TNTP Teaching Fellows Reviews | Glassdoor

TNTP Teaching Fellows Reviews

Updated June 20, 2017
46 reviews

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Pros
  • It may lead to full time employment with a public school system (in 6 reviews)

  • I had two different coaches, one for summer training and another for the school year, and each was excellent in her own regard (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • The summer program (pre-service training) was often very frustrating (in 7 reviews)

  • I never saw a full lesson in my content area over the summer training (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Take both these reviews and the propaganda with a grain of salt."

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

    I have been working at TNTP Teaching Fellows (More than a year)

    Pros

    The fastest, cheapest route to licensure. I decided to become a teacher in May, had a classroom and a full paycheck in August, and am now fully certified.

    In my experience, most of the fellows who made it through the summer training got jobs, made it through the next school year and received certification. I know some of the reviews here say you only have a 10% chance... that is too low, I think. At my summer site, about 55% of the fellows made it through the summer program, and about 80% of them got certification... so that's about a 44% pass rate for everyone, and if you don't count the ones who were clearly not cut out for teaching and dropped out early on, that rises to about 60%. Not amazing odds, but way better than 10%. I should note that my site had the highest drop-out rate that summer, but I think the ones who made it from my site did better the following school year, so I think these percentages are pretty close.

    You will meet some cool people and learn a lot about teaching... different things than you would learn from studying education.

    Cons

    The summer academy is really intense, and if you're making a lot of sacrifices to go through it, it's a big risk. About half of the fellows at my site dropped out or were cut during the summer, some on the very last day. I made it, just barely in "green," but it was the worst 6 weeks of my life. I was constantly sleep-deprived, stressed and anxious.

    There's some luck involved in terms of who you get as your site coordinator, your coach, your students, etc... and it stinks if you get dealt a bad hand and fail because of it.

    Some of the TNTP staff is really nice, but sometimes I felt like they were mocking us for struggling in the summer program when they had no idea (or had forgotten) how grueling and scary it was for us.

    Not sure whether this should be a "Pro" or a "Con," but a dirty little secret... you can end the summer on "Green" (pass) "Red" (instant fail if you go too far into red at any point to come back out) or "Yellow" (they'll think about it.) Basically, if you end on "Yellow," they'll pass you if you have a job lined up and fail you if you don't.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe give fellows a very small stipend for classroom supplies. It's hard enough to relocate to a new city and make it through the summer on savings with no guarantee of getting a job in the fall. Having to pay for pencils and paper and copies on top of that is inhumane.

    I would say be more honest about the intensity and drop-out rates of the summer program, but if they had been, I might not have tried the program, and now I'm very glad I did. So it's hard to say.

    To potential applicants: If you can spend the summer trying this without massive sacrifices and are willing to work hard, give it a whirl. It's not a scam and it can be a great path to licensure -- lightning fast and very cheap. If, however, you would be destitute and devastated to not make it through the summer, maybe look at other programs.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Not at all what I thought it would be..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Educator in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Educator in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It may lead to full time employment with a public school system. A few of the trainers were great and inspirational. It could be that program is more successful in other areas, I can only speak to what I experienced in DC.

    Cons

    The DC Teaching Fellows program (summer 2016) was unprofessional, disorganized, and full of condescension for it's participants. It was unbelievable to me that the trainers/organizers treated these very impressive and well educated participants with such such a stern, authoritative, and frankly (at times) disrespectful approach. The demands were inhumane. The unpaid hours involve in training were extraordinarily demanding. I felt like I was in the military. It did not build me up and inspire me. Instead, the approach seemed to be one of "breaking" people. Belittling the participants was commonplace. Many of the trainers boasted of their "five years" teaching in the public school system. For some reason, they thought that this made them experts, but their performances would suggest otherwise. Most of the trainers were arrogant and unsympathetic to the problems the participants faced. I had to leave. It was a very unhealthy environment. Many people relocated from all over the country and had to support themselves during this training. The total amount that people lost (in dollars) would be staggering. I know many people who left as I did. I happened to live in the DC area, so the loss wasn't as great as many of my fellow participants.

    Advice to Management

    Rethink the entire program in DC. It was a failure. The participants of the summer program in DC should be compensated for their losses.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Horrible, Just Horrible!!!! Waste of time, money, and energy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - DC Teaching Fellow in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - DC Teaching Fellow in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I met a few new people! But honestly, it was just a waste of time. I have nothing good to say about the program, but moving to a new city like DC was nice.

    Cons

    Your working for free for 12hrs a day in the summertime. They hid a lot of things until you actually get to the program. Your going to be doing a lot of work.

    Advice to Management

    Atleast pretend to care don't be all about money! Be more supportive and helpful to the other fellows. Try to put your self back in the place of a fellow and dont be so harsh.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Dictatorship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Learned some teaching skills heavily based on Teach Like a Champion techniques, which are quoted throughout the program like a bible.

    Cons

    There is no due process in this organization. Fellows are voiceless and threatened with being kicked out of the program each day. Expectations are unclear and oftentimes arbitrary as new punishments and threats of being barred from being able to teach in the fall arise.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be due process of the Fellows, who are subjected to many authority figures and punished based on subjective standards.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Wish it was possible to give 0 stars."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    In theory, getting certified in a year sounds nice. I also met some of the greatest people through this program.

    Cons

    Where to start... There is absolutely no support beyond the 6 week summer training. TNTP assigns "virtual" coaches that live around the country. My coach had 60 other fellows to coach and as you could imagine, could not coach any of us in the way that a first year teacher in the inner city needs. My suggestion- find another program or go back and get your masters. Don't waste your time or money here. This company is all about making money and don't care if you succeed or not.

    Advice to Management

    Have an actual coach.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Exploitative - of Teachers and Students"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I met and worked alongside real teachers- and some of the best human beings I've known - at my school.

    Cons

    Exploitative
    Unhelpful
    Misleading
    Callous

    REMEMBER:
    - TNTP gets +/- $1,000,000 grants from school districts to provide and train new teachers. By end of summer, there were no more than 50 teachers who passed PST. Out of 120+. Some of these left in the first week of school, utterly unprepared.

    - New teachers move from all over the country to train during summer. Many leave their jobs and commit fully to teaching. Training is role-playing and repeating by rote certain phrases and reactions, especially from "Teach Like a Champion." Lost $

    -Teachers then placed in a summer-school classroom. My training was in a high school. The main teacher did not have any lesson/curriculum planned. No guidance. I never saw a full lesson in my content area over the summer training. I never met an experienced teacher in my specialty and grade level over the summer (or for my whole time teaching). I struggled with lesson planning, but was given no models of successful lessons to read and watch. Yes, we saw excerpts. No, we never saw a full lesson with real students.

    -Teach unpaid for hours each morning, train in afternoon, plan lessons at night. No chance to retrieve lost income over summer. The teaching and planning requires us to impart a semester's worth of learning to our students in 12 days of summer school. At the end of every session, the main teacher passed her students based on who had showed up every day and marginally attempted the worksheets she gave. When we weren't teaching, we all sat in the field room, planning lessons and supervised by 1 or other coach.

    -Encouraged to take a job at the first school that offers to hire, not to reflect or question fit at school. Some teachers miserable.

    -No actual training in content area during summer or schoolyear. Instead, we had online learning modules about lesson planning on "Blackboard." In PST, we spent hours sitting in a classroom together staring at screens, reading breakdowns of NexGen standards and watching snippets of classroom videos. Never even saw a video of a full lesson.

    -The work for the modules is involved but mostly busy work. During schoolyear, it takes 3-8 hrs that can be poorly spared from a busy schedule. When projects are turned in, 4 tepid comments maximum, mostly praise. No advice on how to improve, even though I described in detail the challenges my students and I face.

    -Most of my students had no concept of foundational standards to our grade level. I was docked points in 1st observation because the lesson was remedial. Kids did not know what atoms, or phases pf matter were, but I was supposed to stick to the standard on kinetic theory rather than have a review lesson. Even though it was remedial was aligned to the grade level standard; the observer did not know or understand my content area.

    -No support is provided in the school-year, beyond ~20 min bimonthly "coaching" meetings

    - No advocacy for teachers

    -For all this, you get to pay $5,500 tuition. I was buying breakfast, pencils, supplies on top of paying off the cost of moving, settling in a new city, rent, student loans. $550 is my groceries for 2+ months. I had a passion for teaching and loved my kids. However, I did not receive support or guidance. I still have never seen a full lesson in my content area (whether to adults or children). I spent hours on lesson plans. By Christmas, the other teacher in my content area had resigned. For 2 months I planned for both classes and differentiated for his EC kids. There was no recognition of this extra work or support when I described my stress and need for advice. I was inadequate. I was a new teacher with 150 kids of my own whom I loved, but who also had immense challenges. The other teachers at the school could commiserate, but not help. My coach gave a couple tepid sentences of advice when I asked her about lesson planning, teaching kids who could not read or speak English.

    I resigned. I am still on the hook for the rest of the $5,500 and am getting calls. By my calculations, TNTP already got almost $20,000 per new teacher from the school district for this school year. They put new, idealistic teachers with insufficient training into classrooms. My coach had about 10 other trainee teachers in our Blackboard group. Where is all the district's money going? Certainly not serving the students.

    The first response from the coordinator in my area after I told TNTP I was resigning?

    "Even if you resign you still have to pay the full $5,500."

    I never mentioned the tuition.

    Advice to Management

    What are you really after? Be honest. I am seeing a money grubbing organization that preys on idealists. What service do you provide that is worth $5,500? The school district already paid you almost a million dollars for us. This is like indentured servitude. I was next to threatened by the leaders in my area that I should continue working because of the debt. I already have student loans, and they knew it.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Great Coaching, Horrible Practices"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New Orleans, LA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New Orleans, LA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Great in-the-field coaching from teaching professionals
    -(Seemingly) very organized
    -Friendly staff
    -Ability to get your M.S. in Education from the best school in the country, JHU
    -Coaching at your job
    -Helps you find a job
    -Relationship-with-kids driven

    Cons

    -Quit/fired? No problem. They still want your $4,500 and will be down your throat to collect
    -Feedback is GREAT during pre-service training. It's contradictory during your in-service coaching
    -Coach will SHUN you if you are fired (you'll never hear from him/her again)
    -TNTP will defend the school before they defend you as one of their members
    -Some graders score much more harshly than others
    -MANY members are fired/quit, but they won't tell you that
    -Remember, it's a BUSINESS first, a NON-PROFIT second--they just really want your $
    -I wouldn't trust the numbers/stats they show you at PST
    -Work/life balance is non-existent

    Advice to Management

    Stand up for your members. Also, tuition should stop once services are no longer rendered.

  8. Helpful (24)

    "Intense but Worth It (PST-only review)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow - PST in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow - PST in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    (This review only describes the Pre-Service training to Placement experience.)

    This is the fastest, cheapest route to being in a classroom and getting certified, and you will make amazing friends in your cohort. While the summer training may seem unnecessarily cruel, every part of it reflects something of the reality you will encounter as an inner-city teacher. My placement feels like a breeze after making it through PST.

    Cons

    The summer training was the worst and most intense 8 weeks of my life, there was a huge variation in quality and style between the different school sites and coaches, and a lot of my friends quit or got cut (even on the last day).

    Honestly, if I had known what percentage of my fellows would quit or get cut, I probably wouldn't have done the program. But now I have passed and I am happy -- so just consider the following:

    - Can you be miserable, sleep-deprived and depressed for 8 weeks... and still get to the school at 7 am, play nice with the staffers, and have a smile painted on by the time the kids arrive?

    - Can you graciously take tons of advice from different people and apply it towards mechanically passing a rubric that at times feels very arbitrary or even wrong?

    In the end, it's only 8 weeks, and those two factors were the major deciding factors (at least at my site) for who quit/got cut and who made it.

    Advice to Management

    I know the summer training is supposed to be a sort of baptism by fire, and a lot of those who were cut were cut for good reasons (they didn't have what it takes to survive as a teacher in these schools). However, I also have friends who quit or got cut who probably did have what it took, but were scared away by what felt at times like a very negative atmosphere. There were even times we felt as though some of the TNTP staffers were mocking us. The wonderful ones -- including my coach -- were the only reasons I made it through the summer.


  9. Helpful (18)

    "Run for the hills!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in Detroit, MI
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I met some really great people and some of the coaches were really helpful at the Detroit site. I have only stayed as long as I have because of the wonderful people.

    Cons

    The program is disorganized and dishonest. We were constantly getting information at the last minute or taught how to do something after we should have been doing it. We were told we would get our certificate in one year, then later told it would take three. And then, when we are struggling because we are under-prepared and over-worked we are told that we don't care enough about the students. The way that the leaders interact with the fellows is rude and condescending. I am angry because of the way I've been treated, and I'm stuck having to do it because I racked up debt over the two months I couldn't work this summer and now I have to pay an additional $5000 on top of it which would be immediately payable if I quit. It is even worse because the students I teach are left with an unprepared and chronically exhausted teacher who isn't able to do her job. I regret doing this and I can't even get out of it right now.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your fellows with respect and understanding. Be clear and upfront about the program and all it entails. Be organized and inform fellows well ahead of time of their responsibilities.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Teaching Fellow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Exceptional Children's Teacher K-2 in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Exceptional Children's Teacher K-2 in Charlotte, NC
    Recommends

    I worked at TNTP Teaching Fellows full-time

    Pros

    Positive can do attitudes. Tenacious teacher training weeds out the weak. Continuous support. Top notch information and unique training gives teaches a 4 year head start.

    Cons

    High work load. Stress inducing nd energy zapping boot camp. Idealistic at times. Easy acceptance into the program allows for negative and pessimistic people with poor work ethic which ruins morale.

    Advice to Management

    The quality of the coaching can make or break a cohort. Provide more support through out the school year and less work requirements on the portfolio.


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