Many, many years ago (well over a decade ago) I applied for Teach for America. I liked the program for many reasons:
- It was prestigious: Many Ivy League grads join TFA. I figured I’d meet a lot of interesting, high quality people.
- Scholarships / incentives for TFA alumni.
- A chance to live in a new city for a couple of years.
- Training programs to prepare you for inner-city teaching.
- 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:
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.