All new corps members will go through an “onboarding” process over several months that will prepare you to teach your classroom of students. Your 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.
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 in order to become qualified to teach. You’ll likely need to pass subject-area exams and submit other paperwork in the weeks and months after you join the corps. You will also receive more information about which summer training institute you’ll be attending and steps to complete in order to prepare.
During your onboarding, you will have the opportunity to connect with other corps members, alumni, and staff from your placement region—both virtually and in-person. You may be required to complete some pre-work and background reading before you attend institute. Some regions host group conference calls to discuss the pre-work.
Most regions also host an in-person event to welcome new corps members, usually referred to as “induction.” Induction is typically held during the week before you head off to institute. During induction, you will have the opportunity to get to know your fellow corps members, alumni, and staff, and members of the community. This is a great time to ask questions, and get advice from those who have a deep understanding of the communities you will serve as a corps member.
All corps members will attend institute—an intensive summer training program that will provide you with the foundations, skills, and mindsets needed to be an effective beginning teacher. Institutes typically run from 5-8 weeks, and are held in locations around the country. Many corps members also begin looking for housing while at institute.
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 institute, others during and after.
Most institutes are typically followed by a 1-2 week orientation session, held in your region. During orientation you will start planning for your first few weeks of school alongside other corps members and your coach (also known as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development or “MTLD”). You may also be required to attend orientation sessions at the school where you’ll be employed.
“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.”