TFA... Apply now... delay?

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s0ph1e2007
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TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:13 pm

I'm almost positive now that I will be spending the next two years teaching with Teach For America. Should I indicate that to law schools, and then defer? Should I not indicate it? Should I apply again once I'm a year into TFA?

Don't copy. I want to delete this after I hear back.

Thanks :D

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nealric
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby nealric » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:16 pm

Seriously, talk to a lot of TFA people before you commit to the program. I know a lot of TFA people, and few were truly happy with the experience. Consider direct hire at charter schools like KIPP if you want to teach. I'm not saying it's a bad program or that nobody should do it, but I think it's only the right choice for a very small subset of new college grads.


That said, most law schools will let you defer for TFA. You don''t need to tell them in advance.

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lzyovrachievr
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby lzyovrachievr » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:19 pm

Since you're almost positive, I'd continue to apply, and don't mention it. See where you get in. If you get in a place you like, then defer and use TFA to see if you can leverage a scholarship package later. If you don't get in the place you'd want, apply once you're a year into TFA, as it should give you a small boost.

That gives you 2 shots at it, but I wouldn't tell them you are going to defer before you do it.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:20 pm

I have a very specific reason for wanting to teach before law school.
TFA obviously offers a lot of outside support and they also have great connections with law schools and a great reputation... that was why I chose TFA... You still think I should think about a specific charter even if it's in the same school district?

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SullaFelix
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby SullaFelix » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:21 pm

I'm just really curious — why delete after posting? Aside from answering immediate concerns, the major justification for this forum's existence seemed to me to be providing information for other applicants — saving others from having to ask the same questions.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:22 pm

Okay, thanks lzyoverachiever.

I was leaning that way... how does one leverage scholarships later?

so say I get into Michigan and decide I want to go there. In two years, when I'm done with TFA, then they will decide about scholarships and I will be able to use it for merit scholarship applications?

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:23 pm

SullaFelix wrote:I'm just really curious — why delete after posting? Aside from answering immediate concerns, the major justification for this forum's existence seemed to me to be providing information for other applicants — saving others from having to ask the same questions.



I have posted enough and am a unique enough applicant that I worry that it's obvious who I am. Although I don't say anything I'm ashamed of, I still don't like the idea of adcomms knowing who I am. I know that's weird but might as well be safe....

Maybe you're right. Maybe I'll leave it up

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lzyovrachievr
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby lzyovrachievr » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:29 pm

s0ph1e2007 wrote:Okay, thanks lzyoverachiever.

Question


From what I've heard, you write a nice letter to the Dean saying, "I need to defer because I have an amazing opportunity... blah, blah... Michigan is still my first choice, so I do want to attend. This position, while being a great project, will limit my earnings over the next couple years, thus is there any chance of an additional merit scholarship offer then? Please let me know how to go about this or whether this would be best done the year before I attend. Thank you," -- Or something to that effect. (Not necessarily that wording.)

Apparently it's alright to ask them for scholarship money as long as you are polite about it. Just be humble and try it out. I'd try when you ask to defer and see what they say. They might wait on that until you are about to attend. FYI, I based this response off of posts I've seen on here that said to take a similar approach. Search function makes it difficult to find...

Note that this isn't certain to work- but it's worth a shot, IMO. Imply that you are willing to commit to a binding deferral if there is more money involved, but don't make it seem like you are necessarily entitled to it.
Last edited by lzyovrachievr on Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nealric
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby nealric » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:35 pm

One very annoying thing that TFA does it that they make you attend their "Boot camp" - which is basically an unpaid summer. This can create financial hardship for a lot of people. Certain people who don't get into the TFA "kool aid" end up quitting before they even start because of boot camp. It's helpful to some, but they tend to push very specific theories that you may not agree with.

Direct hires get to make their own way a bit more. Many TFA people don't really feel that the support TFA provides is really all that useful.

As a general rule, it seemed like most of the people who were happy with TFA taught at the primary school level.

RTFM
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby RTFM » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:45 pm

s0ph1e2007 wrote:I have a very specific reason for wanting to teach before law school.
TFA obviously offers a lot of outside support and they also have great connections with law schools and a great reputation... that was why I chose TFA... You still think I should think about a specific charter even if it's in the same school district?


As a current TFA corps member, I can tell you that TFA doesn't really offer a lot of outside support. The quality of your program director, which is really the only source of support you have, varies GREATLY, even within a specific region. The professional development also varies greatly across regions (so I've heard from other corps members), and as a first year teacher most of the professional development they offer you is completely overwhelming and impossible to implement until you get a handle on teaching, which usually doesn't happen your first year.

As for TFA having great connections with law schools and a great reputation, that is true. However, if that's the real reason that you want to do it you're going to have a miserable couple of years and might not even make it through.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:59 pm

nealric wrote:One very annoying thing that TFA does it that they make you attend their "Boot camp" - which is basically an unpaid summer. This can create financial hardship for a lot of people. Certain people who don't get into the TFA "kool aid" end up quitting before they even start because of boot camp. It's helpful to some, but they tend to push very specific theories that you may not agree with.

Direct hires get to make their own way a bit more. Many TFA people don't really feel that the support TFA provides is really all that useful.

As a general rule, it seemed like most of the people who were happy with TFA taught at the primary school level.



Wow, that's really interesting. I'll give it some serious consideration. I do know someone who loved teaching high school math though. Also, I'm pretty sure you could put me in a prison with high school students, and I'd be thrilled as long as you let me teach high school English.

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nealric
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby nealric » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:05 pm

Also, I'm pretty sure you could put me in a prison with high school students, and I'd be thrilled as long as you let me teach high school English.


My wife taught high school English through TFA. Her school forced her to teach an awful curriculum sold to the school by a snake-oil salesmen. It consisted of really low level reading comp exercises that managed to bore even her weakest students. She was forbidden from teaching literature, grammar, or composition. She was actually written up for teaching a grammar lesson. Her experience was not wholly unique.

These are the types of things you may come up against.

psychomohel
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby psychomohel » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:14 pm

s0ph1e2007 wrote:I have a very specific reason for wanting to teach before law school.
TFA obviously offers a lot of outside support and they also have great connections with law schools and a great reputation... that was why I chose TFA... You still think I should think about a specific charter even if it's in the same school district?


I did TFA for two years and am now in law school. I did not find that they had any special connection to law schools that helped me. Law schools do like it when you do TFA, but the one TFA-law-interest session I went to was mostly TFA-Kool-Aid and not really helpful.

Also, make sure you are doing TFA because you want to help children. If you are doing it because you think it will help you get into law school, you really should reconsider. Unless you really believe in the mission and really love the kids, you are going to have a miserable time at TFA.

I would suggest applying after TFA because your application will sound a lot more mature. I grew up quite a bit in those two years.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:23 pm

psychomohel wrote:
s0ph1e2007 wrote:I have a very specific reason for wanting to teach before law school.
TFA obviously offers a lot of outside support and they also have great connections with law schools and a great reputation... that was why I chose TFA... You still think I should think about a specific charter even if it's in the same school district?


I did TFA for two years and am now in law school. I did not find that they had any special connection to law schools that helped me. Law schools do like it when you do TFA, but the one TFA-law-interest session I went to was mostly TFA-Kool-Aid and not really helpful.

Also, make sure you are doing TFA because you want to help children. If you are doing it because you think it will help you get into law school, you really should reconsider. Unless you really believe in the mission and really love the kids, you are going to have a miserable time at TFA.

I would suggest applying after TFA because your application will sound a lot more mature. I grew up quite a bit in those two years.



Since I am debating teaching elsewhere or teaching for TFA, I obviously am motivated by a desire to teach not by a desire to build my resume. TFA's mission is what intially attracted me to TFA. I grew up in one of the worst school districts in the country. My parents could afford to send me to a private school, but most the kids around me dropped out of the public high schools. I have been working with high school students for years, and tutoring for even longer.
Do not mistake me for a resume-obsessed gunner. I am interested in practicing a particular area of law, specifically focusing on education. I did not 'drink the Kool-Aid', but I did agree with everything TFA stands for before ever hearing of them.
At the same time, I do not want to waste two years of my life chained in a way that prevents me from making a difference. I feel strongly that I ought to spend the next few years teaching; I simply thought TFA was the best way to do that...

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blurbz
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby blurbz » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:33 pm

s0ph1e2007 wrote:I'm almost positive now that I will be spending the next two years teaching with Teach For America. Should I indicate that to law schools, and then defer? Should I not indicate it? Should I apply again once I'm a year into TFA?

Don't copy. I want to delete this after I hear back.

Thanks :D


I would apply now and ask for a deferment if you decide to go. If you don't get into the schools you want or if they say "no" then just apply again the fall before you will actually be attending. No big deal.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:47 pm

blurbz wrote:
s0ph1e2007 wrote:I'm almost positive now that I will be spending the next two years teaching with Teach For America. Should I indicate that to law schools, and then defer? Should I not indicate it? Should I apply again once I'm a year into TFA?

Don't copy. I want to delete this after I hear back.

Thanks :D


I would apply now and ask for a deferment if you decide to go. If you don't get into the schools you want or if they say "no" then just apply again the fall before you will actually be attending. No big deal.


TITCR

I shouldn't have assumed people would have better advice lol. Thanks though for all your help.

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OkieGirl
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Re: TFA... Apply now... delay?

Postby OkieGirl » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:07 pm

If you are accepted into TFA, you most definitely should do it. No matter what grade level or school district you are in, you can make a difference as long as you are willing to put in the work.

The day-to-day is very draining and not nearly as glamorous as the forums make it sound, but at the end of the day, you will come out with a much better perspective on life and appreciation for law school. It gives you the opportunity to fully develop your leadership skills while perfecting your organization, time management, and prioritizing habits (I feel this is SO important in law school, but no one really talks about it). The experience is also a great character builder as well.

Obviously some of you are probably going to comment on the fact that I "drank the cool-aid" and you are right, but if drinking the cool-aid means I can impact more students, then give me a 1,000 gallons :)

Feel free to PM me with any questions!




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