Leading a Classroom

Transform Lives.
Transform Yourself.

Your Journey as a Corps Member

What to 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 as a Teacher
  • Leading a Classroom
  • Joining the Alumni Network
A close-cropped image of a school bus.

You’ll join a coalition of changemakers in one of 51 regions, each with a unique opportunity for impact. 

Our regions approach their work through a local lens and in the way that best suits the needs of their corps members. This means that in some regions you’ll attend a national training in a different city, but will begin the summer in your region. In other regions your training will take place locally, so you’ll spend your summer in the community.

Either way, 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.

A group of young people in professional dress, seated around a table working together.

Over the summer, you’ll prepare to lead a classroom by participating in an intensive five-to-eight-week 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.

Our regional staff will support you throughout the interview process, helping you prepare to meet with principals.

A young African American female teacher works with a small group of students.

You will balance a lot of responsibilities as a teacher. Planning and leading lessons, managing your classroom, and administrative work are all part of your role as a classroom leader.

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

This may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. The triumphs, the failures, the lessons, the relationships you forge will shape and define you in ways you can’t imagine. As a corps member you will have access to an unparalleled resource and support network that will help you go beyond traditional expectations to accelerate the academic and personal growth of your students.

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 work to expand opportunity in other fields including medicine, business, law, and more. 

Whatever path you choose, you’ll find that classroom leadership is foundational for long-term leadership.