How do you feel about TFA?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by jen12, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Jan 6, 2010

    Do you feel that programs like Teach for America and other programs that fast track teachers into the classroom are beneficial? The idea of the programs was to get people into inner city schools, but now there are way too many teachers for the number of jobs available, inner city or not.

    Also, how does the super-fast training translate into real teaching performance? Do the TFA graduates have the skills that someone going through a longer training program will bring into the classroom?

    I'm not asking to start a debate. I have a coworker who went through the program and now wishes she had done a more traditional route. She feels she was thrown in to the lion's den and given little to no training in terms of dealing with parents.
     
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  3. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Jan 6, 2010

    This topic has come up many,many times before and always has mixed reviews. But I have to put my two cents in! I've been a coach for four years so I've observed a lot of teachers. (new and veteran) The majority (not all, but most) of the TFA's I've observed and worked with have been absolutely wonderful teachers. For having gone through a quick training they sure come prepared knowing data analysis, instructional strategies, etc. I've found them to be no more or less overwhelmed than any new teacher regarding parent contact, classroom management, and paperwork. I think there is something effective about them going through teacher training classes and then implementing the strategies right away, as opposed to the traditional method where you might take a readng class a year before you start teaching. I'm not sure that my traditional route prepared me for parents either! :)
    Just my thoughts!
     
  4. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Jan 6, 2010

    You're not really going to start this again, are you? :( Use the search box at the top of the page to find out how these threads have ended in the past.

    I don't think anyone is prepared to deal with parents when they first start teaching, no matter what program they go through. It's one of those skills you have to learn on the job. My husband is in business, and he had to learn all those dealing-with-cranky-people skills on the job as well.
     
  5. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    At my first school, I worked with several TFA students (and I was in a similar program, but run through a local university). All but one were very hardworking and apt to use research-based teaching strategies in the classroom. I recently saw a story that one is now a principal at a newly-opened KIPP school. Certified teachers who went the traditional route didn't want to work at our school, it was so bad. The only traditional-route teachers we got were the lazy ones who sat on their butt all day and couldn't get hired anywhere else. The "better" bad schools got the competent traditional-route teachers willing to work in the inner city.
     
  6. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    Jan 6, 2010

    TFA isn't for certified teachers? I thought it was.
     
  7. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Jan 6, 2010

    TFA go through an intensive summer institute, student teaching-type experience and then get placed in a classroom. They go through graduate courses while teaching to get the certificaton.
     
  8. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    Jan 6, 2010

    ^^^Oh. :)
     
  9. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Jan 7, 2010

    I think TFA teachers enter the profession with a different mindset and goals than most teachers who go through traditional certification. I taught at a KIPP charter school with many former TFA teachers who were all amazing and highly dedicated... many of my peers at my current urban elementary school went through traditional or alternative certification and don't have the same motivation or innovation. That said, I also work with some amazing teachers who have a BA in Education. So like anything else, I think it just depends on the individual...
     
  10. futureiowateach

    futureiowateach Rookie

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    Jan 8, 2010

    As others have already said, and if not said, it was thought that this has been discussed multiple times, with hurt feelings among many. It may be best to leave this where it is and as it was suggested earlier, you search through the past forums to find what you want....
    It may be best if we all just leave it at that, and not state our personal feelings... just my :2cents: But lets keep the can of worms shut ;-)
     

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