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3 Big Reasons Why Professionals Should Consider Teach For America

For working professionals looking for a career change, here are a few ways teaching in the corps can amplify your impact and leadership trajectory.

By The TFA Editorial Team

October 8, 2018

Corps member with children.

Whether you’re a grad student, a young professional a few years out of college, or a mid-career pro, your management, communication, and problem-solving skills can play a vital role in ensuring that kids in low-income communities receive an equitable education.

Not all corps members come to the classroom directly from college. Many corps members come to Teach For America after having spent several years—even decades—in the workforce or after attending graduate school. If you’re seeking ways to make an impact or exploring other opportunities in education, here are a few reasons why Teach For America is a competitive opportunity that will set you apart, amplify your purpose and impact—and give you a chance to shape the future of our country, no matter what career path you ultimately pursue.

Making an Impact With Your Unique Skills

This is not your average 9-to-5.

Teach For America needs policymakers, doctors, lawyers, nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, and educators to work together in a coalition for systemic change.

As a corps member, you will be at the forefront of tackling educational inequity and increasing opportunity for kids in one of 51 high-need regions across the country. Every day you’ll use your talents and prior experiences to address systemic injustice in the classroom and the broader community. This means that you’ll work closely with different people and groups on a daily basis, including other teachers in your school and district, partner organizations in your community, TFA alumni, and, of course, students and their families and caregivers.

The experience and impact you’ll have as a corps member fosters a sense of drive and ambition. Witnessing issues like inequity up close will motivate you to take action and explore the depths of what you're capable of.

“Nothing can take the place of classroom experience in systems leadership—it is absolutely critical that the people making staffing, strategy, and policy experience have that context and experience, and TFA provides just that.”

Lindsey Smith

Deputy Chief of Academics and Instruction, NewOrg

Colorado Corps Member 2009

Understanding Your Needs

We are looking for the nation’s most promising leaders to help tackle one of our country’s most deep-seated issues. Because of this, the application process is highly selective. Nevertheless, TFA offers options so that you can bring your best self to the table. 


who joined the corps were working professionals.

Professionals like you have the option to participate in a virtual or in-person interview, whichever best fits your needs and schedule. Both are face-to-face and give you an equal chance of admission regardless of the interview format you choose. Applicants are asked to reserve eight hours for the interview day, so it may be a good idea to arrange to miss work or class for the day.

You may already have a place in mind where you’d like to teach or a favorite subject or grade level. You may also be open to going to any of our regions and teaching any age group or subject. No matter where you are after you’ve completed your interview our team can help you determine the regions that best fit your background and interests.

We understand that your mortgage, spouse or partner, or children may make it a challenge for you to relocate. This is why you have an opportunity to specify any restrictions when providing your regional preferences. While we cannot guarantee all corps members will be placed in their top-choice region, we will work to ensure that you receive a placement that makes sense for you and the desired impact you want to make in the corps.

An Exceptional Leadership Opportunity

From the moment you join TFA, you’ll have access to unparalleled support, leadership, training, and networking opportunities. At summer institute, you’ll take part in hands-on training that combines immersive teaching practice and coaching with foundational knowledge, skills, and experiences that will prepare you to lead, grow, and support the success of your students.

“TFA is a game changer. I never would have dreamed that serving in the Phoenix Corps would lead me to the role I'm in now, Chief Talent Officer at Seton Education Partners, which allows me to make an exponential impact here in the Bronx, NY.”

Brett Chappell

Chief Talent Officer, Seton Education Partners

Phoenix Corps Member 2012

As a corps member, you’ll have the chance to attend leadership summits and virtual events. These are a fantastic opportunity to build community, learn, and connect with other corps members and leaders. With TFA’s virtual events, you’ll go inside classrooms across the country and hear stories about the diverse career paths of TFA alumni who are making a difference in areas like education, business, medicine, law, public policy, and entrepreneurship.

After completing their two-year commitment as TFA corps members, many alumni go on to launch nonprofits and socially responsible companies together. They work at starts-up and schools run by other alumni, who share a lifelong commitment to change and educational justice.

Teach For America’s network is vast, made up of nearly 60,000 alumni and corps members. Together they are working to shape the political, economic, and social future of the United States. Being accepted into the corps means you’ll join other leaders, changemakers, and advocates, who go on to achieve their boldest ambitions. Whether they return to their previous career path or begin a new professional journey, they do so with increased confidence, drive, skills, and perspective for what's at stake.

Interested in using your skills to help ensure that kids in low-income communities receive an equitable education?