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"I believe that education is the civil rights issue of our generation." – U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan, October 9, 2009

Attention Grads: Don’t You Worry, Never Fear, Teach for America Is Here

In thinking about life after college, you may be experiencing this:

But once you’ve done some of this…

Get off the floor and consider your options.

Today’s post is here to inform you of one of those options: Teach for America.

What is Teach for America?

An organization working towards helping kids in poverty gain an education. They target communities of low-income, ensuring those children get equal opportunities for education just as those raised in higher-income neighborhoods.

What members do: Take charge of their own classrooms and invest in students

Teach for America creates individuals who teach effectively. Recruits undergo intensive training. This training persists throughout the two-year experience, where recruits are continually learning and altering their methods while they teach in the classroom.  Corp members attend five weeks of summer training at the Institute where they learn from experienced teachers. While at Institute, members are instructed in the basic foundations of teaching, learn how to design their own lesson plans, how to carry them out effectively, and how to measure their student’s progress.

Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, corps members are able to apply what they’ve learned to the classroom. These advisors act as role models and a form of support by observing and providing feedback on corps member’s teaching. But once summer training is done, members are not left alone to teach; they continually receive feedback, tools, and resources in order to help their students achieve. One great thing about Teach for America is that they are not creating a homogenous group of teachers who all teach the same way. They help each member gear their teaching to fit the needs of the specific students in their classroom.

Who helps make this happen?

The best of college graduates who have demonstrated hard work and dedication throughout their higher education. The organization’s goal is to deliver grade-A, top-of-the-line education to disadvantaged students, and doing so requires recruiting those who have the most potential.

Don’t let your lack of experience teaching in the classroom deter you from joining Teach for America, in fact many corps members do not have this experience prior to joining. Instead, they look to individuals who, through years of schooling, have demonstrated leadership, excellent grades, the ability to manage projects, and possess interpersonal and critical thinking skills. Teach for America recruits individuals who are committed to helping children reach their full potential, who push through adversity, and are open for growth and improvement.

Why join Teach for America post-graduation?

  1. Through your education you’ve learned to think critically, to manage your time, to manage projects, to take initiative, and you’ve honed your interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively. Teach for America after college is a good idea because it gives you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in school to a real life setting. Many post-grads find it difficult to land a job because they have not demonstrated themselves outside of school. Teach for America can help bridge this gap, giving you practical experience in a leadership role—the kind of experience employers are looking for.
  2.  Let’s not forget the biggest reason for joining Teach for America: you’d be making a difference in the world. Become a part of a movement and make a lasting impact. Through your teaching, you can help children earn the best education, giving them the opportunity in life to reach their full potential. You’d be helping Teach for America make the achievement gap a thing of the past, where children’s success in life is not limited or predetermined by the wealth of their family or their community.  If you’re looking for a rewarding experience, look no further.
  3.  Teach for America will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and to gain an understanding of another community.
  4. It’s an experience that will stick with you. The experience of taking on such a large leadership role leads many corps members to continue philanthropic work with other nonprofit organizations or to continue teaching in the future.

How do you apply?

To apply for Teach for America in 2013, fill out the application on the Teach for America website by one of the listed deadlines. After submission of your application, you may be asked to do a phone interview, a full-day interview, or to perform some requests online.

How can you prepare for the application process?

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the requirements, expectations, and policies of Teach for America. Check out the website’s tips for the application and interview process. The application will require information on your educational background, leadership experience, a resume, and a letter of intent in response to three questions.

To end on a good note, life does not end after college; it is only the beginning. If you’re looking for extra preparation for the real world and looking to make a significant impact, Teach for America may be a great option for you.

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Attention Grads: Don’t You Worry, Never Fear, Teach for America Is Here

  1. Hahaha I love the intro to this post!! Just love it!!

    Several Caltech students I know have joined Teach for America after graduation, or at least tried it out for a while. It’s really a good program – but to join I would have to sacrifice a couple years of my own career – I guess this turns into a question of the good or many vs. the good of… well, me. I guess I am just too selfish, but I sure respect those who are willing to devote years of their lives to this program.

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