Leading a Classroom


Your Journey as a Corps Member

As a leader, you will shape your experience. Here’s what you can expect throughout your two years in the corps, and beyond as a Teach For America alumnus.

  • Your Journey Starts in Your Region
  • Summer Training
  • Getting Hired
  • Your First Year: Challenges & Wins
  • Your Second Year: Hitting Your Stride
  • Joining the Alumni Network
A close-cropped photo of a school bus with the sun rising over the city in the background.


You’ll join a coalition of changemakers in one of 53 regions, each with a unique opportunity for impact.

Before attending summer training, you will spend time in your assigned region getting to know your fellow corps members and alumni.

This is a time to get to know the community, ask big questions, and challenge your assumptions. Understanding the local story of education in your community will make a you a stronger leader.

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You’ll begin to actively prepare to lead a classroom by participating in an intensive summer training program. You will build a strong foundation for lesson planning and begin gaining classroom experience by teaching summer school alongside a veteran teacher and a teacher coach.

Your experience at summer training will lay the groundwork for continuing to improve your teaching practice through ongoing coaching.

What is summer training really like? Watch a video diary of 2015 corps members sharing their experiences during summer training in Houston.

A close cropped photo of a white man and African American woman seated at a table together.


As a corps member, you will be hired as a full-time, salaried employee of your school district, charter school, or other employer. Your experience throughout the hiring process may look a little different depending on where you are teaching. 

For many corps members, the hiring process takes place in the weeks between summer training and the beginning of the school year. You will likely need to pass several subject-matter tests in order to qualify for teaching positions.
Regions have partnerships with school districts that are interested in hiring corps members, and in most cases you will go through a formal interview and hiring process.

You will prepare to have a great interview with principals with the support and coaching from alumni who have been through the process.

A teacher's roster showing student progress with tiny star stickers.


You will likely balance a lot of responsibilities during a typical day. Planning and leading lessons, managing your classroom and administrative work are all part of your role as a classroom leader. The learning curve is steep. But there’s no greater reward than seeing your students progress as a result of your hard work.

In addition to teaching during the day, you may be taking classes with other corps members in the evenings and weekends to earn your teaching certification. In most regions, you can also choose to earn an optional Master’s degree during your time in the corps.

You will build relationships with fellow corps members, your teacher-coach, and colleagues at your school that will last a lifetime. You will also join our diverse community of 53,000 leaders who will lend advice, insight, and support.

A young African-American woman working with young students in her classroom.


You will likely find that your second year is one marked by big impact. Perhaps this is why so many corps members choose to continue teaching for longer than two years. 

For some corps members this means seeing students move up several grade levels in reading and math, or seeing students graduate on grade level. 

A large group of people gather in a convention hall under a banner that reads, "Together We Rise."


Your corps experience will invite you into a diverse network of leaders who are passionate about making positive social change from all sectors. While the majority of alumni continue working in roles impacting education in low-income communities, others go on to become equity-driven doctors, socially conscious business leaders, and civil rights attorneys. Whatever path you choose, you will find that your experience in the classroom has ignited your passion and changed you forever.

What Your Day Could Look Like


Your Role as a Teacher