on 12 August 2013
I'm not someone who has done Teach First, but given the book was 99p on kindle I thought I should have a quick read to see what the founder had to say about this organisation. The book vastly outstripped my expectations. It is very well written - I read it cover to cover in about 3 hours and didn't want to put it down for a moment. The author is modest about his own talents and achievements and very honest about all the things that didn't go quite right about setting up Teach First! As someone who often mulls over setting up my own organisation I actually found the book to be an interesting primer in how to be an entrepreneur and make things happen.
In short, the book should have wide appeal to all sorts of people - those into education policy and others - and I hope it is widely read and enjoyed.
on 10 September 2012
Success Against the Odds provides a real insight into the work Teach First are doing to break the link between educational success and parental income, as well as the struggles to stay afloat and gain momentum the organisation faced in its early years. The book reads as both cautinoary tale for entrepreneurs and success story for the charity, striking a balance that means the life lessons and business advice are nicely interspersed with anecdotes and personal recollections. A recommended read for anyone interested in setting up an organistaion, education or in the mood for some interesting non-fiction.
on 9 September 2012
A truly inspiring book, particularly for anyone who cares about education or who has an idea or project they would like to get off the ground. As a former Teach First teacher myself, it was fascinating to discover what was going on behind the scenes of what, outwardly, was an expertly managed and incredibly professional organisation: the fragility, the challenges faced by Brett and his team, the constant battle to be successful and uphold excellence at all times. This book is a reminder of the impact one person with a vision can have, the importance of team work, and never giving up on a goal you believe in. Brett Wigdortz has literally changed the lives of hundreds of pupils as well as the Teach First teachers who joined the organisation, as many continue to address educational disadvantage regardless of whether or not they stay in the classroom. A real page turner of a book, keep a pencil handy for all the underlining you'll want to do. I put this book down with a tear in my eye and a renewed sense of 'anything is possible if you work hard enough at it'.
on 18 September 2012
As a fairly recent employee of Teach First I wanted to read this book to gain a more in depth understanding of the organisation I am now privileged to work for. I found the book inspirational and yes of course it is amazing that this man from the states should come to the UK and care enough about the unfairness in our education system to want to start a movement no revolution to effect change, but what is also amazing is that he did this with little or no leadership or management expertise, let alone running an enterprise!
Brett writes as though he is talking to each & every reader personsally. He takes the reader through his journey taking in all the peaks & troughs encountered in setting up and taking the charity forward with humour, humility and integrity.
on 12 September 2012
This is one of the most inspiring books I have read in a long time. I have been involved in education for years and was aware of Teach First but this gave a fascinating inside perspective on the extraordinary challenges social entrepreneurs face - and helpfully - how to overcome them. Brett Wigdortz is incredibly honest, humble - and also funny - about the mistakes made along the way. The result is a very good read, quite gripping, and has at the same time renewed my faith in the possibility of changing things in British education. This is a must-read for anyone who is interested in actually doing something about social injustice rather than just talking about it! I would recommend it.
on 17 September 2012
I found this book to be an insightful, honest and open read about how one mans belief became a reality. It was refreshing to hear about someone who wanted to make a change for the better rather than make money or change an industry. It was also refreshing to read such an open account about the troubles and joys of starting a charity movement, and also the dangers of underestimating/ignoring the concerns of those around you. It was enjoyable to see the growth of one mans vision but also to see how may other people wanted to involved.
I also enjoyed that this book gave tips and pointers throughout, making it more than a story.