An impressive 153 trainees came together at King Solomon Academy as the tenth Ark Teacher Training cohort attended their special graduation ceremony.
Ark CEO Lucy Heller and Leila McTavish, Head of Ark Teacher Training opened festivities before the audience heard from guest speaker, Emmanuel Akpan-Inwang. Emmanuel, a former English teacher, is the founder and director of Lighthouse Pedagogy Trust – a charity that sets up childrens’ homes and ensures that young people in care have opportunities to reach their full potential.
Emmanuel spoke about the power of building positive relationships and shared anecdotes from his time as a teacher. He mentioned both the challenges and rewards of the profession, including the opportunities beyond the classroom.
Graduates also heard from Sophie Bell, Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning at Ark John Keats, who was in the very first cohort in 2013. She encouraged the new teachers to let the students be the fire in their bellies!
Reflecting on the past year, Leila McTavish said: “Our graduating teachers are dedicated, passionate, and committed professionals who will make a huge impact on their students' lives and shape the future of education.”
Graduates also had an opportunity to share their stories at the evening reception. Music teacher, Mahesh Parkar, who trained at Ark John Keats, said: "This job is hard work, but it is worth it. Our amazing young people are a joy to be around. It's an absolute privilege to have the chance to shape their lives positively, and I hope that we will all continue to do that."
Alex Varey who trained at Percy Shurmer Academy in Birmingham, through our work with AET, said: “The quality and breadth of training, coupled with the excellent support, coaching and guidance I’ve received both inside and outside of the classroom, have been invaluable. From the very beginning of my training I have felt like a valued member of the staff team at my school."
Congratulations to the class of 2023!