Aviva admits to being skeptical about TFA at first. She was worried about her ability to be a great teacher, and had a perception that people joined and then didn’t stay connected to education afterward. But her desire to get real-life experience that would help her gain the perspective necessary to be successful in policy work led her to join. After teaching for four years, Aviva held a number of additional roles related to educational policy before getting her Masters of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. She is now co-founder and COO of BallotReady, an organization that aggregates information about candidates to empower people to make informed decisions during elections.
Q & A
As a teacher, you are hit with a lot of tasks and have to organize them really well because you are also teaching. Moving into an office environment, I felt I could do anything. I also became much more confident, and developed a firsthand perspective on policy that I have used throughout my career.
It solidified what I wanted to do with my life. My background as a teacher has made me credible and helped me speak from experience to influence policy. The connections I’ve made through TFA also helped me get different roles. They connected me with a LEE (Leaders for Educational Equity) Fellowship and I got a job through LEE. LEE also helped me run for school council.
Going in, I was concerned that five weeks of training wouldn’t be enough. But you actually get an incredible amount of support through coaching and resources. Whenever I had a question, there was always someone to go to, whether online or during extra trainings in the office. Other new teachers didn’t have that.