Teach for America

  www.teachforamerica.org
  www.teachforamerica.org

Teach for America Reviews in Philadelphia, PA

Updated July 30, 2014
Updated July 30, 2014
423 Reviews
3.8
423 Reviews
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Matthew Kramer & Elisa Villanueva Beard
61 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • opportunities for professional development and taking on big jobs early in one's career (in 52 reviews)

  • It's nice to know that you're making a difference in people's lives (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • The work/life balance involved in the corps commitment is a significant challenge (in 45 reviews)

  • Long hours and work/personal life balance can be difficult as a first year (in 31 reviews)

More Highlights

8 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Experience as Teach For America Corps Member

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - High School Teacher in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - High School Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

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

    Pros

    TFA does an excellent job preparing new teachers during Institute IF (and this is a big if) the individual takes advantage of the experience. TFA also provides excellent support and professional development opportunities throughout the year, though each region may have differences. If you want an experience where you learn and grow while helping students learn, this is a great choice.

    Cons

    You have to want to work and figure out a way to learn from all your mistakes without taking anything personally. Teaching is not easy - it takes someone who does not step away from a challenge. Additionally, TFA can be a bit too corporate at times, focusing more on data and results and not the journey for both the corps member and the students.

    Recommends
  2.  

    Summer Internship: Valuable Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations Coordinator in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Operations Coordinator in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at Teach for America as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Teach For America's summer intern program was a great way to gain insight as to whether or not this is the right avenue to serve if you are passionate about bettering the world, and especially if you are committed to ensuring every child has access to a great education. The internship is unique in that it allows college students to truly commit themselves by providing onsite housing & a good financial stipend.

    Cons

    The summer session assignment limited ones insight into other departments and the larger scope of the nonprofit however the staff was very receptive to my inquisitiveness and allowed me to sit in on classroom sessions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think interns would benefit from more interaction with the incoming TFA Hires. Pairing interns with a mentor outside of their department manager would be a great idea to allow for creative and professional growth. Additionally, a follow-up program once an intern completes the experience would be valuable to the organization.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great experience for people looking to make a difference after college

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

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

    Pros

    -Excellent summer institute training
    -Continued support throughout the two years

    Cons

    -Mandatory Saturday meetings once monthly, (that don't really help you professionally)
    -If your placement school is disorganized and supportive you are stuck!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure you are selecting people who actually want to make a difference, and not people looking for a resume booster.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Skip and do the real teacher training

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at Teach for America full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I met some amazing people, amazing students and had the chance to get my feet wet in the field of education.

    Cons

    No one listens to you. I was placed in a subject field I was not qualified to teach in. No one cared and no one listened but told me to stop wallowing in self pity. How can I "close the achievement gap" if i am unfamiliar with the content I am teaching students who need the help the most? They also are a little cult like, eyebrows raise when you do not agree with them or question their practices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your corps members.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great organization with great opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at Teach for America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    • Great personal growing experience
    • Ability to develop a variety of skills beyond teaching

    Cons

    • Too data driven at times
    • A lot of your experience depends on the school you are placed in and how well you mesh with your co-workers there

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    I felt less like a corps member most days and more like a teacher at my school

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Corps Member - Charter School in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Corps Member - Charter School in Philadelphia, PA

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

    Pros

    They were pretty hands off which was great for me since I already had a ton of people in and out of my room all of the time. I didnt need them as much, as I studied education in school and had previous teaching experience.

    Cons

    They were hands off - could be problematic for those who have never experienced teaching
    The "all corps saturdays" were long and sometimes felt like a waste of time, especially for a teacher who needed to grade and make lesson plans.. good thing they were only once a month!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recruit more people of color (especially black males)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    I had an awful experience teaching summer school during Institute

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at Teach for America full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    TFA has great benefits
    They gave us generous funding and accommodations

    Cons

    Teach For America expects college graduates with no prior teaching experience to create their own worksheets and lesson plans. I was thrown into a classroom without any books a week after arriving at the summer institute. The material I managed to create was not nearly as good as peer-reviewed curriculum that I had been given as a child. Furthermore, my class had non-English speakers, special needs students, and bright students who acted out behaviorally all combined in one class. I realize TFA is trying to work within the system to create change, but I almost had a mental break down from the stress and excessive workload that summer.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Hardest job straight out of college

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at Teach for America

    Pros

    Interacting with kids everyday is certainly not boring
    Teach for America provides wonderful support for first-year teachers in tough schools
    TFA has a fabulous network of graduate schools and employers
    You learn so much about the American education system.

    Cons

    Salary is low, but what else do you expect for public school, inner-city teaching
    Inner-city schools are tough, not so much because of the kids, but because of the lack of support from the school district administrators

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Great job. Open up TFA in more regions!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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