Teach for America Reviews

Updated April 15, 2015
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3.0
110 Reviews
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Matthew Kramer & Elisa Villanueva Beard
12 Ratings

110 Employee Reviews

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  1. Associate, Alumni Leadership

    • 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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule (some work from home)
    Fairly easy job tasks
    Overall positive office environment

    Cons

    Lack of upward movement
    Lack of growth

  2. Helpful (1)

    Coordinator

    • 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

    Pros

    Flexible, friendly environment, good first job

    Cons

    Low pay, few opportunities to advance

  3. Teacher

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager, Teacher Leadership Development in Watts, CA
    Current Employee - Manager, Teacher Leadership Development in Watts, CA

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

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

    Pros

    Work with intelligent people who are very driven. Exposure to lots of different issues in education and society at large. Good networking opportunities.

    Cons

    Low salary. Lack of support. Experience at school sites can vary. Sometimes it seems like the corporate TFAers just want to set you up then leave you.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more energy on younger grades as this will have the greatest impact for changing the education landscape in the long-term. Be more transparent with corps members concerning unwritten codes of some school systems.

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  5. Demanding, but prestigious

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Teach for America

    Pros

    Headlining company name for resume

    Cons

    very long hours and weekends

    Advice to Management

    really live out the "personal-professional alignment"

  6. Good job, however location placements can be rough

    • 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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - possible for changing positions (a lot of open positions)
    - Professonal Development Oppurtunities

    Cons

    - Lack of support
    - Location

  7. Luck of the Draw

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You work with a great group of motivated young professionals
    Plenty of Networking opportunities
    Your work has a lot of importance/value
    You'll fall in love in with your students!

    Cons

    Hard work life balance is hard
    Depending on where you're placed your relationship with TFA can look very different
    Many parts of the program can be hidden

    Advice to Management

    Tell corps members everything upfront

  8. Helpful (3)

    Smart, passionate people who care deeply about mission. Riddled with bureaucracy, red tape, and second-guessing.

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

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (more than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Likely the smartest people with which I've worked. Ever. These people believe whole-heartedly in doing what's right for kids, and it drives so many of them to work themselves to the bone. It's a well-established, well-funded non-profit (for better or for worse), and it operates like a corporation on many levels.

    Benefits are really solid for a non-profit. Incredibly cheap healthcare options, great 403b with 5% match after 1 year (and immediately vested) and an extremely generous time off policy with the ability to roll over unused days (because, let's face it, many people don't end up taking them).

    Office spaces are well-designed, and provide for easy collaboration with colleagues.

    Cons

    Be prepared to be second-guessed with everything you do. Everyone gets to give feedback at TFA, even if they really don't need to have an opinion. It causes unnecessary holdups in processes, and you'll encounter delays upon delays in getting things done just so more people can give their two cents. Even though one of the organization's core values is Leadership, everyone doubts that exact quality in each other as it relates to their ability to make solid decisions. It's a classic case of an company that believes everyone is a jack of all trades, masters of none.

    Major issue with their "personal-professional alignment." Everyone will say they respect it, but they also expect you to answer emails at midnight. When you call them out on it, it's not received well.

    Promotions are a double-edged sword at TFA, and they often go to those that are part of the echo chamber. Fall in line, or be prepared to be a part of middle management for years to come.

    Advice to Management

    There's a lot of hubris in the organization. Lots of thinking you know what's right without seeking advice from subject matter or process experts. Come down out of the ivory tower and accept that you don't know everything. Then, and only then, will you begin to have an organization that truly cares about its people as much as it does about the mission.

  9. Not given promised support

    • 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

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

    Pros

    -Alternative pathway to teaching
    -Help you get a teaching position
    -Americorps educational award to pay off loans or for future education
    -Grow tremendously from experience & get to work with some amazing children

    Cons

    -Summer training ("Institute") is not helpful
    -Do not provide the support they promise
    -No flexibility on their part (ex. location you are placed to teach, subject you teach, etc.). They expect you to be extremely flexible and do whatever they command.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees fairly & as if they matter!

  10. Teach For A While

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

    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

    Teach For America is slowly becoming the organization it always needed to be: increasing minority recruitment, requiring longer teaching commitments, extending teacher preparation time, and shrinking its corps to offer real support to its corps members.

    Cons

    It's not exactly a scam, but it's close. Teachers are thrown into classrooms without any idea of how to teach or how to connect to their students, and TFA has no meaningful connections or administrative support to offer. TFA's teacher coaches are as inexperienced and thinly stretched as its teachers. The burnout rate is tremendous. My school had 7 first-year TFAs last year and I'm 1 of only 3 who came back for a second year. Only the delusional TFAs think they're doing well in their 1st/2nd year of teaching. Contrary to TFA's self-published numbers, most TFAs leave teaching, and when they stay in teaching, they go to charter schools.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the corps small, make actual administrative connections to placement communities, offer real support, recruit people who are actually willing to stay 5 years or more, expand pre-classroom teacher training, stop pretending you don't need to hire veteran teachers to help coach your corp members.

  11. Helpful (1)

    TFA Bay Area has not been a positive experience, but thankfully my school site is great so I have no regrets

    Current Employee - Corps Member in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Corps Member in San Jose, CA

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

    Pros

    Great cause, great intentions, great experience, got a Teacher credential

    Cons

    Lack of training, false promises, take up a lot of time outside of work for events that are not helpful

    Advice to Management

    Train us more on classroom culture, systems and norms/expectations. First year teachers can't do much with an unruly class.

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