Teach for America

  www.teachforamerica.org
  www.teachforamerica.org

Teach for America Reviews

Updated 9 December 2014
Updated 9 December 2014
423 Reviews
3.8
423 Reviews
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Matthew Kramer & Elisa Villanueva Beard
61 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • opportunities for professional development and taking on big jobs early in one's career (in 52 reviews)

  • It's nice to know that you're making a difference in people's lives (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • The work/life balance involved in the corps commitment is a significant challenge (in 45 reviews)

  • Long hours and work/personal life balance can be difficult as a first year (in 31 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    I was a Teach for America Corps member for two years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Former Employee - Teacher

    I worked at Teach for America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    This was the most rewarding experience I ever had or probably will ever have. To help young people care about their educations and their lives, and inspire them to make a difference in the world, is an amazing feeling. Moreover, teaching gave me so many different skills that you could apply to almost any job.

    Cons

    This job was incredibly difficult: emotionally and physically exhausting, frustrating, and often thankless. Be prepared to work harder than you have ever worked before and to often not feel the effects of that work for a long time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The professional development through Teach for America sometimes felt useless and like it was just taking up my time that I could have been preparing lessons or grading.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    TFA Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Recruitment Manager in New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Recruitment Manager in New York, NY (US)

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    People are really dedicated to the mission of the organization.

    Cons

    It gets tougher to recruit people as the economy gets better. People genuinely care about public education but aren't willing to take the lower salary and relocation usually.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better cross-functional hiring opportunities within the organization.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Overall a good professional development experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Coordinator
    Current Employee - Operations Coordinator

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Mission-driven organization, supportive culture, progressive human resources, lots of opportunities for professional development, good benefits for a non-profit, many opportunities for advancement at regional and national level.

    Cons

    Lack of emphasis on impact of education initiatives, frivolous spending for a non-profit, lots of employee turnover, lack of respect for staff members who did not participate in the Corps.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    2013 Corps Member

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Strong culture within TFA, truly believe in their work. I've never been around a more passionate group of people.

    Cons

    Teaching is more difficult than I could have ever imagined. And the culture of TFA can feel cultish at times.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    n.a

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Teach for America

    Pros

    n.a- there is nothing I would like to say on this matter.

    Cons

    - there is nothing I would like to say on this matter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n.a

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Challenging and Rewarding

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher
    Current Employee - Teacher

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It was a great experience out of college to work in a low-income community as a teacher. With no background in education, TFA provided a route to a certification and placement in a school. The staff is friendly and tries to be helpful. The corps members are generally great and offer a support network. However, it's possible you will be placed at a school without any other corps members. Teaching has given me some really great skills.

    Cons

    The first year is very challenging. Really think about whether you would enjoy the day to day of teaching. It's not for everyone. Most of the corps members are recent college graduates, so that's something to consider for later in life career changers. There are long hours and you will get paid a teacher salary (or lower as an emergency hire).

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Middle School Teacher

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Teach for America

    Pros

    Strong network and exit opportunities.

    Cons

    Terrible training and sometimes dysfunctional leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do a better job of engaging alumni.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    They have good intentions but did not feel supported during my time as a corps member.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Teach for America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -If you are not an education major, this organizations opens the door for you to work as a teacher despite your college major.
    -They grant you money to use towards graduate school.
    -You are placed in a position where you can make a difference in the lives of students.

    Cons

    - You are NOT fully prepared for a full-time teaching position by the time school starts.
    - Their training program scratches the surface of what you need to know to be a great teacher.
    - The "confidential" surveys are not so "confidential" as you think. Someone will come up to you asking why you answered questions unfavorably.
    - They are not helpful in guiding immersion teachers on how to prepare their curriculum before the school year starts.
    - If you are not a hundred percent on board with their mission statement, you feel like you are the only one who hasn't drank the Kool-aid of Teach For America.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Prepare additional support material for immersion teachers. Immersion program curriculum varies from the standard equivalent grade level curriculum.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Corps Member

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Gallup, NM (US)
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Gallup, NM (US)

    I worked at Teach for America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I don't think anyone goes into TFA expecting it to be easy. It was challenging beyond belief - Teach for America threw me into a situation I would never have selected for myself, and I'm so glad it did. I worked with students with special needs, and spent two years learning how much this population has to contribute, the extent to which these families struggle for their children's educational rights, and how schools can be a student's greatest advocate or roadblock.

    I learned a great deal about not only measuring success, but using data to inform everyday decisions in the classroom as well as larger decisions about curriculum. I was lucky enough to have help from a staff member who had been in a special education classroom for years, and she was an invaluable resource throughout my time in the classroom. She understood how different data-driven success looked for my classroom versus the general education population and helped me find ways to accurately measure student progress.

    I also really enjoyed being in a community of people with similar values and passions. Everyone in my community was really supportive and there was a real sense of collaboration among the corps members. I made lifelong friends and developed an ongoing interest in and passion for the educational system.

    Cons

    Well, I loved my kids, I loved my school. I did not love the staff in my region. They believed in the stick versus the carrot when it came to getting people to adhere to the expectations of TFA. While my particular CM was amazing, I didn't feel like I could turn to TFA staff at all for support in the classroom- they did not understand a lot of the challenges in our area and special education in particular (which is odd, because they had taught in the region themselves.) I made the mistake of asking for help in my first months in the classroom- instead of help I got homework (no, I do not have time to journal about each of my students everyday after school!) There was also a definite sense of some corps members being favorites and getting special treatment, while others were expected to simply struggle through.

    I am glad to have gone through the experience overall, but it was the support I got from the school administration, fellow corps members, and my wonderful students that got me through, not the TFA staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Teach for America is exhausting for corps members, both emotionally and physically. We need support and compassion and the kind of leadership that guides people instead of pushing them along. While the general TFA expectations may make sense for populations closer to urban areas, those of us in rural areas have challenges that make some of those requirements nearly impossible and there should be alternatives and work arounds for people in unusual circumstances (like being a 3 hour drive from the nearest college/university).

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Awesome Professional Development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Corps Member
    Former Employee - Corps Member

    I worked at Teach for America as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    TFA provides ample opportunities to explore your leadership and teaching style. There is a huge network of people to help you determine how you fit into the larger picture of educational equality. You have to be willing to take advantage of it.

    Cons

    At first, it can feel a bit competitive and as though you are on your own when in your classroom. At times, it is difficult to know if the organization's focus is on creating strong teachers for students or creating strong leaders.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide more time to focus on lesson planning in a way that can provide better work-life balance.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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