Anyone here have experience with Teach for America?
My daughter applied for it for next year, and didn’t get it. No worries - she is doing something much better. But one of her friends did get it, and it seems to be a mess.
She is assigned somewhere not one of the choices in the application. Though she has no experience with ESL, she was told that this would be what she would teaching, so she had to get special tutoring to get credentials. She did, and then was told that she might not be teaching it at all. She has to fly around the country, at her own expense, for meetings and training. And to top it off, it appears that what she gets is the opportunity to interview in a district, with no guarantee of a job.
Her family has money, so this isn’t an issue, but it appears they want minority teachers, some of whom are going to be coming from families without a lot of money, so I wonder how they manage it. Did it used to be that way?
When we researched it, we read lots of stuff about the difficulty of the classroom experience, which I get. We never read anything about the difficulties in getting to a classroom experience - especially in an environment where districts laying off teachers might not be so eager to hire short term ones.
I know quite a few people who did TFA*, although I didn’t do it myself. I’ve never heard of people having to pay for anything - it was my understanding that the program pays for it all. Huh. I’ve definitely never heard of people having to fly around the country for meetings. My understanding is that people do have to do regional training together, but it’s paid for by the program, and it’s not multiple trips, it’s just a long training session. People also do a masters degree in education at the same time they do TFA, which is part of the program.
That the classroom experience is tough shouldn’t be surprising. Everyone I know who did TFA were in poor urban areas. I think everyone expects that going in.
*I went to grad school for public policy and it’s very common for people to have done public service prior to returning school, especially Americorps/City Year, Peace Corps, and TFA. I can think of nine people I know off the top of my head that did TFA or are doing it now. So my experience is anecdotal, but I have heard quite a lot of anecdotes.
We studied the Masters programs quite closely…There is support for it, but the level of support varies widely between school districts (as does the pay.)
We had understood that they paid for everything also - perhaps they used to - which was why this experience was so surprising.