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  #1  
Old 03-23-2012, 06:41 PM
anjelfich anjelfich is offline
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Anyone done Teach for America?

I've heard about this and I've done a little research on it, but I was wondering if anyone on here participated in it and could tell me about their experience. Where you were, what it was like, good, bad, worth it.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2012, 07:20 PM
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bison bison is offline
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I don't have any info for you, but here's a page of relevant search results: http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/s...archid=2136244

I think that link should work. If not, go to advanced search and search in the titles only.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:00 PM
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Myrisophilist Myrisophilist is offline
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There's a lot of controversy surrounding TFA. Here's a very recent article that discusses a book about the program: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arch...prove-schools/
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:33 PM
anjelfich anjelfich is offline
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Bison: Thanks for the link. I tried searching for threads on it, but I didn't get anything. I must have been searching in the wrong place.

Myrisophilist: Thanks for the article.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2012, 07:56 AM
NJSocialStudies NJSocialStudies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anjelfich View Post
I've heard about this and I've done a little research on it, but I was wondering if anyone on here participated in it and could tell me about their experience. Where you were, what it was like, good, bad, worth it.

Thanks!
I know a few friends of mine from college who did TFA right after we graduated college. I went to a good undergrad school, Rutgers University in NJ. My friends that applied were very, very committed and bright (all had above 3.8 GPA). That was in May of 2001. Since then, TFA has become quite elitist as far as where and who they select. Whether or not you believe in the program and its message is almost secondary to this question: "Did you attend one of the top tier universities in the nation and did you graduate with honors? It really is that competitive now. This is straight from their website:

In its first year, Teach For America placed 500 teachers; in 2010, the organization received more than 46,000 applications resulting in 4,500 new corps members. These applicants included 20 percent of the senior class at Spelman, 12 percent of all Ivy League seniors, 7 percent of the graduating class at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and 6 percent at the University of California-Berkeley.

Twelve percent of all Ivy league seniors! I am certainly not of the opinion that the more expensive your school is the better the education, but in all honesty if you didn't attend a school of those mentioned, its best to make other plans.

Last edited by NJSocialStudies; 03-24-2012 at 07:57 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:15 AM
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bandnerdtx bandnerdtx is online now
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I think it's just like any other program. TFA isn't in itself a wonderful program. They get lucky and get people who are amazing teachers, and they get unlucky and get applicants who need to be far away from kids. I've seen both types of TFA teachers in the schools where I've worked.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:22 PM
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kpa1b2 kpa1b2 is offline
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We have a couple of TFA teachers in our building. 1 is a first year teacher with all of those challenges, the other is huge on technology & homework to the point that it is burdensome for the children. One of her students is a faculty member's child.

We also had another one who decided that teaching wasn't for her. She left in October.
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2012, 01:21 PM
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Kat53 Kat53 is offline
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I've coached many, many TFA teachers. Most, but not all, have been wonderful. Some of them have been amazing. TFA is a project I endorse because of my experience with the teachers. I think their model, while it has many flaws, is better than some of the traditional teacher prep programs I've seen.
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2012, 10:23 PM
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HeartDrama HeartDrama is offline
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I had a friend who made it pretty far through the interview process, in fact, she was skipped past a few. She thought she had it in the bag, and apparently got great feedback on the lesson she prepared. But I believe in her final interview she gave a *BAD* answer to a common question. (What are your flaws, she actually said none). She didn't go to an ivy league school, in fact, she went to a state university. I went to apply, but my undergrad gpa was too low and they didn't care how good my grad gpa was.
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2012, 10:48 PM
waterfall waterfall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJSocialStudies View Post
I know a few friends of mine from college who did TFA right after we graduated college. I went to a good undergrad school, Rutgers University in NJ. My friends that applied were very, very committed and bright (all had above 3.8 GPA). That was in May of 2001. Since then, TFA has become quite elitist as far as where and who they select. Whether or not you believe in the program and its message is almost secondary to this question: "Did you attend one of the top tier universities in the nation and did you graduate with honors? It really is that competitive now. This is straight from their website:

In its first year, Teach For America placed 500 teachers; in 2010, the organization received more than 46,000 applications resulting in 4,500 new corps members. These applicants included 20 percent of the senior class at Spelman, 12 percent of all Ivy League seniors, 7 percent of the graduating class at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and 6 percent at the University of California-Berkeley.

Twelve percent of all Ivy league seniors! I am certainly not of the opinion that the more expensive your school is the better the education, but in all honesty if you didn't attend a school of those mentioned, its best to make other plans.
It's actually not that competitive. If you do the math, 46000 applications with 4500 accepted essentially means they accept 1 out of every 10 people. What kind of "regular" teaching jobs have odds that good (or any professional job for that matter)? I know 3 people in the program. I actually know of a lot of ed majors that tried to get in b/c it's so much easier than just trying to get a regular teaching job with a teaching license, but they won't accept people who have actually majored in education. One is my friend's sister- she attended Purdue university, had a C average, had to go an extra semester because she failed some classes, and was placed into a job outside of her college major area. The second went to the University of Cincinnati with a decent GPA, and the 3rd went to Ohio University. None of those schools are necessarily "bad" but they're certainly not "top tier" either. I have heard people on here say that they supposedly have to interview for jobs in the school just like any applicant, but in my experience that's not true. I think schools have a set number of positions set aside for TFA and they must fill those with TFA people. I know in my home state the gov. is trying to mandate TFA in certain locations. I also know a lot of Denver area schools use TFA and they aren't allowed to offer those positions to "outsiders" even if the "outsider" is better than the TFA person. One of our teachers is trying to get me in with her sister who is a P in the Denver area (one of the places I'm job searching) and her sister said she would love to interview me but will probably not have any non-TFA slots open. Out of the three people I know, they all talked about "being placed" and didn't have to do any interviewing outside of what they did to get into the TFA program. They had to fill out geographical preferences and then were given an assignment. The bad part of that was that they had no choice over what school to actually go to- but they were guaranteed a placement as part of the program. My friend's sister put "midwest" hoping for somewhere close to our home state, and ended up on a native american reservation in SD in the middle of absolute nowhere. I know for a fact the school didn't meet her before she was placed there because they had a cow when she showed up covered in tattoos.
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