Students from Year 12, Arden school, recently took part in a TeachFirst event at RADA studios, Bloomsbury, giving 120 new teachers across South-East London a student perspective as to what makes an effective teacher and how education has impacted their lives.
Georgiana Ditu, Robert Majchrowski and Akash Treebhawon gave an informative and entertaining talk and really impressed the new teachers, as well as the event organisers who thought they were ‘awesome’ and ‘highly engaging’ in their talks which they delivered three times during the course of the evening.
Akash spoke about how EAL teachers had helped improve his speaking and writing skills as English was not his first language and how “Nothing will stop me from getting good grades.” He told the audience how his teachers had helped develop his self-confidence in public speaking and also how he has developed her own leadership skills through the Duke of Edinburgh Award and also by supporting a student by acting as their scribe.
In his presentation, Robert advised the audience that teachers should strike the right balance and “be disciplined and fun at the same time. To me that is so important, especially in the sixth form, as I no longer want a stereotypical teacher student relationship but more like a trusting relationship where when in lessons, you genuinely want to listen to what is being said…”
He went on to share his own experience of what it felt like to be a teacher and how he was inspired by staff at Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy:
“A fun and joyous moment in my learning was definitely teaching others…… Sharing your knowledge with others and seeing the look on their faces after they understand the topic is so rewarding.”
“Teachers inspire me to share what is learnt and spread knowledge and understanding. Also teachers always push me, no matter at what point I am at. If I feel like I can’t do something, no teacher has ever agreed and said I can’t solve the problem but they’ve pushed me to succeed. This is something I’m very grateful for because you really don’t know what you’re capable of until someone else tells you so.
Georgiana spoke of how her product design teacher had motivated and supported her, helping her to overcome stress and meet coursework deadlines.
She said that the majority of her teachers inspire her in some way: “whether it be that they throw out fantastic opportunities my way, such as the TeachFirst Futures programme (so that I make the most of my academic life) or inspiring me to carry on and strive to become better in both my studies and also in the day to day life.”
Speaking at the conference allowed our three students to develop a number of transferable skills, including the experience and ability to talk confidently in front of a large group of people, which was something that they had never done before.
After the event Akash said she found it “nerve-wracking but good fun” whilst Georgiana said it was “a fantastic experience which she really enjoyed.”
Stationers’ Crown Woods has been working in collaboration with Teachfirst for the past ten years. Teachfirst is a social enterprise, registered charity, which aims to address educational disadvantage in England and Wales.