(Closed) Teach for America

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
4313 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

My old-coworker left our company after 12 years to do Teach for America.  She LOVES it.  She is constantly bragging about how much she loves her job.  I am so happy for her.

Post # 4
Member
2385 posts
Buzzing bee

I’ve had a lot of friends do it. It seems like a really awesome program. 

Post # 5
Hostess
2556 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I applied once in undergrad and didn’t get past the phone interviews.  They are pretty selective.  I know a few people who were selected and they loved every second of it.  A few even stayed in education after their time was up.

Post # 6
Member
3626 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

My cousin does it. I haven’t seen her since she started the training, but she said the training was very intense and borderline cult-ish. I think she likes it though haha.

Post # 7
Member
3720 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I wasn’t TFA, but I work in a field with lots of former TFAers and know a lot about the program. In general, it is great for your resume. You will be unprepared for the classroom and be overworked, tired, and stressed to the max. At the end, you will do no better or worse than other first year teachers. In general, people hate their first year because they are not succeeding (few TFAers have done something that they haven’t excelled in before). The second year gets better. If you stick around, you can be an amaing teacher.

However, if you really want to become a great teacher, it isn’t the best way for you to do it (a teaching fellows program or a year long internship is better). These teaching candidates become far better teachers. They get trained, they learn how to be effective, and they have better supports. They are more likely to succeed by learning through an internship.

I hate to be a downer, but TFA has been shown to have little to no impacts on helping student achievement. If you want to help students, you need to stay at least 5 years to learn how to teach well. If you want to do it to help your resume for grad school and policy jobs, it is a great in for you and you won’t be any worse than the teachers the students would have otherwise had. Most teachers end up leaving after their time is done and it is sad– they are finally starting to get effective at teaching and they move on. The program is great for them, but not so great for their schools.

Post # 8
Member
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

As a teacher, I hate it.  I am committed to teaching and consider it my lifelong profession.  One thing I learned in graduate school is that students who are the MOST disadvantaged have the least experienced teachers as well as the least consistency in their schools.  Teach for America takes people with absolutely NO classroom experience and puts them in the worst schools, where they stay for two years and leave.  This means that the kids who need experienced teachers who stick around the MOST get teachers who stay for two years and have no experience.  

Let’s see…I know five people who did Teach for America after graduating from college.  Of these, only one is still a classroom teacher.  She teaches in an urban school, but in a different city than where she did TFA.  One is in administration, and has been for years, and that is not teaching.  The others are lawyers.  

 

What we need in this country is more respect for teachers.  Saying all you need to teach is smarts is not enough.  Teachers need to be well-prepared to be in the classroom.  We also need teachers who want to commit to being teachers, and we need them to stay in the schools they start in.  

Post # 10
Member
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@DrTeeth:  Well, it’s not impossible.  I went to graduate school for a year and a half, and then got a teaching job.  It wasn’t that easy but that’s what I did.  

What is your goal?  Do you want to be a teacher?  

Post # 12
Member
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@DrTeeth:  Yeah…there’s that.  =)  How old are you?  What’d you go to college for?  

When I was considering teaching as my career, I volunteered at a Quaker school for students with learning differences.  It was a great experience, and it helped cement my decision to become a reading specialist.  I’d recommend seeing if you can volunteer SOMEWHERE related to education, even if for a few hours a week.  Private schools are a good place to start because you can see how education functions without a lot of the bullshit…

 

Where do you live?

Post # 14
Member
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@DrTeeth:  Are you in Philly?

Post # 15
Member
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Muckenthaler Cultural Center

There’s another thread about this on here somewhere πŸ™‚ I am an ’08 corps member who went through a traditional teaching program beforehand. No one is prepared for their first day alone in the classroom, no matter how great your student teaching experience was. When you apply there will people current corps members and alum who will reach out to you to answer any questions you have. It’s not easy,but you make amazing friends, see education in a way you have never seen it before and you make a life long connection to thousands of like minded individuals who are working to close the achievement gap. Fun fact: I met my husband in TFA πŸ™‚

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