Acorn Education’s
Teacher Internship Programme

More than twenty years after democracy, high performing schools in impoverished South African communities are the exception. Our aim is to change this landscape and support no-fee public schools on their journey to become excellent.

At Acorn Education we pride ourselves on capacitating and developing school and classroom leaders.  When professional development is done right, teachers feel enthused and learners in our classes achieve more.

For us, it was therefore the next logical step to create and launch a Teacher Internship Programme in 2020. The vision of the programme is to develop equipped, professional, and mission-aligned future teachers that can form part of the Acorn dream to provide quality education to all scholars, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances.

Despite the fact that there are similar opportunities across the Western Cape, we believe the following factors differentiate our internship programme from other internship programmes:

We value our interns as teacher interns.

Teacher Interns are not class assistants to their mentor teachers. Time in class is spent on observations and active learning. Mentor teachers are trained to equip the interns with techniques and skills to effectively manage classrooms in order to ultimately increase the available time spent on quality teaching and learning. Each mentor teacher is specifically chosen based on their experience and level of skills. Teacher Interns will have practical time in class with the support and guidance from both the mentor teacher and the programme manager.

We value our interns as future teachers.

So, 4 hours a week is spent on professional development and instructional feedback between the Teacher Intern Programme Manager and the Teacher Interns.

We value our interns as students.

Teacher Interns’ schedules are constructed to provide one day off per week that is allocated to studies. The academic success of our interns is paramount for the success of our programme.

We value our interns as job candidates.

At the end of the internship programme; once qualified and having met employment requirements, interns will have the opportunity to interview and possibly be employed as an educator in our affiliated no-fee schools.

Non-bursary holding Teacher Interns’ student fees for the fourth year will be covered by this programme and all Teacher Interns will receive a monthly stipend during their internship to cover travel and other costs. The internship programme is available to BEE candidates only.

Often students complete their final year in education with very little practical experience. Through the Teacher Internship Programme, Acorn Education empowers and equips these future teachers with the tools to be able to successfully enter their own classrooms as first-year teachers, without the anxiety and uncertainty for the unknown.

Lastly, but definitely not the least: None of this would have been possible without the financial support from our sponsor, the amazing team at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. They are making our dream of quality education for ALL South Africans a reality.

In September 2020 we will begin the recruitment process for our second cohort of teacher interns for 2021. We invite all viable candidates to apply and embark on a journey of growth, development and building a future of excellence for the youth of our country.

Over a two-week period, at least eight hours is spent on professional development and instructional coaching. Interns are provided with laptops in order to further their training with additional online resources.
Our 2020 Teacher Interns (from the left): Libur Martin (FET, Stellenbosch University), Jamillah Esack (Intermediate and Senior Phase, University of Western Cape), Nerissa Slinger (Intermediate and Senior Phase, University of South Africa), Zoë Bezuidenhout (Intermediate and Senior Phase, Stellenbosch University), Joanne Floors (Intermediate and Senior Phase, University of South Africa), Gabriella Joseph (Foundation Phase, Stellenbosch University) and Alison Jordaan (Intermediate and Senior Phase ,University of South Africa).
Our professional development sessions, along with the practical completed by the interns, equips our interns with techniques for effective teaching.

For additional information

Please feel welcome to contact our Teacher Intern Programme Manager,
Sanrie van der Westhuizen here: