Teach First NZ
What is Teach First NZ?
Teach First NZ is an innovative not-for-profit organisation that engages New Zealand’s top graduates in contributing to tackle one of our country’s most pressing challenges – educational inequality.
Our approach is two-fold.
In the short-term, we aim to recruit outstanding graduates to bring knowledge, energy and leadership into the classroom. In partnership with The University of Auckland, we prepare and place these graduates to teach in secondary schools serving lower decile communities for an initial two-year commitment, inspiring young people to fulfil and expand their potential.
In the long-term, we aim to build a network of leaders in education and across all fields who are committed to addressing educational inequality. Our vision is that all young people in Aotearoa New Zealand achieve their full educational potential, regardless of socioeconomic background.
Why does Teach First NZ exist?
It’s a cold reality in New Zealand that where a child is born is one of most significant factors to determine their educational prospects. While the education system is working well for many students, one in five students leave school without NCEA Level 2 (a basic indicator of achievement), and young people from low-income households are half as likely to achieve University Entrance as those from high-income households. Our growing Māori and Pasifika communities are most disadvantaged, and the result is thousands of young New Zealanders confined to a life of unrealised potential.
Teach First NZ believes that effective teachers and effective leaders can make a big difference. We therefore support our participants to raise student aspiration, achievement, and expand access to opportunity, whilst developing a network of our programme's alumni who strive to help close the education gap in New Zealand from across all fields.
What does Teach First NZ do?
The Teach First NZ programme works to make teaching a high status graduate choice, attracting highly-qualified and well-rounded university graduates – often those who may otherwise not have considered teaching – to secondary schools serving lower decile communities.
Our immediate objective is to improve student outcomes in areas of educational disadvantage, by attracting and supporting graduates to teach for at least two years in their placement school. Longer term, we will build a network of committed alumni who have first-hand experience of educational inequality, and who use these experiences to continue to work towards closing the education gap.