuitously - I'd studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland and felt drawn to teaching. It was a perfect opportunity to address a need in the community which I saw. So when I found out about Teach First NZ, it was huge. I was blown away that something like this existed, and all the values they spoke of, I was like "Hey, that's what I think!" It felt like it was made for me.
The biggest challenge so far has been adapting to the new pace and structure of life. There are such regular deadlines, and I have never been held accountable to so many people before. I also want to meet the deadlines because it means providing the best for my students. I’m really looking forward to developing my own practice as a teacher so that I can best fulfil the aspirations that brought me into the programme – addressing educational inequality. I’m also really excited to engage with the school community as a whole as I see how it can be so fulfilling and a really rich experience.
I'd say if you're considering teaching and you feel aligned or drawn or if you're motivated by the values of Teach First NZ, then I don't know of anything better. It's not easy, but it is a fantastic opportunity to be taught by the best and be part of a programme that can realistically make a real difference.
Jonathan graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechanical of Engineering from the University of Auckland. He is now teaching Mathematics at One Tree Hill College.