TNTP Teaching Fellows

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TNTP Teaching Fellows Reviews

Updated July 22, 2014
Updated July 22, 2014
20 Reviews
3.5
20 Reviews
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  1.  

    Demanding and a lot of work, but happy of my decision for taking this route.

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

    I have been working at TNTP Teaching Fellows

    Pros

    You can receive your Standard 1 Teaching license in less than a year. Less expensive then going back to school. I was looking on information on going back to school to become a teacher when I came across TNTP Teaching Fellows. I am glad I choice this route. Now that I have passed the program and am teaching, I may still go back to school later when I know more specifically what I want my degree to be in.

    Regular teacher salary and full-time in the classroom teacher while in the program.

    One-on-One support. For me personally, the coaches that were assigned to me were well experience in my subject matter, provided wonderful feedback and advise from classroom management to lesson delivery, was open to answer any questions I had, followed-up with me to see how things were going. Like in college when they say your adviser plays a big role on when and how you finish, I feel the same for this program. My coaches and I had really good relationships so that made getting through this challenging and demanding program a bit easier.

    Cons

    The 6 week pre-training is unpaid, and no guarantee that you will pass and continue in the program. If you have to relocate you are responsible for all expenses. Your in the class pre-training experience really depends on the classroom (teacher and students) you are assigned too.

    Seminars and training as whole cohort were not very helpful or productive most of the time. My coaches (2-3 people) working with me one-on-one were really the ones who help me and encouraged me to the end. Evaluators varied widely on scoring and there was no changing of scores allowed even if you felt you had valid reason.

    Recommends
  2.  

    Many hours of unpaid work without job security

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

    I worked at TNTP Teaching Fellows

    Pros

    If you can pass the summer training program, you will be able to teach right away. You meet some great people in your cohort.

    Cons

    beware if you are relocating because you will work over 60 hours a week for 8 weeks without pay, no job guarantee, little help during training, rigorous program (people often leave or get dropped).

    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    One of the best choices I have ever made!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - DC Teaching Fellow  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - DC Teaching Fellow in Washington, DC

    I have been working at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Deciding to become a DC Teaching Fellow was one of the greatest decisions that I have made for my professional career. I applied to the fellows program as a career changer and appreciated that the program was welcoming of individuals with no prior teaching experience.

    I would strongly recommend the program to those looking to become long-term teachers, and are seeking a rigorous program with high expectations.

    The program was very fast paced, as you are trained for a short time before entering the classroom. There is a ton of information to learn and lots of practice before your first day teaching. Because teaching is very much a craft, it requires a lot of time, practice, patience, and dedication. Unlike other alternative teaching programs, DCTF allows you to gain real world experience by lead teaching during your training. You are in control of your classroom from day 1 of summer school.

    I was fortunate enough to build a close personal relationship with my instructional coach which helped personally and professionally. My coach was extremely supportive during the summer and throughout the school year. We met, practiced lessons together, and she even helped me plan lessons when needed.

    Again, I would highly recommend DC Teaching Fellows to all that are looking to become long-term teachers but have not gone the traditional route. The program prepares you as much as possible for entering the classroom and provides a ton of support to guide you through the program. You get what you are willing to put into the experience.

    Cons

    If possible, I would have liked more exposure to teaching my content area before the official school year began. During summer training, fellows teach reading, writing, and math which is beneficial but may not be applicable to all fellows. Also, there are no guarantees that you will be offered a teaching position during the school year. To some this may be off-putting however if you are willing to put in the work, the rest will fall into place. The program will not "give" you a pass to teaching, you will earn it. It is not for the faint of heart.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    TNTP Teaching Fellows is a demanding and highly effective alternative teacher certification program.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Classroom Teacher  in  Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Classroom Teacher in Baltimore, MD

    I have been working at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I entered this program with some prior teaching experience, but having never received any formal training and in need of a teaching certificate to move forward in my career. TNTP academy provided extremely practical, hands-on training that prepared me for success in my kindergarten classroom. The coaching and mentoring was excellent. I was given clear and specific advice and feedback and I was consistently challenged to do my best. I really enjoyed that, through my weekly classes, I became part of a network of peers. I learned so much just from talking with other teachers. I also enjoyed the emphasis on practice and self-reflection. Teachers are extremely busy and can easily become isolated, forgetting to take time out to examine what they are doing well and what they need to do differently. TNTP Academy provided the structure and support I needed to make sure that I was pushing myself, which ultimately benefited my students. I am very happy with my choice to enroll in TNTP Academy. I love my school and I love teaching kindergarten. I am really excited about this new stage of my career and I owe my success in large part to the training and support that I received through TNTP Academy.

    Cons

    This is a highly demanding program that requires a serious commitment. There is an expectation that teachers devote a significant amount of time to their planning, to their coursework, and to making their classroom highly effective in the first year. If you are able to embrace feedback and get comfortable with constructive criticism, then this is the program for you!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    The best alternative teacher certification program.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow  in  New Orleans, LA
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in New Orleans, LA

    I worked at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    TeachNOLA (the New Orleans branch of TNTP) is the best way for people with no prior experience in education to become teachers in New Orleans. New Orleans is a demanding place to teach, but teachNOLA's summer academy is specifically tailored to address conditions specific to the city. The summer academy staff are themselves full-time teachers who back up their instruction with real world experience. The staff are attentive to fellows' needs and have a vested interest in preparing fellows (their future colleagues) as thoroughly as possible for their first year of teaching.
    During the school year, you will receive feedback on your performance from a coach, who visits several times a month. The feedback I received from my coach drastically improved my performance. All in all, teachNOLA staff are high quality, responsive, and provide support when you need it.

    Cons

    TeachNOLA requires a massive time commitment, and you will have to adjust your life outside of work accordingly. Summer academy is roughly 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, and you will have to set aside extra time for planning on weekends. There are also mandatory seminars held nights and weekends throughout the year. The time commitment alone is enough to make some people reconsider.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Streamline course material for fellows, especially in the first 1-2 weeks of training. Provide more support for lesson planning/curriculum design.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Loved teachNOLA

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow  in  New Orleans, LA
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in New Orleans, LA

    I have been working at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Quick path to license, and left me feeling really prepared after only 6 weeks! Lots of support throughout the first year of teaching as well. Great and helpful staff! Intense but really helpful training program, with lots of opportunities to practice.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is tough, especially during the 6-week summer institute. However, it does get easier during the first year of teaching, and the evening classes are very manageable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More help finding a school placement would be great!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    Big time commitment but worth it!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Special Education Teacher  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Special Education Teacher in Chicago, IL

    I worked at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The staff is very supportive. Coaches come into your classroom pretty frequently and give you very applicable advice. Even if your coach does not come in often they are easily reached by email to help with lesson plans or bounce classroom ideas around. At the end of the program I was nervous that I was not going to pass so I emailed the director and she got back to me right away reassuring me that everything was going to be ok. She even offered to talk with me on the phone which I really appreciated. Another pro to this program is you get to choose where you work. Yeah it is hard and stressful to apply to teaching jobs but at least you have a say in what grade level and area you teach in.

    During seminars the teachers and other fellows give you a lot of great resources. I would definitely recommend this program if you are seriously interested in teaching. You need to be committed to teaching and kiddos though if you are going to enjoy this program.

    Cons

    It is definitely a time commitment but when you look at the alternative (going back to school) it is much less than that commitment. The ACE scale is difficult and the observations are stressful.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Good path to teaching license

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I enjoyed my experience with the Chicago Teaching Fellows. I was a career changer and wanted an alternative to going to back to school. I knew I wanted to teach special education, and I liked that CTF allowed me to jump right into a full time teaching job at CPS. Plus, unlike other programs, I was an actual CPS employee from the start (not an employee of the certification program). The school year program is excellent. It is organized and well thought out. I was impressed with the quality of the coaching during the school year. My coach was always there for me if I needed help, and was a fantastic resource. That said, you will need to take control of your own development as a teacher. If you are someone who is willing to put it some of the legwork yourself (they won't spoon feed you), this a great opportunity. Besides, teaching is a lot of figuring it out for yourself- I learned so much by hitting the ground running. CTF was certainly there to help me if I needed it. I'm so glad I did the program, and I would choose it again in a heart beat.

    Cons

    The summer program (pre-service training) was often very frustrating. You will work with season/summer staff for the most part (not the regular staff). For example, my summer coach was not very helpful to me and didn't seem to understand the program herself. Summer is stressful because your performance ultimately decides whether you will continue for the rest of the year, and be allowed to teach. Summer felt very disorganized -- BUT, get through the summer (don't let it discourage you!) and the school year program is a night and day difference. The full time/ school year staff is much better and incredibly helpful, and the school year program was much more organized. You will be happy you stuck with it! Plus, it sounds like summer training will be structured differently this year, so hopefully it will be a much better experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The first month or so of the program felt rocky. Things seemed very unorganized and the summer staff either did not seem to be well trained or did not have their hearts in it. Maybe screen season employees better? If the summer program could match the quality of the school year program, it would be all around perfect!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Gateway to a Great Career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow  in  Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in Phoenix, AZ

    I have been working at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    * Teaching: Arizona Teaching Fellows had me consider a career in education when I would have never thought of this career before! My kids are amazing and continue to impress me year after year.
    * Prepared: I felt prepared by the coaching I received at the summer Pre Service Training. My coach was thoughtful, pushed me in key areas, and helped me become reflective about my practice before I headed into the school year.
    * Year Long Support: Personally, I felt supported by my coach and school throughout the year. My administration and fellow faculty members had a great view of AZTF and wanted to help me succeed. As a result, I've been at my school for three years and ready for number four next year!

    Cons

    * Long Hours: PST is tough and it takes long hours. In the end, it is worth it to become a teacher!
    * It's a risk: Not everyone makes it. Not everyone is meant to be a teacher. The teaching profession is tough and is not a 100% guarantee. There are financial and time risks involved!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Arizona Teaching Fellows

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow  in  Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in Phoenix, AZ

    I worked at TNTP Teaching Fellows as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    You get some experience teaching. If you're lucky, it may even be relevant.

    If you make it through the program, you're able to get your certification while working.

    You'll meet some amazing people in the program, at least, outside of management.

    Cons

    Before I started the program I asked how many people don't make it through, and they told me, "Only a handful. Maybe 5 or 6 every year out of more than eighty." What they don't tell you is that people are frequently kicked out of the program for a variety of (often vague) reasons and many quit throughout the process. I'd estimate that about 15-25% of those fellows who are there the first day don't successfully complete the program for whatever reason. Some of them aren't cut out for teaching, but many would do well. In any event, this is not information that they're willing to share, but it is completely disingenuous of them not to do so.

    The entire program is based upon a completely reductive and wrong-headed belief that teaching is the exact same for K-12 irrespective of grade level. When I entered the program I was supposed to teach at the High School level. A few days in I was told that I would be teaching Primary Education but that, "It would make no difference." I was gullible enough to believe this and in retrospect I feel as if it was a bait-and-switch.

    It would seem as if the staff also has entirely different standards for different classes, and, it would seem, different fellows. I was working with fellows who were dealing with a very large, completely out-of-control class that couldn't have possibly gotten them objectively to a passing score on the scoring rubric; a class that regularly ejected students where very few of the students were ever engaged in the work and teachers couldn't even make it through half of their lessons, and in spite of this, they were able to pass in spite of the fact that grading rubric would not have allowed them to do so if followed objectively. I also observed evaluations for other fellows teaching the same class I had, who had more students who were completely disengaged and misbehaving and those same fellows were able to receive significantly higher scores on the rubric than I was by the same evaluator. I'm happy that all of these people were able to pass, as they were my friends, many of them did legitimately have tough classes and I thought that they'd all make great educators but when you are on the wrong side of a supposedly objective rubric that you know you're on the right side of and you see fellows who are clearly not being held to the same standards you're supposedly being held to, it makes you feel a bit bitter.

    The scoring is ABSOLUTELY a black box. You receive a score in a very small number range for an evaluation that lasts for all of about 20 minutes. 4 evaluations later and you're given a final score. These scores are not objective, nor are they consistent. For instance, my first formal evaluation was in a session in my second week that was so-so and I did fairly well. My last evaluation was in my last week after I had made significant improvements and the structure of the lesson was virtually identical and I did much more poorly in spite of the fact that virtually all the students were engaged in the task at hand and required very little in the way of behavioral redirects. You are literally given two sentences on your evaluation explaining why you received the score you did. There is little-to-no-feedback given and I didn't even really have much of a dialogue with my coach until the last weekend or so when it became clear that I was in jeopardy. It's purely a numbers game. It's formulaic strategies couched in a largely subjective grading rubric.

    STAY AWAY! Arizona is so desperate for teachers and there are so many opportunities to quickly receive your license in the state that you don't need to subject yourself to this. Look into Rio Salado's program. It will save you a ton of money and the classes can be done online. I know a fellow who was asked to leave almost immediately after the program started, but she had a job already lined up and was able to keep her position and obtain her license this way. You don't need to subject yourself to this. If the opportunity cost is low and the finances are manageable, maybe consider it. But you don't need your self-worth and perception of your skills as a teacher tied to this dishonest, formulaic and reductive program.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let fellows know ahead of time what the attrition rate is actually like.

    Do more to ensure that scoring of fellows is done objectively and honestly; perhaps by having multiple evaluators scoring the same class at the same time or ditching the system entirely.

    Hold everyone to the same standards.

    Provide more and higher-quality feedback with specific, concrete, observable and sequential steps on what to do that allow fellows to play the numbers game a bit better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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