Teach for America

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Teach for America Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
Updated January 27, 2015
438 Reviews
3.9
438 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Matthew Kramer & Elisa Villanueva Beard
68 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Good for the individual TFA teacher, bad for public education in America

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

    I worked at Teach for America (more than a year)

    Pros

    There are a significant amount of positives:
    1) You meet a lot of great people who genuinely care about improving education.
    2) You learn a lot about yourself as an individual and as a professional. After the experience, you will be one of the best long-term planners and public speakers that you have ever met. That's not an exaggeration.
    3) A lot of opportunity for upward mobility in the organization if that is what you are looking for
    4) Very prestigious and it looks great on a resume, especially if you are looking to get into grad school.

    Cons

    1) Very little support from the TFA structure, you are essentially on your own once you get hired by a school. Sink or swim.
    2) Work/ Balance is extremely hard in year 1. It gets easier in year 2, but it is certainly never ideal. Don't be surprised if you find yourself putting in 80 hour weeks in year 1. If you get good at planning and organization, you can get that down to about 65 in year 2.
    3) You become part of the privatization of public education in America without even realizing it. TFA largely prefers the charter school model over the traditional model and supplies charters with the bodies they need. Though they don't admit this, this is how it works in practice. Furthermore, they help to replace more experienced, and more expensive career teachers with younger, cheaper and less experienced college graduates. This helps to dismantle teacher unions as the more experienced and longer term people are pushed out of the school systems that face budget constraints. In the long run, it's usually harmful to the students, even if there test scores rise during the two year commitment that a TFA teacher puts in (they usually rise in math, not reading). If you don't actively acknowledge these inconvenient truths, you wind up harming the education system without even realizing it. By at least acknowledging it, you can blunt the negative effect that the institution has on the larger system of public education in America.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More support for teachers in the classroom, MTLD visits should be a weekly occurrence at the least. In the long run, the commitment should be extended to 3 years at the very least. This is beneficial to students for obvious reasons. Additionally, TFA teachers should only be helping hands and shadows for more experienced teachers in year 1. In year 2, the more experienced teachers should be able to decide whether they want the TFA teacher to play a more active. This will make TFA much more accessible and friendly to the community, build stronger TFA teachers, and help school districts that need it the most.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Meaningful work

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

    I have been working at Teach for America

    Pros

    The organization takes feedback very seriously and is continually improving.

    Cons

    Sometime an unhealthy professional and personal work balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to involve all staff in decision making.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    excellent development

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

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

    Pros

    conscientious management, focus on personal growth, high-energy colleagues, fulfilling work

    Cons

    low pay, long hours, pressure to participate in non-paid social events

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Director National Staff

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

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time

    Pros

    - Passionate, smart colleagues
    - Flexible to work from different locations or from home
    - Good work-life balance
    - Culture and values are very important to this org and it shows through in all they do

    Cons

    - Like any nonprofit - salaries are lower than you would be pulling in at other for profit orgs
    - Some internal restructuring

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    I was a Teach for America Corps member for two years.

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

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

    Pros

    This was the most rewarding experience I ever had or probably will ever have. To help young people care about their educations and their lives, and inspire them to make a difference in the world, is an amazing feeling. Moreover, teaching gave me so many different skills that you could apply to almost any job.

    Cons

    This job was incredibly difficult: emotionally and physically exhausting, frustrating, and often thankless. Be prepared to work harder than you have ever worked before and to often not feel the effects of that work for a long time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The professional development through Teach for America sometimes felt useless and like it was just taking up my time that I could have been preparing lessons or grading.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    TFA Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Recruitment Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Recruitment Manager in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    People are really dedicated to the mission of the organization.

    Cons

    It gets tougher to recruit people as the economy gets better. People genuinely care about public education but aren't willing to take the lower salary and relocation usually.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better cross-functional hiring opportunities within the organization.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Overall a good professional development experience.

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

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

    Pros

    Mission-driven organization, supportive culture, progressive human resources, lots of opportunities for professional development, good benefits for a non-profit, many opportunities for advancement at regional and national level.

    Cons

    Lack of emphasis on impact of education initiatives, frivolous spending for a non-profit, lots of employee turnover, lack of respect for staff members who did not participate in the Corps.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    n.a

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

    I worked at Teach for America

    Pros

    n.a- there is nothing I would like to say on this matter.

    Cons

    - there is nothing I would like to say on this matter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n.a

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    2013 Corps Member

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

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

    Pros

    Strong culture within TFA, truly believe in their work. I've never been around a more passionate group of people.

    Cons

    Teaching is more difficult than I could have ever imagined. And the culture of TFA can feel cultish at times.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Middle School Teacher

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

    I have been working at Teach for America

    Pros

    Strong network and exit opportunities.

    Cons

    Terrible training and sometimes dysfunctional leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do a better job of engaging alumni.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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