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Laura Dodd (’07) Ambassador
Studied Astrophysics, Edinburgh
Now Management Consultant, PwC
At the start the Teach First programme appealed to me in a wider sense, but when I started doing the Summer Institute and actually started in a school and seeing what a difference it made, the mission became quite important to me. Seeing how building those relationships with the individuals in a classroom actually had a big impact on the way that they were progressing through school.
Quite often they’re not mentioned, but the behaviour reflects their home life and it’s when you find out about some of the things that some of your pupils actually go through on a day to day basis it really shocks you, but it also helps you to understand and explain some of their behaviours. They really appreciate you being there and being a constant for them. It helps to bring out the best in them.
The impact that you can have in the classroom can manifest in lots of different ways and there are really good bits that make the job worthwhile. It was things like a pupil that you don’t necessarily get on with coming to you and saying that actually that’s the lesson that they learn the most in and that they enjoy going to. Things like my bottom set Year 10, who were all predicted to get Gs or to fail their GCSE Science, and actually by the end of the year they were on track for Es and there were a couple that had achieved Cs and Ds in some of their modules. Those things when you can turn it around like that and give them a bit of an opportunity and a chance are really what make it worthwhile.
PwC really valued the Teach First experience. When I did my interview for PwC it was something that I discussed a lot. They were really keen to find out what I’d done, why I’d done it, and really impressed that I had put myself in that challenging environment and had survived it. In my day-to-day job as a management consultant, the skills that I learnt in teaching have been invaluable. My people skills, dealing with different behaviours, different work styles, how you communicate with different people, were essential things in teaching and continue to be essential in my current role.
Recruitment & Selection
Are you the kind of person who could make an impact in one of Teach First’s partner schools? You’ll need bright ideas, gritty determination, awesome communication skills and the confidence to stand up in front of 30 pupils, engage their attention, deflect their jibes and lead them on a journey. It’s a big ask.
At the heart of Teach First is a unique two-year Leadership Development Programme. Challenging, stimulating and practical, it has been designed to develop your leadership skills, giving you the ability to adapt to new or changing situation and inspire enthusiasm and ambition in the classroom.
As a Teach First Ambassador you will be part of a network like no other – a group of influential leaders in education, policy, business and the third sector, united by shared experience, benefiting from its ongoing support and contributing to its mission.