I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at DC Teaching Fellows in August 2011.
Interview Details – You apply online and then get invited to an interview event. The interview event is supposed to be a full day, but generally takes about 5 hours. You are asked to respond to a written prompt for 25 minutes, where you describe challenges a teacher may face and your specific solutions. Next, you participate in a "teachers conference" with other applicants on a topic involving remedial needs for students. You attend a power point presentation on the work and test requirements of a DC fellow. Following that you present a lesson plan in front of a group of other applicants (between 5-11 people). Last you attend a 25 minute personal interview with one of the "selectors" (aka current Fellows). You will be notified via email if you are accepted into the program.
The interview event was run on a very tight, specific schedule. The interviewers do not really look at you, but type or write down every word you say. My perceptions of this program are that the selectors already have an idea of who they will choose going into the interview. They require you to register for a Praxis exam (over $100 fee) even though you don't know if you will get an offer. If you don't get an offer then you just lost that $100. Something that I didn't know about this "selective" program was that they require you to actually pay them $4,500 for the "certification process," which is a 6 week process. During those 6 weeks, you become an assistant teacher in a high need school and attend lectures about 2 times a week. Note that you must pay that initial $4,500 fee even if you are not given a job within the DC school system. If accepted into the program you are not guaranteed a job at all, but it is likely that you will be placed in one... if you pass the program.
If you do not pass the initial certification requirements then you simply loose your original $4,500 (plus $50 license fee and $190 in Praxis tests). I have heard of fellows not passing the program and then you are out of luck. The whole pay a fee before you even are offered a job sounded really fishy. Why should you have to pay them to teach? You are probably better off going to a real Masters program. High need means a school located in a generally bad area of Washington, DC, where you will encounter tougher students and be required to meet certain teaching effectiveness scores to keep your job. Good luck, even if you are selected what did you really win? A bill for $4,500 and no guarantees of a job.
Reason for Declining – There was a $4,500 fee to get started.
The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at DC Teaching Fellows in April 2009.
Interview Details – The interview included a group interview (where you give a lesson plan) and then a personal interview with a current or previous member of the program. It is very similar to the Teach for America interview, so if you can't find a lot of resources on DCTF interviews, look at TFA ones as well.
Interview Question – Give a lesson plan, for a certain subject and grade level View Answer
Reason for Declining – Great Organization, just not at the right point in my life to teach in DC.
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