Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Had my Teach for America interview today....

... but no review.

For a number of reasons, I'm going to skip giving a detailed review of the full-day TFA interview -- at least for now.

I will say that it was very well organized, there weren't too many mouth-breathers there (either interviewees or interviewers), and, overall, by the late-afternoon, I was more impressed with TFA than I was at 9am. (Hopefully the interviewers think the same of me).

I continue to get mixed answers about whether or not I'm "required" to stay/sleep at the Summer Institute (bootcamp). I've gotten a shaky YES, a fairly confidant NO, a very confidant YES, and another shaky YES. So, while the official word on whether I have to start stocking up on Ramon noodles and buy that John Belushi poster where he's wearing that shirt that says "college" on it is still out, I'm still of the mind that they can't F-ing keep me from going home at night.


OK, anyway. That's all for now. Good luck to everyone else who's interviewing in this first round.


OneStar said...

I'm glad you did well. As I read more about this bootcamp thing and Yale-Hardvard students applying to TFA I feel less enthusiastic about it. Why on earth ivy students would apply to TFA unless they really want to become teachers? According to some corps, TFA is not really interested on us as teachers but would prefer that we go out there and fight the monster. If one way to close the achievement gap is to empower these poor communities, why don’t they select their corps from people from the same community? Unless there is a shortage of qualified candidates I don’t see the need to bring people from other States that would stay for the two years and then leave. The same goes for NYCTF. Sorry for venting in your blog :-)

Bronx2020 said...

I think you nailed it on the head with "unless there is a shortage of qualified candidates" -- that's really the big problem with schools everywhere. We don't have enough GOOD teachers.

So yes, I'm with you on being annoyed that Ivy Leaguers want to "slum it" for 2 years before moving on to their fancy jobs. Why indeed... there's definitely a bit of annoying, doe-eyed altruism there that makes me vomit in my mouth a little bit. But so be it.

If some smart young people want to go and teach for two years, let them. We don't have enough teachers. Forget GREAT teachers, in some places we just need QUALIFIED teachers.

So, yes, I hear you. But I wouldn't let that dampen your enthusiasm for TFA. I'm really starting to think that TFA is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm francis2000 from the NYCTF Live Journal blog. I couldn't find it on the TFA web site. Do you know if there is any financial support from TFA during the summer training period? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Fracis I don't think they give the financial support like the fellows. It seems they provide you with food and shelter at their bootcamp. But then I'm not completely sure...

Bronx2020 said...


That anonymous reply is somewhat correct. TFA doesn't give a financial stipend to all members for the summer, as NYCTF does. However, the summer bootcamp is such that you are provided with room and board. So you aren't paying rent and can get by without spending any money on food.

For those who can demonstrate financial need, TFA makes some transitional grants and loans available. I'm not sure about the specifics on that because I hadn't really looked into it. You can find some info on that on their website, here:

Anonymous said...

For someone so intent upon entering the teaching profession via two highly competitive programs, you may want to consider being a whole lot more flexible. A WHOLE lot more. "FIGHT THE MAN?" The "MAN" sure isn't forcing you into anything. It's your choice.

There are traditional teaching routes. They may be more amenable to your need for flexibility.

Bronx2020 said...

ok ok ok. Settle down there. I was mostly kidding with the FIGHT THE MAN comment (key word being "mostly").

Also, I would hope someone leaving a quasi-snarky comment on my blog could at least man-up and not leave it anonymously.

But seriously, yes, I am quite intent on entering the teaching profession and I fully intend to use one of these two programs as my means toward that end. Perhaps that's a little impenitent of me, but I think it's for a fairly righteous goal, so I'm ok with that.

Anonymous said...

After reading your posts about how the readings are "BS" and the general aversion to carrying out the mission of TFA, I wouldn't hire you if I were them. You sound like you're just looking for a job, not trying to help the cause of improving education for the underprivileged.

Thank you for your posts, though, they are very helpful.

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