Mission: Teach For America’s mission is to find, develop, and support a diverse network of leaders who expand opportunity for children from classrooms, schools, and every sector that shapes the broader systems in which schools operate.
After her time in the classroom, TFA alumna Laura Gomez-Mesquita decided to follow her heart and pursue a film career. Now, she’s working to bring stories from underrepresented communities to the big screen.
“Everyone wants to be tied to something bigger than themselves, and Teach for America is that to me. It’s completely changed the trajectory of my life.” – TFA alumnus Jim O’Connor, Advance Illinois Project Director
Today in America, the circumstances of children’s births predict the opportunities they have in life.
Our public education system is not designed to give all students agency to overcome the barriers they face, to lead in a global world, or to shape a better future for themselves or for all of us.
At Teach For America, we know that no single solution is sufficient to bring about an equitable and excellent education for all children. Solving the problem requires leadership at every level, working together inside and outside of education, in pursuit of enduring change.
TFA is a diverse network of leaders who confront educational inequity through teaching and work with unwavering commitment from every sector of society to create a nation free from this injustice.
As a collective force—educators, advocates, entrepreneurs, policymakers, community members—we fight for the aspirations of students and families.
Our aim is to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, grow, influence, and lead.
We’re committed to expanding opportunity for children by affecting profound systemic change. We find, develop, and support a diverse network of leaders from classrooms, schools, and every sector and field in order to shape the broader system in which schools operate.
We recruit outstanding and diverse leaders who have demonstrated evidence of the values and leadership necessary to expand opportunity for children.
We develop the skills necessary for systems change through classroom teaching. Our corps members go beyond traditional expectations to advance the academic and personal growth of their students and help strengthen their schools.
We support our members’ individual and collective leadership, relationships, and growth throughout their lifetime.
Informed and inspired by their students, many alumni choose to teach beyond their two-year commitments. Others shape the context and conditions in which schools operate. Our alumni are school leaders, policymakers, founders of advocacy organizations, social entrepreneurs, and business leaders working to make change. View our alumni snapshot.
Our core values are the thread that binds our staff, corps, and alumni community.
We work to change practices, structures, and policies to realize educational equity for all children. As we do so, we actively examine our roles in perpetuating inequitable systems.
We assume responsibility for our collective strength by developing relationships, building diverse and inclusive coalitions, and challenging one another to be our best. We act with empathy and extend grace to ourselves and others.
We pursue ambitious, meaningful outcomes that lead to access and opportunity for all children. We hold ourselves to high standards, make data-informed decisions, and orient to long-term success.
We act on our beliefs and values, especially when it’s hard. We center our efforts on the aspirations of our students and their families.
We acknowledge the limitations of our perspectives. We seek different points of view and historical context to evolve our thinking and inform our actions.
We see every challenge as an opportunity to think expansively about solutions. When faced with obstacles, we deepen our resolve, adapt, and persist with optimism.
We operate with curiosity and embrace new ideas to innovate and constantly improve. We take informed risks and learn from successes, setbacks, and each other.
You may have heard the working culture at Teach For America is unique. Our staff can tell you why. We’re a group of unusually passionate people who have countless colleagues that we call friends.
We're proud to have been recognized by a handful of organizations as an exceptional place to work, including Great Place to Work 2017.
As a partner of Employers of National Service, we welcome candidates from AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, City Year, and other volunteer programs.
INVESTING IN OUR LEADERS
Teach For America staff members are located all over the map. Together, we are one TFA. Ask any staff member, “What’s life like at TFA?” and you’ll hear about our impact, diversity, and rewarding culture. We’re proud to have been recognized as a great place to work, and we continue to grow and evolve at every opportunity.
We take the professional development of staff members seriously. This begins on day one and continues throughout your tenure.
We love to see staff members grow and develop in order to maximize their potential.
During the hiring process, qualified individuals are matched to roles that are appropriate for their skill-level and experience. We believe all staff members should then have opportunities to advance to new roles with increased responsibilities.
One method used to develop staff members is the annual performance review. Staff members receive feedback from managers and peers. Staff members also complete self-assessments and other performance-enhancing exercises.
CULTIVATING A DIVERSE COMMUNITY
No matter what brings us to TFA, it’s the people who keep us here, day after day, year after year.
Our staff is a community in the truest sense. We have each other’s backs. We strive to give hard and honest feedback. We seek to improve while listening carefully to each other’s perspectives.
We realize that achieving educational equity will take a broad and diverse coalition of people united around a common purpose and shared values. This means we set ambitious goals for staff member diversity at TFA. We’re proud of the diverse backgrounds and identities that our staff members bring to work each day. Read about our commitment to diversity.
At Teach For America, we are committed to realizing the diversity, equity, and inclusiveness we envision for the United States and its Indigenous Nations.
Realizing educational equity and excellence will take a broad and diverse coalition of people. This coalition must include diverse races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, political views, and other aspects of identity and spheres of influence—all united around a common purpose and shared values.
At the same time, the change effort must be shaped by those of us who are most directly impacted by educational inequity. Progress is only possible if each of us works effectively across lines of difference—with students, parents, partners, and each other. Each of us brings unique strengths to this work based on our identities and life experiences.
This understanding guides our strategy—how we allocate resources to recruit, support, and engage corps members, alumni, and staff—as we pursue our mission.
We invest in recruiting a corps and staff that is diverse in every respect. In particular, we ensure those of us most impacted by educational inequity are shaping our direction.
We examine our own roles in perpetuating systems that limit opportunities for all children. We work to interrupt and replace inequitable practices in our schools as well as within our organization. We work to build a world where all people can thrive.
We build authentic relationships across lines of difference and value the unique perspectives and contributions of all in our community. We unite people around shared values and common purpose.
I worked at Teach for America (More than a year)
Loved the community and the overall mission of the organization.
I can't really think of any cons!
I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Teach for America (Boston, MA) in May 2018.
Group interview held in their office (Boston) with 5 other candidates. Start the group interview with a mock teaching exercise. They explain the guidelines (1 minute for prep, 5 minutes of teaching). Randomly assigned order in which each candidate does their mock exercise. While you are teaching, interviewers can throw random questions at you (simulating kids in a classroom) and they will see how you respond. After that, there is a group activity where they read you scenarios, and as a group you must discuss and then decide the best option. Finally, there is a one-on-one interview, which was pretty straightforward.