Teach for America Reviews

Updated July 28, 2015
48 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Any Status
Employment Status

Reset
2.0
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Matthew Kramer & Elisa Villanueva Beard
7 Ratings

Pros
  • There are a lot of opportunities for professional development (in 52 reviews)

  • Feeling like you're making a difference (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance is pretty difficult to achieve (in 45 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

48 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Good if you drink the Kool-Aid

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

    I worked at Teach for America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people, pushes you to expand your mindset and beliefs. If you passionately believe in TFA and their mission, then you will love it. If you are just doing it to make a difference but aren't drinking the Kool-Aid, this isn't for you.

    Cons

    Lack of support from coaches. All of the management are teachers with 2 years experience. You are told when there are issues with the schools to be humble.

    Advice to Management

    You should look to hire veteran teachers as the TLD Managers since they have more experience (5-10 years) and can actually give good advice.


  2. TFA, no way

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

    I worked at Teach for America full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Meet great people, feel like you have a job with a purpose

    Cons

    Very demanding, mentally draining, worked in a school with no janitor and urine all over the floors, had terrible benefits and worked 10 hour says on average

    Advice to Management

    They need to place teachers in better schools. Not schools that are about to be shut down that pay you below 30,000


  3. Teacher

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

    I worked at Teach for America full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Allowed you to take on a huge amount of responsibility right away

    Cons

    In my case we had little or not training, and both I and my students sufferred. Since then I hear training's markedly improved.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Director School Partnership

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

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    High performing Emphasis on Professional Development Rigorous hiring process Mission Driven

    Cons

    Political office place Unsustainable hours Young managers


  6. Helpful (1)

    Campus Campaign Coordinator

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Campus Campaign Coordinator in New York, NY
    Former Intern - Campus Campaign Coordinator in New York, NY

    I worked at Teach for America as an intern (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    As someone who is passionate about education as a right for everyone, Teach For America was a great company to learn more about helping schools in low socioeconomic areas. The staff was always enthusiastic and was willing to listen to ideas for recruitment, advertising, and marketing on your college campus. This put a lot of power into the hands of the CCC and so it had the potential to be a great leadership role. A lot of it was work from home so the schedule was really flexible which is great for a college student looking for an internship with a hectic class schedule.

    Cons

    Working for a large non-profit that is highly controversial you will receive a lot of negative feedback from friends and other student groups on campus. While this was a minor problem, it did present challenges for campaigning and recruiting. The biggest problem was with management. I found the training process to be generic and unhelpful--it was often online over chat with other CCCs from around the country and was often a waste of my time. The management was completely disconnected from their CCCs and I often had zero to no direction. My manager would often ask me to do things the day before a deadline and wouldn't give me the materials I needed until late in the day. It was completely unprofessional. She blamed it on the fact that a lot of things were changing at TFA, so I'm not sure if it was just her or all of TFA was undergoing a lot of change and was therefore unorganized.

    Advice to Management

    Provide direction to your employees, give them reasonable deadlines and resources in a timely fashion.


  7. Experiences vary greatly

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Working with the future of our nation to help improve educational equity feels good. Being part of a movement of young, like-minded go getters is also fun. I've heard stories from friends about having a wonderful experience and wanting to stay in the work forever.

    Cons

    I cannot wait to get out. This work is exhausting. Most of what frustrates or ails you and your students is simply out of your control. If you are unfortunate enough to be placed in a school with low culture and administration who doesn't care to fix it, you should seek out a reliable therapist quickly. Your insurance should cover it. Also, depending on which corps you're placed in, you may become even more broke than you're bargaining for. A lot of corps members come from families that are still supporting them financially. Those who don't have that privilege will struggle and may be forced to find a second job. IF YOU ARE DOING THIS FOR THE AMERICORPS STIPEND, IT WILL NOT BE WORTH IT. Many people join TFA for the financial benefit. Let's do some math. $11,000 over two years is an extra $5,500 per year. You're a recent college grad who will make up double that difference in any degree requiring occupation. You'll quickly regret your decision if your heart isn't in the mission.


  8. Helpful (6)

    Lots of internal/management issues

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

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are kind and well-intentioned, and the organization supports diversity and a wide range of lifestyles and perspectives. The work is for a good cause. The network of peers and supporters is powerful. The hours are reasonable (40-50/week)

    Cons

    Management is generally too young and inexperienced, yet there is not open acknowledgment of room for growth at the top, nor efforts to recruit more expertise. Operations are poor: disorganized and reactive. There is not a lot of thought given to efficiency or leveraging synergies across teams and regions. Teams are siloed, leading to redundancies. Innovation is tossed around a lot as a concept, but there are not clear procedures and protocols for ensuring innovation is happening and reinforced through codification of best practices. Regions do not have adequate capacity to support PR and communications, data management, technology - these functions are consolidated at the center, which is quite disconnected and even sometimes at odds with the needs of regions. Poor professional development and salary is relatively low.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be more consistent and transparent accountability and performance management structures for upper management, especially in regions. Retention should be more proactively driven through positive rewards for excellent performance - I have seen a lot of attrition of good talent and then retention of those who are comfortable with the status quo. Regions continue to need added capacity in support services, and this should be more decentralized, while the central org should be playing a much bigger role in coordination within and across regions, as well as in identifying efficiencies. Spend more time on operations, professional development of hard skills, less time on internal messaging, soft skills development. There's a lot of rhetoric floating around but very poor execution and concrete implementation strategy.


  9. Helpful (6)

    Business Analysis, Product Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Teach for America full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Talented colleagues, decent compensation, work-life balance, development opportunities.

    Cons

    Complete hypocrisy on part of the higher-ups. Management talks about "transformational change" while doing everything possible to avoid accountability. Problem-solving talk is popular; problem-solving action is unwelcome and makes people paranoid. Completely disheartening for those of us genuinely striving to create meaningful solution and running against endless brick walls. A lot of good people left. As the economy has picked up, fewer people have been joining TFA as teachers. 2/3 of TFA teachers quit before completing their 3-year commitment. Organization outlook is bleak.

    Advice to Management

    Put your money where your mouth is and remember why you joined this organization in the first place.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Good benefits, long hours

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

    I worked at Teach for America full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Benefits, work location flexibility, working towards a cause that matters

    Cons

    Hypocritical environment - say they aren't hierarchical but everything depends on your status. Long hours and you won't do the job you're hired for - well, not ONLY the job you're hired for anyway. Each person ends up doing what seems like 2-3 jobs, especially the lower you are on the totem poll.


  11. This is an idealistic view of a monumental problem that is applying a band-aid and calling it fixed.

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

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The best reason to work for TFA is to get certified. They make that process tremendously easier than if you did it on your own.

    Cons

    There is little acknowledgment or honesty of the actuality of teaching. Training for five weeks is not sufficient. Be prepared to be overwhelmed for the majority of the next two years.

    Advice to Management

    Increase quality of training



Showing 48 of 563 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.