Pre-corps training

Pre-corps training begins with a regional induction that takes place the week before the summer training institute. Institute is an unpaid intensive five-week training program that prepares corps members for their teaching experience. Summer training concludes with a regional orientation.

During induction and orientation, corps members become familiar with their regions and school districts, locate housing, and begin working with staff, alumni, fellow corps members, and community members to get ready for the school year.


Corps members attend the five-week institute in one of fifteen locations, depending on their regional placement. During institute, corps members teach summer school for four of five weeks and help their students master critical content for the fall. Coursework is designed to help corps members establish a bold vision for summer school and learn essential teaching frameworks, curricula, and lesson planning skills while building relationships within their school and community. Corps members work with experienced teachers who observe and coach them to improve their skills quickly throughout the summer. By the end of institute, corps members have developed a foundation of knowledge, skills, and mindsets needed to be effective beginning teachers, made an immediate impact on students, and built relationships that will support them throughout their corps experience.

While corps members are not paid during their summer training, Teach For America provides room and board for corps members to live in local university housing during institute. Special accommodations are available for corps members with partners and families. While institute is a rigorous and intensive experience, corps members have free time during weekends and typically take advantage of opportunities to socialize and explore their institute city.

Components of Institute


Corps members teach summer school students for an average of two hours each day and are observed by experienced teachers. Some of the teaching time is devoted to leading a class to master academic content, and to building their own skills in delivering lessons and managing a classroom. The other portion is typically devoted to leading small group instruction during which corps members work with four to five students to build skills in math and reading.

Observations and Feedback

Teach For America instructional coaches observe each corps member several times a week. They provide written feedback and discuss areas for development, working with corps members to create concrete plans to increase student learning and develop teaching knowledge and skills. Veteran district teachers partner with each classroom to provide regular feedback throughout the summer.

Rehearsals and Reflections

Corps members meet in small groups that provide a supportive yet challenging space to practice teaching new lessons, react to classroom management dilemmas, discuss feedback they’ve received, and analyze student progress. Corps members leave these small group sessions with clear direction they can use to improve their teaching.

Lesson Planning Clinics

Corps members receive extensive lesson planning instruction from Teach For America instructional coaches. They internalize student learning objectives for the coming week, create assessments to evaluate student progress, select the right teaching methods to meet their objectives, and develop their plans in great detail.

Curriculum Sessions

Corps members study the fundamentals of teaching and practice teaching techniques to prepare them for all elements of classroom instruction. Sessions focus on each coursework element below.

Elements of Institute Coursework

Teaching As Leadership

The central philosophy of our approach to teaching and cornerstone of our training and support program, the Teaching As Leadership framework introduces corps members to the principles that successful teachers take to lead their students to success.

Instructional Planning and Delivery

Presents a goal-oriented, standards-based approach to teaching and teaches corps members to diagnose and assess students, plan lessons, and deliver lessons effectively.

Investment, Classroom Management and Culture

Teaches corps members how to create and maintain a culture of achievement in the classroom.

Diversity, Community, and Achievement

Develops the mindsets and skills needed for corps members to build relationships and work effectively with the diverse students, families, educators and others in the communities where they teach.

Literacy Development

Explores how to teach literacy skills to students at all performance levels and across grade levels and content areas.

Choose More. Teach.

All kids deserve the opportunity to choose their own paths in life. Choose to unlock opportunity. Check out stories from teachers, alumni, and supporters who are expanding opportunities for kids.

Find out more »

2015 Institute Schedule

The dates and locations of the 2015 are now available. View a sample schedule of a day at institute too.

Learn more»

How to Apply

Get all the details about our application process, plus tips about how to prepare a successful application.

Find out more »