Teach First Impact Conference 2015

Teach First Impact Conference 2015

Jamil Mohammed and Ayman Farouk from the Class of 2017 at King Solomon Academy led the opening ceremony of the Teach First Conference at Leeds Arena. Here, Jamil writes about the event:

Teach First is an organisation created by Brett Wigdortz, which was inspired by the American equivalent Teach for America. The aim of Teach First is to train newly graduated university students to be effective teachers in schools across the UK. The training courses comprise of various methods including how to handle student behaviour; how best to help encourage students and how to help students get into the best universities. The many teachers at King Solomon Academy are Teach First ambassadors which explains our close connection with the organisation and which is why we believe that Teach First is essential to the future of our education in our country.

The Teach First Impact Conference is an event that has been happening yearly since the organisation was created in 2002. The Impact Conference brings together the first and second year participants of the Teach First course, as well as many ambassadors who have previously completed the Teach First course. The Conference includes inspirational speeches to help remind the participants of why the Teach First course is essential for them and also includes many taster lectures which reflect how the course will be.

KSA was invited by the Impact Conference organisers to be the hosts for the opening ceremony. We travelled to Leeds where the event was taking place and spent our first day there practicing for the event. The second day was when the actual event took place. On that day we met a lot of truly inspirational people including Nicky Morgan, the Secretary of State for Education; Doug Lemov, who is the Managing Director of Uncommon Schools and the author of Teach Like a Champion (which is a must read for all teachers) and Richard McCann, the author of Just a Boy, which is a story about how his English teacher changed his life.

Year 11 students from King Solomon Academy like me and Ayman, have had many experiences of being in front of large audiences either because of Shakespeare plays, orchestra performances or many of the other events we take part in at school. However this was our first time speaking in front of such a large audience of 4000 people. Therefore, naturally we were nervous at the start as we contemplated the thought. Fortunately, when we got on the stage we realised that we owned it and our fears went away. On stage we were able to meet, introduce and thank Nicky Morgan, Doug Lemov and Richard McCann and we were also able to hear from Brett Wigdortz and  brave Year 3 boy from another school who recited a poem.

The other piece of experience that we have also gained is to be even more grateful to all our teachers as we see the kind of training that they did to be able to teach us and what their intentions were when they took on that task.