As a new corps member, you will go through onboarding over several months that will prepare you to teach. Onboarding will include orientation sessions, training, and required tasks for you to complete. Teach For America staff in your region will help guide you through the process. Learn what to expect during your onboarding.
Pre-Service 2021 (formerly Institute):
Teach For America’s Pre-Service program takes place over five phases, beginning with Onboarding in May and extending through your first 90 days teaching in the fall. Throughout the Pre-Service experience, you will engage in a mix of synchronous sessions that you attend “live” with other corps members, and asynchronous content you complete on your own time.
- Centralized Learning Series I
- Practicum & Centralized Learning Series II
- First 90 Days & Centralized Learning Series III
1. After You Join the Corps
During this time, you will receive information from your placement region about required tests and other actions you’ll need to take to become qualified to teach. You’ll likely need to pass subject-area exams and submit paperwork in the weeks and months after joining the corps. You will also receive more information about Pre-Service and steps you’ll need to complete to prepare.
You will be able to access our central learning platform to begin your Onboarding in early May. During Onboarding you will engage in ∼25 hours of learning, on your own time and at your own pace. By the end of Onboarding you will be ready to join us for Kick Off. During Onboarding, you will build foundational knowledge of Teach For America, Diversity Equity and Inclusiveness, and our Theory of Leadership, as well as other topics.
You will also complete other logistical action items needed to join the 2021 corps, such as background checks and medical clearances (a physical exam and proof of vaccinations). TFA does not cover the financial costs of these testing requirements directly, but transitional financial support can be applied to these expenses.
3. Kick Off
You will join the entire corps in our first “live” Kick-Off experience. You will join the entire corps for our first “live” experience together this summer—Kick-Off. From June 2-4, you will engage in approximately 15 hours of synchronous learning and experiences—including large TFA-wide experiences and smaller region-specific experiences. You will be welcomed into our thriving and inclusive community of systems-change leaders, understand our Theory of Change, and begin to build relationships and connections to the 2021 corps.
4. Centralized Learning Series I
The Centralized Learning Series is programming that all 2021 corps members will participate in, led by staff and alumni from across our network. You will engage with three distinct Centralized Learning Series (CLS I, CLS II, and CLS III).
During CLS I, which will take place from June 7 - June 17, you will build the foundational skills and mindsets of an aspiring anti-racist educator, grow your readiness to turn theory into practice, and deepen your relationships with other corps members from multiple regions who will be teaching the same content as you in the fall. You will continue to strengthen the cross-regional relationships you develop during CLS I as you engage in CLS II and CLS III!
5. Practicum & Centralized Learning Series II
Your Practicum experience is led by your regional team and is your first opportunity to work directly with students and families. You will put into practice the knowledge and skills you have developed through teaching students in a supportive environment (virtual or in-person). You will begin developing a relationship with your regional coach through coaching and reflection cycles, setting the foundation for your continued leadership development over your two years. Practicum is also a time for you to orient to your region—the place where you will be making an impact! You will grow your confidence and readiness for the first day of school after spending your Practicum teaching and building relationships with students and families—a partnership that will fuel your commitment to educational equity.
Centralized Learning Series II
CLS II is a three week series of synchronous sessions (2-3 times per week) that you will attend during your regional Practicum. During this time, you will learn alongside the same group of corps members from CLS I, drawing connections between what you learned in CLS I and what you are learning through your work with students and families during Practicum. You will experience group coaching in the form of video review and reflection, practical, and rehearsal, all organized around your personal and group development needs.
6. Hiring & First 90 Days
Corps members are hired full-time employees of their school, district, or charter organization (not Teach For America). This means you’ll need to go through a hiring process in order to secure a teaching position. The timeline for when you’ll be hired varies widely from region to region. Some corps members are hired before Pre-Service, others during and after. You may be required to attend orientation sessions at the school or district where you’ll be employed.
Our Pre-Service support extends all the way through the first 90 days in your classroom. During this time you will continue to meet with your learning groups for ongoing development that is grounded in what you are learning and experiencing in your classroom, and experience ongoing support from your regional team.
Centralized Learning Series III
CLS III takes place during your first 90 days of teaching, when you and your fellow corps members from CLS I and CLS II will meet once or twice a month. You will continue to work together to incorporate new teaching practices into your classroom, use your experiences from your classroom to evolve your vision for a rigorous, relevant, and inclusive class, and continue to grow your foundational skills and mindsets as an anti-racist educator.
“Believe me when I say, these first few days are a foundational whirlwind. You’re going to meet so many people—lots of fast friends, as I call them—who will be partners in this work.”