Since 2010, Teach For America Memphis has been a licensed Education Preparation Provider in Tennessee, and each of those years Tennessee has named us on of the top three licensure programs in the state. Through our certification program, our corps members earn their teaching license during their two years in our program, with no outside classes or certification work required.
Our Training Focus
During your first year, our training focuses on helping you lead your students to academic achievement by building teacher skills in the context of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. We believe these skills have to be broken down into component parts so you can learn how to put them back together, with lots of public practice, opportunities to observe exemplars, and ample 1:1 directive coaching.
During your second year, our training centers on vision-aligned leadership, furthering your development as a Culturally Relevant Pedagogy practitioner, and helping you further strengthen bonds with your peers. We do this through disruptive experiences that are responsibly debriefed within peer-led learning circles. We focus on facilitating peer coaching in partnership with you.
After completing your corps commitment, we will support you as you join our outstanding alumni community in the ongoing effort to lead change and advocate for educational equity from every sector.
Becoming Certified to Teach
To earn certification through Teach For America Memphis, corps members must attend all required Teach For America professional development experiences, pass state-mandated certification exams, and hold a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
After completing the corps, your Tennessee Practitioner License will remain valid for a third year in a Tennessee classroom. To advance to a Professional License (the final licensure level) in Tennessee, alumni need to complete a third year in the classroom and pass the edTPA Assessment. Alumni are responsible for taking the steps to advance their license, though our team will support you with information and guidance through this process.
If you will begin your corps commitment with a valid out-of-state license, our team will discuss any testing and possible licensure requirements on a case-by-case basis.
Completing a master’s degree is not a required part of our program, but we do have partnerships with two graduate schools for those interested in pursuing an advanced degree.
Christian Brothers University (M.Ed) (Local Partnership)
Teach For America Memphis partners with Christian Brothers University (CBU) to provide an option to pursue a master’s degree in education. This is a program that our teachers can complete during their second year in the classroom: corps members are able to count their Teach For America experience towards course credits, making it possible to receive this master's degree in only one year of study and also reducing the overall tuition. You can begin the program either in the summer between your first or second year or in the fall of your second year.
For more information, visit CBU's website. Once you’ve joined the Memphis corps, we can also connect you with our CBU contact, who works directly with corps members in this program.
Johns Hopkins University (MSEd) (National Partnership)
Developed by Johns Hopkins faculty and TFA alumni, this dynamic Master of Science in Education – Educational Studies (MSEd) degree program offers more than traditional teacher preparation: It provides transformational teaching skills that reach far beyond the classroom. The curriculum offers three pathways, depending on your career plans: school leadership, teacher leadership, and policy leadership. The curriculum is designed to build upon the skills you develop through the TFA program to increase your impact on your students and community. Available to all regional corps members and alumni currently teaching in the classroom.
Teach For America Training
What to Expect
The summer before you begin teaching, we host a six-week training session right here in Memphis, known as insitutue. At institute, our two key priorities are for you to build your leadership and to build your community. You will spend time in professional development sessions designed to ensure you are ready for the first day of your fall teaching placement, with a focus on lesson planning and execution, classroom learning environment, building authentic relationships, and cultural competence. We’ll spend time together as a team exploring our Memphis GRIND values and learning about our city’s history and its present. In weeks two through six of institute, you’ll also teach a summer school class daily, with the support of your coach and learning cohort. Learn more about summer institute.
Tentative dates: June 2-July 13
Estimated institute costs: Room and board are covered during institute (either in university dorms, or via a stipend for those with existing housing in Memphis). We also provide transportation to the school site and all required off-campus activities throughout the summer.