TNTP Teaching Fellows
TNTP Teaching Fellows Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Teaching Fellow - Charlotte, NC Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at TNTP Teaching Fellows in March 2012.
Interview Details – The initial application was online and required almost 2 hours to complete. An extensive amount of original documentation (at my own expense) was required and copies were not allowed. The initial interview was a video-graphic call-and-response via teleprompter. Each of the follow-up interviews were in various locations, required at least 1.5-2 hours, and success or failure was unknown until a call for the next interview came. Follow-up after the last interview came by email with a list of an additional 27 steps to complete before the first day of training. The interviewers were impersonal, save one.
Interview Question – "You have a student that is failing your class, and a student that is not failing yet having difficulty grasping your current lesson. You have one time slot for tutoring available, which student do you give the time to? View Answer
Negotiation Details – Because this position is governmental, meaning pay scale and contract is preset, there was little to negotiate.
Teaching Fellow Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at TNTP Teaching Fellows in February 2014.
Interview Details – TNTP received my info from Teach For America and contacted me. I decided to apply. Beware the $30 application fee... they sneak it in at the end and don't tell you. I didn't want to pay, but had already put in all the work for the application so decided to go for it. A little while after turning in the application they told me I had earned a phone interview. I felt like the interview went pretty badly, but later they offered me acceptance into the program so it couldn't have been too terrible!
Interview Question – What % of the responsibility for getting a student to school on time falls on you, the teacher? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – I did not feel qualified to be a teacher, having essentially no prior experience and getting only 5 weeks of training.
Teaching Fellow Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at TNTP Teaching Fellows in October 2013.
Interview Details – The process was very simple. I submitted an online application to the DC Teaching Fellows website and then was contacted for a phone interview a few weeks later. After that, I waited a couple more weeks and was immediately offered a position to join the fellowship. They gave me three weeks to decide after to see if it was for me or not.
Interview Question – They ran a scenario with me, asking what I would do if my kid does not show up to class and the parent doesn't have the time to make sure he attends school. The parent thinks I am attacking her and threatens to get the principal against me. View Answer
Reason for Declining – They do not pay you for the summer and there seems to be a good portion of the staff who drop out before finishing the fellowship over the summer. I didn't like the lack of security as you had to find your own housing and support yourself for a whole summer. And you aren't even guaranteed a job, also you can be kicked out whenever...
Teaching Fellow Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at TNTP Teaching Fellows in December 2011.
Interview Details – For the TNTP teaching fellow program, got a phone interview and interview.
The phone interview is super regimented. Ten questions, you answer them while they type. Similar to interview process, which was very similar to the Teach For America in-person interview.
My phone interviewer was very nice, couldn't really answer my questions about the program however. On a few questions, she played devils advocate. I think they are really looking to see if you share their philosophy.
Interview Question – If you had an aggressive parent come into class, how would you respond? Answer Question
Very Difficult Interview
Teaching Fellow Interview (Neutral Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at TNTP Teaching Fellows in April 2012.
Interview Details – The interview process is the same for many other teaching fellowship programs. All communication is done via a "teachertrack" website; it's hard to speak with someone in person. The initial phone interview was very distant. They asked a question and I was just left to speak until I thought I was finished. There was a long pause (while they completed notes) and then they moved on the the next question. This lasted for about 25 minutes. They said thank you and goodbye.
I was invited to an in-person interview where I was required to give a sample lesson in 5 minutes. DCTF provided the lesson objective. After a group of 5 other candidates and I finished our samples we met for a one-on-one interview where they gave is "feedback". It was hardly that. I asked for the interviewer to clarify and they were unable to do it. I then had to incorporate the feedback into a re-teach of my lesson. I bombed it. Not one of my finest moments.
When I left the interview, I was just glad the process was over after nearly 4 months.
Interview Question – What do you do when you see your students are failing? Answer Question
Teacher Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at TNTP 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.
- Why do you want to work in a high need school? Answer Question
- What is your greatest accomplishment? How did you achieve it? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – There was a $4,500 fee to get started.
Teacher Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at TNTP 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.