The Teacher Intern Experience at Acorn Education

“This internship […] changed my whole idea of what teaching is and what the role of a teacher is.”
– Lusanda Vongwe (FET)


In 2020, Acorn Education launched a Teacher Internship Programme (TIP) with the aim of developing well-equipped, professional, and mission-aligned teachers. 

It’s been an incredible experience to witness our second cohort of future teachers find their feet in the classroom, gain valuable training, and learn how to manage the realities of the South African Educational sector. 

Quote: “We want to empower future teachers with techniques and tools to utilise in the classroom so that they remain passionate and dedicated to the calling that is teaching.” - Sanrie van der Westhuizen, Teacher Intern Programme Manager

What Sets Our Programme Apart?

Our Teacher Internship Programme is different from others in that: 

  • Our Teacher Interns are not class assistants. We believe that their time in class should be spent observing and actively learning from their mentor teacher.
  • Teacher Interns have practical time in our classrooms, with support from their mentor teacher and our programme manager.
  • Four hours a week are spent on instructional feedback and professional development.
  • One day a week is allotted as time off, for our Teacher Interns to continue their studies, as we believe their academic is essential to their future as educators.
  • After completion of our internship programme, our Teacher Interns have the opportunity to interview for positions available at our affiliated no-fee schools.

Hear From The Teacher Interns 



I started this year feeling uncertain about my teaching practice since I never had time within the classroom […]

  • This opportunity gave me the chance to meet so many amazing people that care about my success and that want me to succeed.
  • I have grown so much on a personal and professional level.
  • I have become more confident in myself and my abilities,
  • I have learned to find my strong voice and how to articulate myself better especially when presenting a lesson.
  • The coaching and professional development sessions were always informative, inspiring, uplifting and value adding.
  • The coaching was always positively structured, and this is one aspect I really loved about the program that I never left a session feeling bad about myself but rather looking to improve on my practice.

I appreciate all that I have learned during the internship and will carry those lessons with me wherever I go.



I have learnt such a lot during this year – from how to effectively manage a classroom to maximising my teaching and learning. […] Coming from an Early Childhood development background I understood that when planning and presenting a lesson I should always have my scholars best learning interest at heart.  The programme has equipped me with new techniques and strategies which I can use to help me to help my scholars reach the expected learning outcome for a lesson at the same ensure that my scholars fully understand what was taught.



We’ve learnt how to teach and deliver content in a way that sets students for success. In order to successfully deliver the content, we have also learnt classroom management techniques. What I found valuable was the fact that we were constantly attending professional development and receiving feedback so that we could improve our craft and become the best teachers we could be.



This program pushed me to teach my subjects with content knowledge and no textbook in front me. […] This program changed my thinking of what teaching should be I realized here that teaching matters every day.



I entered the program with very little teaching knowledge and confidence in the classroom and I can truly say I can walk into the classroom with confidence and teach with purpose. 


Plans in 2022

As of Dec’21, we are in the process of recruiting our third cohort of teacher interns for 2022. We’re beyond excited to walk this journey of growth with them, to continue building a future of excellence for the youth in South Africa.

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