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Corps Member Resources

What You Should Expect at Teach For America’s Summer Training Program

Pre-Service will support you in becoming an anti-racist teacher and leader, prepare you so you can provide your students with a high-quality education, and equip you to pursue a lifetime commitment to advancing educational equity and excellence.

January 22, 2020

Teach For America Institute

Welcome to Teach For America’s Pre-Service program, a training program required of all TFA corps members. Through a mix of training, teaching practice, and reflection, you will be prepared to enter the classroom in the fall.

The Basics

Teach For America’s Pre-Service program takes place over five phases, beginning with Onboarding in May and extending through your first 90 days of 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.

  • Onboarding
  • Kick-Off
  • Centralized Learning Series I
  • Practicum & Centralized Learning Series II
  • First 90 Days & Centralized Learning Series III


Onboarding begins in early May, when 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 TFA, Diversity Equity and Inclusiveness, and our Theory of Leadership, as well as other topics.

You will also complete other logistical action items to be ready to join the 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.

Kick Off

You will join the entire corps in our first “live” Kick-Off experience. 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.

Centralized Learning Series I (CLSI)

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, continue to grow your readiness to turn theory into practice, and deepen your relationships with other corps members from multiple regions . You will continue to strengthen the cross-regional relationships you develop during CLS I as you engage in CLS II and CLS III!


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 gained 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. This partnership 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.

First 90 Days

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 in your classroom experience, and experience ongoing support from your regional team.

Centralized Learning Series III

CLS III occurs during your first 90 days of teaching when you and your fellow corps membersfrom 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 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.

Coaching will continue throughout your two years in the corps, and you can expect to learn more from your region about what to expect for your ongoing support and development.

You can expect a full-time commitment during the weeks of June 7-17 and during your Practicum (dates vary by region, but a minimum of 3 weeks throughout late June and July). Some Practicum experiences may be in-person, while others will be virtual, depending on your regional placement.

Plan to attend every day of training, though advanced notice of schedule conflicts may permit one day of leave.

Finances & Expenses

We will provide all incoming corps members with a stipend designed to help offset the costs of housing, food, and transportation during the Practicum phase of Pre-Service.

You will not receive a salary during summer training. Expect your first paycheck in the late summer or early fall, after the start of the school year. 

You are responsible for travel expenses to get to your region. You will also be accountable for living expenses such as healthcare. 

You can apply for need-based grants and no-interest loans to help cover your expenses during this transitional period. Funding packages are determined based on your demonstrated need, cost of moving, and cost of living expenses in your assigned region. You can apply for transitional support at the time of your final interview and again once you’re admitted to the corps. But be mindful that this limited funding is distributed across thousands of corps members.

Redefine Opportunities

Help change the course of students’ lives by applying to Teach For America today.


You’re Ready!

The process can be challenging, but TFA alumni credit their summer training for some of their best memories and most long-lasting relationships. In this fast-paced environment, you will fail, succeed, and grow immensely. During this time, you’ll meet potential colleagues, partners, friends, and a whole new community.

Most importantly, you will emerge ready to lead in the classroom and impact on your students’ lives.