Three years of my life as an EU student of English Literature at the University of East Anglia,England.
I am writing this on the train, on my way back from London. Today was such a long, stressful and exhausting day. I spent it at a Teach First Assessment Centre in North Greenwich, London. For those who don’t know, Teach First is an intensive two-year graduate scheme that trains you to become a qualified teacher. The programme is based on holistic competencies and they put a lot of emphasis on learning through practice. Successful applicants will be places in disadvantaged schools: their belief is that they need highly motivated and enthusiastic teachers to make a difference in society and end social inequalities.
I was extremely surprised when, two weeks ago, I got an email from them inviting me to come to the assessment centre. I had no idea how well or badly I’d done on the application form which consisted in many questions related to their competencies and our personal, work or voluntary experiences. And to be honest, it wasn’t the programme I was the most interested in. I’d just got a rejection email from the graduate programme I really wanted to do (Think Ahead) but thought I’d go anyway – at least for the experience of an assessment centre, as everything kept telling me.
I cannot tell you much about what we did today to keep things fair for everyone but they say a little bit about it on their website. If you do get invited you will have all the information you need to know to prepare yourself and a member of the admission team will ring you to answer all your questions. After being interviewed individually, there’s a group task with self-evaluation. During the final part, we needed to deliver a 7-minute lesson to two “pupils” (who are in fact your assessors). I did a French lesson and found it really fun but time went so quickly!
The day was really weird and stressful but I think it went well! At least it couldn’t definitely have been much much worse. It really helped that all the Teach First staff seemed really nice and friendly – it made me feel a lot more confident. The funny thing is though, I thought it was relaxed and calm and realised my face was so red all day long it almost burnt. A lot of time was spent waiting between assessments but all of the candidates who came today were waiting in a comfortable spacious area with tea and stuff, so having people to chat to helped.
The nice thing is, there is no limit to the amount of candidates they can take so we weren’t in competition with each other. They should get back to us within 7 working days to tell us whether we have been unsuccessful or if we are offered a place on the programme. I even heard of someone who got the email the next day.
So we will see! I’ll do a proper graduate programme applications update when I’m on holidays because I haven’t really talked about all this on my blog this semester but I did apply for lots of things.
See you soon!
EDIT: I was unsuccessful but it’s probably better this way. I wasn’t sure that I still wanted to do that and realised this programme wasn’t right for me. I still thought I’d done well so I requested feedback to know how I could improve in the future. Going to an assessment centre always involves a lot of preperation and a lot of stress so rejections can be tough, but it’s important to keep your head up high and remain motivated! It’s not the end of the world.