Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oooofaa! Teach for America answer.

Well, I suppose it could be worse.

I got an answer back from Teach for America this Monday -- and am on the waitlist. This means that I won't hear back until Jan 20th.

After my interview, which went rediculously well, this irked me a little bit. I put it down to one of three things:

  1. I completely screwed the pooch on the written quiz portion of the interview -- but I'm fairly sure this is not the case.
  2. I horrendously misread how the interview went and I actually sucked.
  3. I put down that I could and would only accept admission if placed in NYC, and I think that they are holding off doing any placements in NYC because of ensuing budget cuts there, I was put on the waitlist.

So, a little bummed, but at least I didn't *NOT* make it -- at least not yet.

And I have my NYC Teaching Fellows interview in 2 weeks.



Anonymous said...

I'm scheduled for a final interview in a few weeks, and have been reading up on how the actual process for admissions works. Apparently, it's very mathematical. Those seven key traits that they look for comprise a strict rubric. Throughout the interview, they grade you on each trait on a scale of 1 to 3. Obviously, you don't have to receive straight 3s to be accepted, but if you receive a single 1, you are rejected. The combination for the magic door to admission varies, I suppose, but I think the fact that you got wait-listed is a compliment, because it shows that they think you're capable of succeeding. So, congrats from me, even if it feels kind of shitty.
I'm really nervous about my interview. They let me skip the phone interview and proceed directly to the final, but I almost wish I had that intermediate stage. It seems like a big jump to go from the written application to seven hours of interviewing.

Anonymous said...

Hi again. This is francis2000 from the NYCTF blog. What are the 7 traits?

Good luck with everything. I hope to teach math so we're not direct competitors. I have advanced to the interview stage for NYCTF and will go in Jan. I will also apply to TFA by Jan. 7.

Thank you.

Amy said...

They are TFA's core values. You can read about them here: I'm an alum, and from what I know of the interview process, you are right that it's highly mathematical and based on rubric performance. Many incredible people I know haven't gotten in for who knows what reasons. The seven hour interview really isn't that bad -- it's quite comprehensive and introduces you to a really interesting group of people.

Jodee said...


I agree, it is most definitely mathematical. I just finished reading "Relentless Pursuit" and the author, Donna Foote, talks about how the stats work. Apparently there are 6 profiles that will make you an "in." I don't recall details, but you need to spike (score really high) in certain elements, in certain combos. While oyu are waiting to see what TFA says, check out the book. It strikes me as an excellent window into what happens inside the Corps.

All the best-
Considering TFA 2009

Mai said...

They write about this in detail in the Donna Foote book, and apparently getting two or three 3s gets you in automatically. That's why they stress that not to compete during the interview; it's all about individual performance. But now reading your blog and finding that you got waitlisted, I'm getting nervous about my own status. Haha.

Bronx2020 said...

Well, I'm thinking (or at least hoping) that much of my waitlist-ing-ness has to do with my limitation on placement -- wherein I can only accept a spot in NYC ... that in combination with some major budget cuts being at the NYC Dept of Ed.

I've also considered the possibility that I"m simply a quasi-idiot who only *thinks* he's horrendously qualified for inclusion in these various teaching programs.

Anonymous said...

I am an Alum and don't have much to say on the rubric. I know another individual who only put down one region and was wait-listed. She was told she had all the qualities they wanted in a corp member and that if she was willing to teach in Baton Rouge and other areas she would be admitted. I guess the wait-list is a result of budget cuts. Seems ridiculous to me. If someone is a good candidate they should be admitted. I know in other cities their are other non traditional routes to teaching, such as the Urban Residency Program. I hope you find a way to teach....

Bronx2020 said...

Yeah, I get the sense that my need to be in New York City is part of it -- but again, I can't really be sure.

And, while I'm hoping to get in via one of these alternate-route programs, I know I'll find may way in somehow.

Thanks for the supportive words.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that there were budget cuts. That is too bad. I hope that things turn around. I know TFA really wants to make sure that everyone who is qualified ends up teaching.

Best of luck!

Oh, one more thing. You could always take an Ed school program and then do TFA afterwards. There are plenty of people who do that, too.

Ben said...

I just heard back on Tuesday and found out that I also got waitlisted. I talked to my recruiter for quite a while on it, and she told me that it's probably an issue with the # of spaces in my highly preferred regions and my qualifications (based on classes) to teach in those regions. If it was an issue with not being good enough, or scoring as highly, we would have been straight up rejected. They do it all the time. That said, it still really sucks.

Anonymous said...

Ouch. Could you possibly change your preferences? I know some are more exciting (like Hawaii!!) but imagine how cool it would be somewhere like New Orleans? Just an idea.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI: the number of corps members being admitted in NYC has been drastically reduced from 500 (2008) to 350 (2009) because of the budget cuts. It currently looks like many of the 2008 corps members are going to be excessed from their schools, making them the top priority for re-placement. Because of that fact, TFA isn't hiring as many 2009 corps members because they're not certain that they're going to be able to place them.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is interesting. So is that why they haven't sent the curriculum materials yet? I wonder if they don't have the money?

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