I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

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zephyr36
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I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby zephyr36 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:11 pm

I quit simply because I realized that I was self-aware that I simply did not have the capabilities to put in 100% for these kids for a full two years. I'll probably write an addendum explaining in greater detail why I chose to quit the program, but I'm hoping this will at least be neutral for adcomms?

NotoriousIIED
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby NotoriousIIED » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:13 pm

Not a big deal. You quit on a bunch of kids that are used to having people quit on them all the time. Addcomms will understand. I love that this is your major concern.

shoeshine
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby shoeshine » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:15 pm

I think this will actually look pretty bad. I have never heard of it before so I can't be certain but quitting for any reason other than medical concerns is going to look bad.

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:16 pm

I agree. The world forgave Casey Anthony when she was self aware she couldn't be a good mom. The key is self awareness, and you did that so I think you're fine.

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franklyscarlet
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby franklyscarlet » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:17 pm

Woah there. TFA is unspeakably difficult and OP quitting is no reason to tear her/him apart. I say this as a TFA person who did not quit- some people make the right choice in quitting. If you are unhappy enough, you really can't give the kids what they need.

OP, I have no really have no idea how this will affect you. Address it, but don't focus on it. Did you complete year 1?

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:19 pm

Ahhh, the ol' it's not you, it's me.

Seriously though, just don't include it on your resume. I don't know how any adcomms would find out about this, but I am not sure how Teach for America works, so I very well may be totally wrong.

Don't listen to anyone who judges you for it. Many people go into programs like Teach for America/Peace Corps without realizing what it entails and you won't know until you get there if it is right for you. Quitting after you have all the facts and realized it was a mistake is not something for which you should be ashamed.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:20 pm

NotoriousIIED wrote:Not a big deal. You quit on a bunch of kids that are used to having people quit on them all the time. Addcomms will understand. I love that this is your major concern.

concern =/= major/main concern

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JamMasterJ
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:21 pm

zephyr36 wrote:I quit simply because I realized that I was self-aware that I simply did not have the capabilities to put in 100% for these kids for a full two years. I'll probably write an addendum explaining in greater detail why I chose to quit the program, but I'm hoping this will at least be neutral for adcomms?

You'll definitely need a compelling reason, but as scarlet said, you're not the only one to ever do this.

CanadianWolf
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:23 pm

It may hurt at TFA partnership schools. My opinion is that it will hurt you.

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acrossthelake
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:24 pm

I've seen the cycles of those who quit PhDs under perform their numbers. There's speculation that perhaps law schools don't look kindly on it when you quit an academic commitment like that. I'm not sure if that will extend to TFA, though, or if it was just coincidence in the first place. Either way, there's not anything you can do besides the addendum, so you'll just have to see how your cycle shakes out.

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:24 pm

If the adcom reading your application happens to be one of your former TOA students then all bets are off, and word around the grapevine is Cooley is trying to save money by hiring poor children to read applications so you may be in trouble.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:26 pm

acrossthelake wrote:I've seen the cycles of those who quit PhDs under perform their numbers. There's speculation that perhaps law schools don't look kindly on it when you quit an academic commitment like that. I'm not sure if that will extend to TFA, though, or if it was just coincidence in the first place. Either way, there's not anything you can do besides the addendum, so you'll just have to see how your cycle shakes out.

in sum, we can't really tell you the answer. Explain it the best you can and let the chips fall

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:28 pm

If I'm being serious, I'd say it largely depends on what you quit TFA to do. At least that's what I'd think if I were an adcom. If you got a novel published, then it's a plus as you left for something more you. If you got your nails done, that's fantastic but maybe a bit less impressive.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby I.P. Daly » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:35 pm

acrossthelake wrote:I've seen the cycles of those who quit PhDs under perform their numbers. There's speculation that perhaps law schools don't look kindly on it when you quit an academic commitment like that. I'm not sure if that will extend to TFA, though, or if it was just coincidence in the first place. Either way, there's not anything you can do besides the addendum, so you'll just have to see how your cycle shakes out.


A Dean of Admissions advised me that she was weary of PhD dropouts because, essentially, they are probably applying to law school because they are afraid of going out into the "real world."

It may be helpful to convey that you really want to be in law school (you always planned on applying to law school after TFA, you know what type of law you are interested in, etc.). Make the admissions people understand that law school is not simply a backup plan until you figure out what you want to do in life.

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kwais
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby kwais » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:41 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:Ahhh, the ol' it's not you, it's me.

Seriously though, just don't include it on your resume. I don't know how any adcomms would find out about this, but I am not sure how Teach for America works, so I very well may be totally wrong.

Don't listen to anyone who judges you for it. Many people go into programs like Teach for America/Peace Corps without realizing what it entails and you won't know until you get there if it is right for you. Quitting after you have all the facts and realized it was a mistake is not something for which you should be ashamed.


I don't entirely agree with this. In UG, I met a lot of people who said they were going to do TFA without any knowledge at all concerning what the program is like. I also knew people who wanted it bad, understood the program and didn't make it. I don't think OP deserves to get hammered but this "at least you tried" line is not how I think adcomms will see it. I think they will look at your resume and if they see someone who went around collecting prestigious-type leadership positions, then this may reflect poorly on you. It will look like you treated a bunch of underserved kids as just another law school admissions boost.

zephyr36
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby zephyr36 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:45 pm

Trust me, I feel incredibly guilty for quitting on these kids. The honest truth is that I simply did not want to do a disservice to these kids by doing something that I disliked because it was not what I expected. I spent a lot of time mentally preparing myself for how tough TFA would be, and even that was not enough.

As far as what I'll do instead, I'm in secondary market and I was offered a position at the biggest firm in the area. It doesn't exactly have the same auro of selflessness, but at least it is law-related.

Simply put, I realized I was not cut out to be a teacher. It would be a disservice to these kids to have me in the classroom while I look forward to the day that my commitment is over.

I hope to find the best way to make this clear to adcomms when I decide to enter law school.

to answer the other question, I didn't finish my first year. I went about 2 months into the school year. I am definitely including it on my resume. It's easier to explain why I quit then to explain why I tried to hide it.

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franklyscarlet
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby franklyscarlet » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:48 pm

zephyr36 wrote:Trust me, I feel incredibly guilty for quitting on these kids. The honest truth is that I simply did not want to do a disservice to these kids by doing something that I disliked because it was not what I expected. I spent a lot of time mentally preparing myself for how tough TFA would be, and even that was not enough.

As far as what I'll do instead, I'm in secondary market and I was offered a position at the biggest firm in the area. It doesn't exactly have the same auro of selflessness, but at least it is law-related.

Simply put, I realized I was not cut out to be a teacher. It would be a disservice to these kids to have me in the classroom while I look forward to the day that my commitment is over.

I hope to find the best way to make this clear to adcomms when I decide to enter law school.

to answer the other question, I didn't finish my first year. I went about 2 months into the school year. I am definitely including it on my resume. It's easier to explain why I quit then to explain why I tried to hide it.


I think you know what to do, then. Explain it in a mature way, hope for the best. Good luck!

zephyr36
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby zephyr36 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:48 pm

One thing I can add is that I turned down a deferral offer for two years from a T14 to do this program. I did that because I honestly thought I may want to teach as a career. I didn't do this to get another "soft"

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kwais
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby kwais » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:48 pm

fair enough, I think you'll be ok. Just tread lightly with the "I disliked it" because I'm sure there will be many days in law school that you dislike.

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theadvancededit
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby theadvancededit » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:09 pm

Another major concern for adcomm is that you'll do the same thing in a different venue-- realize that law is not for you and leave before the semester's over.

In your explanation, it would suit you to quell this concern as well as the others raised above.

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Bodhi_mind
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby Bodhi_mind » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:34 am

I did the same thing, and my advice would be delete that from your resume as soon as possible. Get 1-2 more jobs, whatever they are, and put some distance between you and that experience. TFA can't chase you down--it's not like you got a dishonorable discharge from the military or something.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:43 am

zephyr36 wrote:I quit simply because I realized that I was self-aware that I simply did not have the capabilities to put in 100% for these kids for a full two years. I'll probably write an addendum explaining in greater detail why I chose to quit the program, but I'm hoping this will at least be neutral for adcomms?

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zephyr36
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby zephyr36 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:18 pm

I think it's really sketchy to try to omit it from my resume whatsoever. It's better to disclose than try to hide this, I think.

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BiglawOrBust
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby BiglawOrBust » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:34 pm

zephyr36 wrote:I think it's really sketchy to try to omit it from my resume whatsoever. It's better to disclose than try to hide this, I think.


You're erroneously concluding that omitting something from your resume equates to "hiding" it. Would you say that one who fails to mention "second-grade tiddlywinks champion" on one's resume is trying to hide it?

lhess218
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby lhess218 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:56 pm

Yes.... and no. If you have a legitimate reason to leave and can explain it succinctly, then no. If you didn't and (more importantly) you didn't do anything afterwards, then yes. Keep in mind, even doing some heavy-duty volunteering would probably help: heavy duty meaning more than once a week for a couple of hours.

I left an Americorps program similar to TFA for a number of reasons: my husband was deploying to Afghanistan, I was offered a full-time civilian position with Army JAG, and there were some serious problems within the actual Americorps program. If you left TFA to sit around and do nothing (and can't spin it in a way that doesn't seem like you sat around and did nothing), then yeah, I'd say it'd hurt you.

FWIW, I'm including my Americorps program on my resume and an addendum. I still did Americorps (even if I didn't finish), and I loved what I did and what I accomplished. It just didn't work out the way I wanted.




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