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Preparing to Teach

Our corps members develop as teachers and leaders through an ongoing cycle of learning, doing, and reflecting within a community that inspires and supports their growth. Learn how TFA will prepare you for the first day of school and beyond.
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Initial Training

Over the summer, TFA will help you get ready for the memorable day when you'll first meet your students. Our initial training program is designed to help you be an effective beginning teacher on day one and consists of three phases: onboarding, kick-off, and learning, teaching, and refinement. 

What to Expect During Teach For America Training

Phase 1: Onboarding

Onboarding starts the day you accept your TFA offer and continues into your first few months of teaching. Over several months, you will receive teacher training, obtain your initial teaching certification, and learn ways to center equity in the classroom. Onboarding ensures that you can successfully transition into the classroom and provide a learning environment where all students have the opportunity to thrive. 

Phase 2: Kick-off

Join the entire Teach For America corps from across the country for a week of live, virtual and in-person kick-off experiences. You’ll be welcomed into our thriving, diverse, and inclusive community of leaders and begin to build friendships and camaraderie with fellow corps members and alumni that will support and sustain you as you embark on your first year of teaching.

A Mariachi band comprised of high school students stands on stage with instruments and begins to play. Yara Shahidi appears in a zoom box speaking with a TFA moderator

Some scenes from our 2023 kick-off event, including keynote speaker Yara Shahidi and a student performance from McHi Mariachi Oro.

Phase 3: Learning, Teaching, Refining (Pre-Service Training)

Our Pre-Service training will prepare you to provide your students with a high-quality education and to pursue a lifetime commitment to advancing educational equity and excellence. Throughout the summer and into the fall, you will build relationships with a network of systems-change leaders. Your learning will be focused on concepts that sit at the heart of our work, including culturally relevant pedagogy, anti-racist teacher leadership, universal design for learning, and social-emotional learning. You will engage in continuous and critical self-reflection and immediately put the lessons you learn into action in the classroom and beyond.

Pre-Service training is rigorous—but it pays off. You will establish a strong foundation that you will continue to hone throughout your time as a corps member. You will also build context and confidence that will help you quickly acclimate to your teaching environment when the school year begins.

You will begin your full-time summer training in partnership with other corps members, alumni, and staff from across our network. You will engage in experiences like planning and rehearsing lessons, participating in group discussions, watching videos and models of teaching, and learning new concepts and practices through collaborative adult learning experiences.

Summer Training start dates. Regions are grouped into three waves of training start dates -- Monday, May 20, Thursday, May 23, and Thursday, June 6. You can view a list of regions by start date using our Compare Regions tool.

Self-Guided Training

Live Online Training


Getting Qualified to Teach

Getting Qualified to Teach

Get your initial license

This is what you need to teach on day one. To receive your initial license, you’ll be required to pass your grade level and subject exam. This may vary by region.

Get your full certification

While you can start teaching with your initial license, most states require you to be working toward your full certification. During your first year of teaching, you will enroll in a certification program at a university, partner organization, or with TFA. Most certification programs are completed within 2 years. 

getting qualified to teach

Getting Hired and Paid

Getting Hired and Paid

As a corps member, you will be hired as a full-time employee by your school, district, or charter organization—not Teach For America. Your salary and benefits will be the same as other beginning teachers working for your employer and will come from the school, district, or charter organization. 


getting qualified to teach

Getting Set Up

Getting Set Up

As with any new job, you should prepare for expenses that might arise before your first paycheck. You should anticipate expenses specific to becoming a teacher, as well as those related to moving to your region and initial living expenses.


getting set up

Ongoing Training