In a world where innovation is imperative for progress, STEM subjects play a major role in pioneering important changes. However, there is currently a huge shortage of STEM teachers in our education system: 62% of students eligible for free school meals fail to achieve a science GCSE at grade A*- C and 58% fail to achieve this in Maths.
With these urgent issues in mind, Elevation Networks joined forces with Teach First to create a bespoke, insight event to encourage STEM graduates to consider alternative career paths.
Speaking to an audience of current undergraduates and graduate students was a select panel of three guests: Ndidi Okezie, Executive Director of The Regions Division at Teach First; Les MacAnnan, who works in Asset Management – Leverage Finance at Barclays Investment Bank; and Jessica Amo, a KS5 Maths Teacher and Teach First Ambassador.
Conversation was interesting and informative as the panellists shared personal experiences with teachers and how education has shaped the course of their lives. Ndidi Okezie shared her ardent belief that “Teach First is a movement with a real social change agenda”, while Les MacAnnan and Jessica Amo agreed that neither of them would be where they are today without the support of their teachers. Les stated that one teacher in particular “changed my way of thinking”.
Teach First is currently the largest graduate recruiter in the country and throughout the evening, much emphasis was put on the valuable leadership skills gained in completing their programme.
Ndidi Okezie shared an anecdote detailing an event she recently attended at the House of Commons. The event she attended was rooted in the dialogue of participants and after the initial conversation, four people were chosen by the hosts to lead smaller discussion groups. When feeding back to all the guests, they discovered that each one of the four selected to lead were Teach First Ambassadors. These individuals are now in completely different fields but what united them was their inherent leadership and confidence, arguably unearthed by Teach First.
With only 3% of Head Teachers in the country from an ethnic minority background, diversity within this career was a popular topic. Panellists and audience members discussed the perception of the teaching profession amongst BAME communities; conclusions were made that teaching was not held in high enough regard. However, by the end of the night, many left with the inspiration and the drive to dispel the myth that teaching is not a prestigious or noteworthy career. After all, without education, how will the next generation achieve more than the ones who have gone before them?
If you would like to get involved and learn the skills needed to land your ideal graduate job, come along to our free mock assessment centre to prepare. Click here to register now!