Thank God TFA Rejected Me!

Many, many years ago (well over a decade ago) I applied for Teach for America. I liked the program for many reasons:

  1. It was prestigious: Many Ivy League grads join TFA. I figured I’d meet a lot of interesting, high quality people.
  2. Scholarships / incentives for TFA alumni.
  3. A chance to live in a new city for a couple of years.
  4. Training programs to prepare you for inner-city teaching.
  5. A chance to make a difference.

I applied and got invited to a discussion panel thing in Chicago. I had to write a response to a prompt about teacher pay. I don’t remember too much more about that day. But I do remember being bitter about the rejection letter that came later.

This morning I was online and came across this article, and it made me so thankful I got rejected:

https://www.city-journal.org/html/how-i-joined-teach-america%E2%80%94and-got-sued-20-million-12393.html

I also read this followup written in 2015: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/a-pupil-points-a-finger-a-teacher-is-fired-his-life-rerouted-now-can-they-be-buddies/2015/01/21/5fa7368e-8000-11e4-9f38-95a187e4c1f7_story.html#comments

If you are looking to make a difference or change careers, I would recommend joining The Peace Corps. Or, you could do what I did: Spend a couple years teaching abroad.

If you go to Japan or Korea, you can get paid well, help RESPECTFUL students learn English, and save a lot of money. You could even get an online degree in your free time while teaching abroad.

That being said, I do think TFA has great intentions, and I’m rooting for every TFA teacher. But please read that article and understand something similar could happen to you.

Published by Mr. Curtis Sensei

Hello! My name’s Curt, and I’m a teacher, Director of ELL, and Co-Director of Educational Technology at a small private high school in West Michigan. I share my ideas here.

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