There isn’t a better way to travel around the world with a purpose than by volunteering! In this series on alternative tourism we are covering popular international volunteering programs for youth to participate in. If you feel that you’re ready to share knowledge with others, learn new skills, and boost your life experience, read on! In this article we will talk about the Teach for All Network, which provides talented university graduates with a two-year teaching fellowship.
About the organisation
Teach for All is a network of 53 independent, locally led and governed partner organizations and a global organization that works to accelerate the network’s progress. The network tackles challenges that children in disadvantaged communities are facing around world. With this in mind, each local network partner recruits promising future leaders to teach in their nations’ under-resourced schools and communities. Teach for All provides a two-year paid fellowship to help young leaders give back to the global community through teaching.
Teach for All is an interconnected global community of students, teachers, alumni, staff and allies who are learning from and supporting each other. Since its launch in 2008, the Teach for All network has grown from five partners in the U.S. and Europe to more than 50 on six continents. Check the network partner in your country.
Working across borders, network partner organisations share five core values that are reflected in their work. They are a sense of possibility, the importance of being locally rooted & globally informed, constant learning, diversity & inclusiveness, and interdependence.
About the fellowship
Teach for All network partners believe that all children deserve to fulfill their potential—but millions of kids around the world simply do not have access to the education, support, and opportunity they need. The Teach for All network partners are recruiting diverse leaders from a range of experiences and academic disciplines. Participants in this full-time, paid teaching fellowship work to ensure that all students can obtain an excellent and equitable education.
During your two-year teaching commitment, you will be able to have an impact on the students you teach and the future options available to them. Building on the foundation of these two years, you will join Teach for All alumni across the globe who are working to expand opportunity for children, whether in education, in policy, or in other sectors.
What to expect from the fellowship
Fellows commit two years, full-time, to providing their students with the opportunities that can put them on a different life path. The Fellowship journey is one of teaching and learning, and of working for children while developing your leadership abilities.
Each Fellow will have a classroom in one of the local placement cities to teach academics, values and mindsets and to give the students the access and exposure they need to reach their personal, long-term visions. The framework for leadership is about three commitments:
– The Commitment to Personal Transformation: Exploring who you are, your purpose, and striving to be a better person.
– The Commitment to Collective Action: Building relationships and organizing partners to multiply and deepen our impact.
– The Commitment to Educational Equity: Deepening our understanding of educational equity and committing to achieving it.
Professional training for the fellows
Prior to their school placements, fellows undergo a rigorous residential training program that focuses on classroom practice and leadership development. Fellows will learn the pedagogical foundations of classroom instruction (e.g. lesson planning, vision setting, and classroom culture) and content instruction, but they also begin to internalize the mindsets and beliefs needed to drive transformational change within education. Additionally, they get an opportunity to practice their teaching at Summer School during training. Throughout the two years, fellows receive ongoing support through a combination of in-person training sessions, leadership forums, as well as online training courses and resources.
Criteria for participation
Depending on the country, criteria will vary, but below are the general guidelines for fellows. Successful participants are university graduates with at least a Bachelor’s degree in any field. Both recent graduates and experienced participants are eligible to apply. Applicants from all academic majors and backgrounds are eligible to join our pool of excellent teachers and future leaders. Previous education coursework or teaching experience is not necessary, however, a background in education can serve as an asset in the classroom.
Different organizations throughout the program have a similar selection process. All of them maintain a selective admissions process to ensure choosing leaders who are likely to succeed in the classroom. The application process includes both an online application and an interview.
The online application form takes less than an hour to complete. Filling out this form is your first chance to share your accomplishments, experiences, and interests. During the application process, you will upload a resume, provide school history and transcript details, and select your interview location preference.
Before your interview you will need to provide references and contact information for two recommenders. Each applicant should prepare a five-minute sample teaching lesson to deliver during the interview. You’ll also respond to two scenarios in writing and read more about our work prior to your interview.
Eight Core Competencies of the Fellows
Throughout the process, candidates are assessed to ensure they have multiple opportunities to demonstrate abilities, skills, and experiences. Candidates must demonstrate the following eight competencies, which are based on evidence of effectiveness in the classroom:
- Leadership and achievement: Have you gained significant, measurable results at university, extracurricular activities and/or work? Have you demonstrated leadership and achievement in your endeavours?
- Commitment to our vision and mission: Are you eager to bring about change and make a difference in the lives of the students you teach? Do you passionately and actively believe in the power of education as a force for social justice.
- Communication and influencing ability: Are you a clear and confident communicator, and are you able to influence and motivate others? Do you have maturity and presence? Are you an active listener?
- Problem solving: Are you able to think critically, analyse information and generate relevant solutions to problems.
- Organisational and planning ability: Are you able to plan, organize, and prioritise your activities effectively to meet deadlines?
- Resilience: Are you willing to work hard with resilience and optimism to overcome obstacles? Do you relish a challenge, and are you driven to succeed?
- Humility, respect, and empathy: Do you operate with humility? Do you show respect and empathy towards others? Do you look for the best in the people around you?
- Learning and self-evaluation: Are you driven to succeed? Are you open to learning from others, and do you seek out opportunities to do so? Do you take ownership for development with regard to your own performance?
Photos: Shutterstock / edit: Martina Advaney
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