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Teach for America Reviews in Houston, TX

Updated Apr 25, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.0 11 reviews

100% Approve of the CEO

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Matthew Kramer & Elisa Villanueva Beard

(2 ratings)

75% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • If you are with a supportive corps, excellent professional development(in 43 reviews)

  • It's nice to know that you're making a difference in people's lives(in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • The work/life balance involved in the corps commitment is a significant challenge(in 36 reviews)

  • hours are very long and you are not compensated for the long hours(in 27 reviews)

11 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Corps Member

    Corps Member (Former Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsIt was a great supportive community that was a great place to start a career. I loved every second of being a corps member

    ConsI had a negative relationship with my Program Director, but it was because we were both stubborn about our beliefs. It was more a personality conflict then anything

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Tough but Worth Your Effort if You Can Stomach the Challenge

    Corps Member (Former Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsI'm very glad that I completed my corps commitment now that it is over. There were so many times that I wanted to quit my first year, but I survived. My perception is that the support has gotten better since I left the corps.

    ConsI really was not a good teacher my first year, I feel guilty about that, but I really did put in absolutely as much effort as was physically possible. I was a good teacher my second year and I stayed in my placement school a third year trying to make up for the damage I caused during that awful first year.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI actually really like the new changes that have been implemented over the past year, I think they are setting a promising direction for the corps experience.

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Rewarding but unprepared

    Operations Coordinator (Former Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsIntrinsic motivations, big budget, lots of autonomy, strong workplace culture and identity

    ConsLack of direction, high stress environment, long work hours, not appreciated for your efforts

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    Beneficial to my future career endeavors

    Instructor (Current Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsTop of the line support, innovative, and ambitious.

    ConsCan be a bit cumbersome

    Advice to Senior ManagementDiversity Awareness can be seen a bit offensive to those that are diverse

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Incredible fast paced mission driven place to work

    Manager, Teacher Leadership Development (Former Employee) Houston, TX

    Pros+ Talented and passionate people.
    + Everyone is on the same page regarding the mission. Completely selfless leadership.
    + Although everyone works incredibly hard, the work life balance is pretty strong. There are weekends and evenings from time to time but they are manageable.

    Cons- TFA is fast paced and high stakes. It can be emotionally exhausting fighting an uphill battle, which the organization is doing by trying to eliminate educational inequity.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Institute -- Many Highs and Lows

    Summer Operations (Former Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsIntensive professional development for aspiring school leaders.
    Quality of colleagues and systems for exchanging best practices.

    ConsTendency to scapegoat organizational shortcomings on individual staff members.
    Poor compensation for time and effort -- overtime pay was misleading.

    Advice to Senior ManagementToo many established circles with an already cliquish organization.
    Less emphasis on making everything seem "rigorous" and "elite" when it's only surface-level and leads to inefficient outcomes for all.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    TFA is awesome depending on what you would like to do with the rest of your life.

    Corp Member (Former Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsIf you want to be a teacher, you will be trained and pushed to a level that a 4 year degree in education doesn't deliver nowadays. You'll also be surrounded by a lot of young and motivated people who are interested in making a chance.

    ConsThere can be a lot of exclusion depending on what corp you are in.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork on being inclusive of all members. Even the ones that don't shop at J. Crew.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Life Changing

    Corps Member - Charter School (Current Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsLife Changing: You will really have the opportunity to be invited into a community and the lives of the people who live there and make a great impact.
    Salary/Benefits: The compensation is no more or less than what other teachers in the region make. Corps members are, however, given additional funds for education or loan repayment.
    Professional Development: I've grown leaps and bounds in professionalism which is awesome for someone who's not very far removed from college.
    Placement: It's an opportunity to move to somewhere else that you may never have otherwise and broaden your horizons.

    ConsIt can be very difficult in the beginning to adjust to being a teacher with no prior experience but there's always someone visiting your classroom to support your growth.

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue doing a great job of taking the corps members' feedback and using it to improve the corps experience.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    Great Support

    Corps Member (Current Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsTeach For America is full of people who are driven and passionate for education. The regional staff teams provide excellent service and support.

    ConsLong hours, tough schools requires Corps Members to really have a passion for what they are doing. If you don't have a passion for education, do something else. Do not apply to TFA if you are looking to build your resume and do something else after, it isn't worth it.

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    3 people found this helpful  

    My 2 years at Teach for America will probably be the hardest two years I've ever been through in my life.

    Corps Member - 5th Grade Math Teacher (Former Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsTeach for America is a very prestigious, selective program that is working to end one of our nation's greatest injustices. They train their corps members very rigorously (sometimes TOO rigorously) and are very proud of their success. Working here is very rewarding and if you're interested in education for the long-run I would definitely suggest starting off as a TFA corps member. Having the experience of being a corps member really gives you an advantage in professional growth in the education field. The pay is decent depending on where you work (teacher's salary), and you meet a lot of very passionate people from across the country.

    ConsTFA often speaks of the experience as a difficult one, but they rarely go into the specifics of why it's so difficult. Don't expect to end work at 3pm like you may have believed teachers do when you were growing up. Especially your first year of teaching, expect to work upwards of 12 hours a day or more. Those 12 hours are grueling, and you'll probably come home exhausted from having to deal with poor administration at your school and disrespectful students.

    Also, once you've been in TFA long enough, everyone talks about the achievement gap using the same buzzwords and offering the same solutions. Often there isn't much creativity in approaching the issue.

    For your first year of teaching (especially your first semester), there will be virtually no work-life balance for most. Many of my fellow corps members considered quitting (some did) because it was too much work and too stressful. It's not an easy job, but you have to really consider it a "calling" if you want to join. Don't join TFA because you think it will help you get into business school (it won't) or will look good on your resume (it's not worth it). Join TFA if you really believe in it's mission and helping kids.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire more people interested in staying in education for the long run and not teachers who will leave after the two years are up.

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