Teach For America looks for promising leaders to join the fight against educational inequity. As you consider joining TFA, we encourage you to bring your parents, family, and friends into the conversation. Learn more about the things that matter most to your loved ones as you make this decision.
What We Do
All children deserve the opportunity to learn and grow to their fullest potential. But in America today, the circumstances of a child’s birth predict the opportunities they have in life.
Teach For America recruits and develops leaders to teach for at least two years in low-income communities. We support them as they continue their impact after the corps, whether they remain in the classroom or go on to other professional paths in pursuit of educational equity.
Changing the inequitable systems in our country will take a diverse network that consists of educators making a direct impact in schools and communities, working with other leaders across many sectors. Throughout our country, TFA corps members and alumni are doing just that, day in and day out, expanding opportunities for students and working to create a more equitable educational system.
Corps members work in 51 regions across the country, from large cities to rural communities.
During the admissions process, applicants rank 10 TFA regions where they might like to teach, and indicate their preference of grade level and subjects to teach. About two weeks later, if admitted, they will receive their regional and subject placement. Read more details about our regional placement process.
Three factors are taken into consideration with regional placement:
- Need and opportunity. We place corps members in communities where our impact can be felt most strongly, and where there is both need and opportunity at schools.
- Qualification requirements. Each region has its own set of requirements for our corps members to teach there. College courses will determine eligibility.
- Personal preference. As long as corps members are eligible, we do our best to place them in one of their most preferred regions. The vast majority of applicants are placed in one of their top-choice regions.
Support and Success
Teach For America has created a pathway for corps members to be prepared as educators and lead their students to dramatic academic growth. Teaching is an incredibly demanding experience, but we deeply believe that each person admitted into the corps has the qualities to be successful.
Most corps members do not have a formal background in education, so TFA ensures that support systems are in place for all corps members to learn and improve throughout their two years.
All corps members attend a rigorous training program over the summer. While the exact curriculum varies among regions, all include the fundamentals of teaching; classroom management; leadership; and diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. Corps members co-teach a classroom and receive observations and feedback from TFA staff.
- Las Vegas summer training takes place in schools at which corps members and alumni teach. Corps members are supported by three different coaches during summer training.
Grounded in maximizing student learning and building leadership, each of our regions provides a variety of experiences and support structures during the two-year commitment. These include a teacher coach, region-wide professional development days, and the opportunity to earn a teaching certification or master’s degree while in the corps.
- Corps members in Cleveland receive one-on-one coaching, classroom visits, and professional development sessions from their teacher coach.
Leading a Classroom
Alumni say that TFA is among the most formative experiences of their lives, preparing them to excel in future endeavors. As classroom leaders, corps members develop tangible skills, like data analysis and strategic thinking, and exercise essential skills, like building relationships and taking informed risks.
- In the Rio Grande Valley, corps members measure success through quantitative data and qualitative metrics like community advocacy.
Corps members are full-time teachers employed by a school or district, and receive a full salary and benefits. Additionally, many corps members are eligible to receive federal funding to help cover past, present, or future student loans through our partnership with AmeriCorps.
During the summer
TFA covers housing, food, and daily transportation costs during summer training. Need-based funding packages of no-interest loans and grants are offered for transitional costs like travel, moving, testing, and certification fees. Details about funding packages and information on how to apply are provided on the TFA application. Read more about financial assistance.
As a corps member
Salaries vary depending on regional placement, but corps members are paid the same as other beginning teachers in their school or district. In addition to AmeriCorps federal funding, corps members may qualify for national or regional scholarships and grants. Compare regions to see more details.
After The Corps
Once corps members have completed their two-year commitment, they join our alumni network of over 50,000 people continuing their impact in all sectors.
Our alumni network is a collective force for change. Lifelong educators, school system leaders, medical professionals, and public policy advocates work in tandem to enact change across sectors. In the last 5 years alone, 42 TFA alumni have been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
After the corps, career paths are limitless, and our alumni can be found making an impact in virtually every sector. Thousands of alumni lead in business, policy, law, or have launched entrepreneurial ventures.
Graduate school and employer partnerships
TFA partners with hundreds of graduate schools and employers, including Harvard Business School, Northwestern Law School, McKinsey, and Google. These partners provide corps members and alumni with special benefits, such as deferrals and financial incentives.
Bay Area '07
Seattle Children's Hospital
During a public health internship in college, Lilian realized that teaching would blend her passion for science and her commitment to helping people. She’s now a pediatric resident working in rural communities that lack access to health care.
St. Louis '10
Judicial Law Clerk
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
As a judicial law clerk for the Fifth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Matthew Aiken deals with major legal issues on a daily basis. Despite the weight of this responsibility, he credits his ability to embrace the challenge to his time teaching 9th grade math as a corps member.
Twin Cities '15
Lead Kindergarten Teacher and Grade Level Chair
KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School
Sara joined the Twin Cities corps hoping to prepare for a career in education policy or the nonprofit sector. As soon as she started teaching, however, Sara discovered the classroom was exactly where she wanted to be.
Boston Consulting Group
Dr. Jonathan Cook’s love for science led him to TFA, where he taught the subject as a corps member. While he mainly works in science-based fields for The Boston Consulting Group, he remains committed to the mission as an education consultant.
Frequently Asked Questions
There may be many questions if your child or family member chooses to serve as a Teach For America corps member so here are the answers to four frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions not answered, visit Frequently Asked Questions.
Instead of sitting behind a desk, your loved one will be at the head of a classroom, making a profound and immediate impact on the lives of students. Corps members tackle real-world challenges and grow every day as problem solvers and leaders.
The insight and conviction gained during the corps experience shapes values and beliefs, fuels careers, and leaves a lasting impression. The experience prepares people to be leaders in any field and to be advocates in the fight for equity and opportunity.
Teach For America alumni are part of a diverse network of 56,000 successful individuals driving important change in this country.
To help ease the transition from college or another job into the corps,Teach For America offers need-based transitional grants and no-interest loans. Packages are based on an applicant’s demonstrated need and the cost of living in the assigned region.
Funding is awarded at the beginning of summer training and may be used as reimbursement for travel costs to summer training and regional orientations. Applicants can also use their need-based transitional funding to pay for personal and moving expenses (e.g., deposits on apartments) and necessary coursework, testing, and district-processing fees.
Summer training typically includes a 6-8 week commitment, either in a corps member’s placement region or another city where corps members teach.
Funding for the transitional grants and loans is awarded at the beginning of the summer and can be used for any costs that may be incurred travelling to training. See locations and dates on 2019 Summer Training Schedules.
The cost of housing and all meals is covered during training, but corps members do not receive paychecks during training.
All corps members take part in training designed to ensure they understand the emergency policies and procedures in place at their schools and university sites. Regions may deliver additional training tailored to the specifics of their communities.