The start of the July school holidays saw Teach First NZ participants, staff and guests reuniting at Ōrākei Marae, warmly hosted by Ngāti Whātua, gathering as a whanau for the programme’s Mid-Year Intensive – a chance to do life together, broaden horizons, exchange stories and reflect on the semester that had passed.
The end of the intensive was marked with the annual Lead the Way event, hosted by Deloitte. The evening provided an opportunity for the wider Teach First NZ community to think big and to connect with others in the education community who may harbour passions and convictions about similar issues or initiatives. This year the event took the format of an ‘action lab’, where attendees were split into groups and rotated around the room, discussing and attempting to answer the following questions:
• How might we reposition students as change agents within their schools, families and communities?
• How might we make sure that every student turns up to school ready and able to learn?
• How might we systematise good practice across all schools?
• How might we make the issue of educational inequality accessible and relevant to all New Zealanders?
• How might we attract more talent into low decile schools?
The night finished with each individual verbally stating what they were going to commit to, in light of the discussions and ideas that had sprung from the evening, in order to tackle educational inequality in Aotearoa New Zealand.