Zaccariah Sheppard | Teach First

Our people

Zaccariah Sheppard

  • Studied: History, University of York
Zaccariah Sheppard

I applied for the Taster Programme because I wanted to find out more about Teach First. I only knew a bit about who they were and what they did through watching a programme on TV a few years ago that focused on some of the teachers they had placed. Being unsure what career path I want to pursue after my degree and having in an interest in teaching, this TV programme captured my attention. Then at an event on our university campus one of the Teach First Brand Managers explained a bit more about their vision, and informed me that I was eligible to take part in the Taster Programme, a one-day skills development opportunity.

When I travelled into London for Taster I felt excited; I was looking forward to arriving after a long journey and getting started on the activities that were set up for the day. The first activity I took part in was a practice at group interviews, aimed at helping us showcase our skills to employers in these sorts of situations. It went really well and the Teach First staff leading the activity gave us some great feedback as a group but also gave advice to each person individually about what they did well and what they needed to work on.

I feel like the day really helped me develop my creativity under pressure; there were many problem solving situations where I had to work with a group to come up with solutions. The most memorable and most challenging part of the day was planning and delivering the mini lesson. As a group of three we were given 30 minutes to plan a mini lesson on a given topic, ours was acids and alkalis, and then present this lesson to the rest of our group. To make matters harder we had three random objects that we had to use in our lesson, namely: a spider, some playing cards and a mini tennis racket.

After delivering our lesson (which contained lots of pretty chaotic games) it was chosen by our Teach First leader as the best lesson out of our group. We then had to give the lesson again to the rest of the Taster day participants and some year 8 pupils to compete for the overall winner. Unfortunately with so many “pupils” and no time to re-plan our games we didn’t win, but it was a really fun session.

Hearing how passionate the Teach First staff were about the work they do was very inspiring and I feel like the message they were delivering (about educational inequality) is one that should we should be taking seriously. Teaching was a career that I was considering before undertaking the programme but Taster has only strengthened my desire to be involved in education at some stage of my life.

Find out more and apply now.