Note: I am currently a first year member of Teach For America in the Mississippi Delta. I’m from the Berkshires, graduated from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY and am a 2008 TFA corps member.
So when I flew back to Pittsfield for Easter break, my dad showed me an article in the Globe about Teach For America (TFA). Now I had heard that TFA was branching out to Boston this year (they oddly had that as a region choice last year) but I knew little else.
I’m really interested in any thoughts from BMGers about the whole thing. In Mississippi, teacher unions are generally weak and not a big deal. In addition, TFA has been here since 1991 with by now thousands of corps members coming in and out of the region. We have a good relationship with the Governor and the State Superintendent and have many corps members staying well past their required two years to become solid members of their communities. So, in many ways things look a lot different here than they do back home. (After a year here I still call Massachusetts “home” but I’ve caught myself calling Clarksdale “home” as well)
Teach For America’s website is here. There’s a lot of information but it’s largely a recruiting site, so if you’ve got questions about anything, feel free to ask. I guess I have a conflict of interest, but my experience is largely with the region I’m in and, more specifically, my devotion is to my classroom more than to the organization that has got me into the classroom and continued to help me along the way. I’ve never been too into dogmatic beliefs.
As I’ve discovered many times in the last year, any conversation about Teach For America is also a conversation about everything from dealing with the larger educational problems to budget cuts, to teacher unions to state politics to NCLB to…well, you get the picture. So what do ya’ll think?