I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

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

Postby kahechsof » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:53 pm

ccs224 wrote:
Starry-eyed grads are actually one of the worst part of the TFA program. The idea that one is engaging in some awesome, progressive action is emphasized, while the actual reality, and drudgery, of teaching is not. Thus, you end up with people entering, thinking they will change the educational system by two years in an underserved school, look around and say "Oh, this is bullshit."


I thought that was the point. To get the starry eyedeness out of people, and introduce them to the real world. That is why they recruit specifically from the starry eyed, by using all the progressive BS.

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emkay625
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby emkay625 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:56 pm

bartleby wrote:I think it won't hurt at all unless you're applying to like Berkeley or Stanford or something. I definitely do not agree with the Haiti thing. Why would you quit TFA to help out other poor kids? That seems to me like you're just indecisive, not that you want to help the world.

I would be straight up about it and spin it the right way. Just like you said, you thought it was something you were passionate about, you wanted to make a difference, you turned down opportunities, but you realized you could not provide what the kids needed. It happens. I think if you spun it the right way, people would even respect you for making your decision. This isn't like you ditched Easy Company in the trenches. Definitely don't say you quit because you didn't like it.



I don't agree with it either, just sharing what I know one girl did in order to offer insight to the OP.

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emkay625
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby emkay625 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:11 pm

ccs224 wrote:
OnceUponAMemo wrote:Having a year long sub who is even less qualified than a starry-eyed recent grad


TFA members are about as prepared to teach as any randomly selected individual from the street. I wouldn't overestimate to value of having a 22 year old teacher with no experience, nor would I assume that the only alternative is a perma-sub.

Starry-eyed grads are actually one of the worst parts of the TFA program. The idea that one is engaging in some awesome, progressive action is emphasized, while the actual reality, and drudgery, of teaching is not. Thus, you end up with people entering who, thinking they will change the educational system by two years in an underserved school, look around and say "Oh, this is bullshit."



As a corps member, I'm a little offended. To say that any random person is as qualified to teach as I am is simply untrue. I do not think TFA is perfect by any means, but that is unfair and a gross exaggeration.

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

Postby minnesotasam » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:10 am

Lotta nonsense itt from people who have no idea what they're talking about. A permanent sub is the replacement in the vast majority of cases; in those where they don't have use a permanent sub you'll often get teachers who are doing the annual intradistrict shuffle and there's a reason those people are never asked back to their previous school.

TFA's recruiting criteria are certainly debatable but I think it's more hilarious that there are people like the OP who seemingly don't realize that a) you actually have to TEACH in Teach For America, like, all by yourself and junk and b) it sucks. It's insane that so many corps members quit (my year lost >15%) considering that everyone and their mother says it sucks and a simple visit to a standard TFA classroom/school will tell you what you need to know. People come into with this cheerleader sis-boom-rah attitude despite the overwhelming evidence that it is an entirely difficult and often frustrating experience. To somehow assume that you won't get bogged down in the way tens of thousands before you have is merely arrogant and it drives me bananas.

There are, however, corps members who know exactly what they're getting themselves into, sign up, fulfill their commitment, and move on with their lives (either in or out of education). There are lots of us in fact, those of us who actually deeply considered the decision to join and didn't do it because it was supposedly prestigious or it would help you get laid (even though it is--supposedly--and it does help).

Btw OP the kids are likely NOT better in the long run, because while your hole might be filled by a veteran teacher (who may even be good, even though it's unlikely), that's one less competent teacher in the pool for the classroom he/she would have taught in had you not bailed. Somewhere down the ladder there are children getting a marginally worse education because you didn't really put much thought into joining. All of this also ignores the applicant to TFA whose spot you got that genuinely wanted to teach for two years or more, although there's a distinct chance they were going to quit as well.

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

Postby Bodhi_mind » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:19 pm

@minnesotasam: There's a lot of truth in what you're saying. TFA's recruiting/selection process isn't by any means perfect. But if nothing else, TFA is constantly evaluating it's methods and trying to improve them, so you can't really hate on them for that aspect.

I was pretty similar to OP as a starry eyed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iUuWK0jgHk ) new teacher. I ended up quitting TFA too and have been piecing things back together since then. My main problem with you is that it does no good to OP or others in her position to chastise them for making a poor decision. From what it sounds like she's done plenty of that already and is overly guilty about it. What I realized is that shit happens, and that I can't change that I took that teaching job and quit it in a bad way. Beating myself up over it wasn't doing any good, and I just had to move on and try to make something of my life.

So to get back to OP's original question, yes it will hurt you if you write a shitty addendum like the one you posted. There isn't any need to ask for anyone's approval when it comes to your reasons for quitting. You made your decision and are moving on.

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

Postby LawSchoolGuru » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:21 pm

lhess218 wrote: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.


+1

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

Postby minnesotasam » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:29 pm

Bodhi_mind wrote:...

Yeah, yours is a good post. It frustrates me that their are no tangible consequences from the decision to renege on a huge commitment like TFA. I hate hearing excuses like the ones OP made. If you can't handle a situation then you do what you have to, but don't tell me that "what's best for the kids" played any role whatsoever (and please don't tell yourself that either, come to grips with your decision and accept it.. we're all imperfect).

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

Postby zephyr36 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:03 pm

minnesotasam wrote:
Bodhi_mind wrote:...

Yeah, yours is a good post. It frustrates me that their are no tangible consequences from the decision to renege on a huge commitment like TFA. I hate hearing excuses like the ones OP made. If you can't handle a situation then you do what you have to, but don't tell me that "what's best for the kids" played any role whatsoever (and please don't tell yourself that either, come to grips with your decision and accept it.. we're all imperfect).


I didn't quit because I thought it would be best for the kids. It's true that what's best for them is for me to stay and be an effective teacher. However, I knew that I would never be as effective as I would need to be. I quit because I was extremely unhappy with the job, and I did not think I could make big gains with my kids if I hated the work so much. You can call that bs, but it's honestly what I believe. Is this still one of the most selfish decisions I've ever made? Yes.

I seem like a huge douche for now asking how this will affect my law school ambitions, but now that I've left teaching I'm trying to piece everything back together. It's not as if I quit and immediately thought, "oh, well I'd better ask TLS what they think about this."

If it makes you feel better, there are some very tangible consequences. But unfortunately none of those will necessarily ensure that this is easier on the kids. I now owe TFA a shitload of money and I'm unemployed with a lease and a car payment. I doubt those are the consequences you were thinking of, but it's not like I've got some cushy job waiting for me somewhere.

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

Postby countercouper » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:38 pm

minnesotasam wrote:There are lots of us in fact, those of us who actually deeply considered the decision to join and didn't do it because it was supposedly prestigious or it would help you get laid (even though it is--supposedly--and it does help).


This is just a bizarre statement.

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

Postby Bodhi_mind » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:53 am

minnesotasam wrote:
Bodhi_mind wrote:...

Yeah, yours is a good post. It frustrates me that their are no tangible consequences from the decision to renege on a huge commitment like TFA. I hate hearing excuses like the ones OP made. If you can't handle a situation then you do what you have to, but don't tell me that "what's best for the kids" played any role whatsoever (and please don't tell yourself that either, come to grips with your decision and accept it.. we're all imperfect).


Yeah I hear what you're talking about. "What's best for the kids" is total bullshit a.k.a. "what's best for me". I'm certainly imperfect, and that's something that's hit home with me with this experience. I honestly don't know how the kids I was teaching are right now--maybe better, maybe worse, but "I can't change that shit dog it is what it is".

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ccs224
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby ccs224 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:44 am

zephyr36 wrote:
minnesotasam wrote:
Bodhi_mind wrote:...

Yeah, yours is a good post. It frustrates me that their are no tangible consequences from the decision to renege on a huge commitment like TFA. I hate hearing excuses like the ones OP made. If you can't handle a situation then you do what you have to, but don't tell me that "what's best for the kids" played any role whatsoever (and please don't tell yourself that either, come to grips with your decision and accept it.. we're all imperfect).


I didn't quit because I thought it would be best for the kids.



Hey OP, you don't need to apologize to this hole or anyone else. If the whoever really thinks no TFA kids should ever quit, he's welcome to sign up and do it himself.

I taught for four years and miserable teachers are shitty teachers. And they should quit. They should quit for the kids and they should quit for themselves. And whoever thinks different can take the job.

Stop apologizing. Don't apologize to strangers who for all you know have never done a thing for anyone else and certainly don't apologize to admissions.

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

Postby IAFG » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:50 am

emkay625 wrote:
ccs224 wrote:
OnceUponAMemo wrote:Having a year long sub who is even less qualified than a starry-eyed recent grad


TFA members are about as prepared to teach as any randomly selected individual from the street. I wouldn't overestimate to value of having a 22 year old teacher with no experience, nor would I assume that the only alternative is a perma-sub.

Starry-eyed grads are actually one of the worst parts of the TFA program. The idea that one is engaging in some awesome, progressive action is emphasized, while the actual reality, and drudgery, of teaching is not. Thus, you end up with people entering who, thinking they will change the educational system by two years in an underserved school, look around and say "Oh, this is bullshit."



As a corps member, I'm a little offended. To say that any random person is as qualified to teach as I am is simply untrue. I do not think TFA is perfect by any means, but that is unfair and a gross exaggeration.

I lol'd. Lots.

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

Postby Bodhi_mind » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:37 am

ccs224 wrote:
zephyr36 wrote:
minnesotasam wrote:
Bodhi_mind wrote:...

Yeah, yours is a good post. It frustrates me that their are no tangible consequences from the decision to renege on a huge commitment like TFA. I hate hearing excuses like the ones OP made. If you can't handle a situation then you do what you have to, but don't tell me that "what's best for the kids" played any role whatsoever (and please don't tell yourself that either, come to grips with your decision and accept it.. we're all imperfect).


I didn't quit because I thought it would be best for the kids.



Hey OP, you don't need to apologize to this hole or anyone else. If the whoever really thinks no TFA kids should ever quit, he's welcome to sign up and do it himself.

I taught for four years and miserable teachers are shitty teachers. And they should quit. They should quit for the kids and they should quit for themselves. And whoever thinks different can take the job.

Stop apologizing. Don't apologize to strangers who for all you know have never done a thing for anyone else and certainly don't apologize to admissions.


I don't think that's what he's saying ccs. He's questioning her attempts to justify her decision to quit and saying that she should just own up to the decision to quit and get out of there, and not to try to frame it in terms of "what's best for the kids".

I think you're right about your last paragraph. @Zephyr it sounds like you're trying desperately to justify your decision to both yourself and others--there's no need to do that. Just get at peace with the fact that you made a decision that was tough but ultimately best for you, then move on from there. And I hear you about grinding to make car payments/rent/grad school bills from TFA. Good luck!

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

Postby flcath » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:17 am

Some truly grand speculation ITT.

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

Postby OnceUponAMemo » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:52 am

flcath wrote:Some truly grand speculation ITT.


This is very credited. To all the people that say do what's best for you, and if you are unhappy, you should quit. I mean, have you ever faced real adversity? Quitting TFA is selfish, and I am a former corps member that almost quit. Instead, you reflect, reach out to others for help and do whatever it takes because by quitting I guarantee you are furthering, not reducing the achievement gap. But, suck it up for 10 months, then quit after completing a year. Yes, unhappy teachers might not be the most effective. OP here clearly put on the blinders during institute or just deluded himself with all the "I am the greatest" TFA rhetoric that is one of their biggest faults. Either way, quitting is a selfish move.

Rant over. Now, to OP's question, quitting will likely not have an effect on his admission cycle unless he/she writes a ridiculous addendum. If set on writing an addendum, just say I tried it, realized how woefully unprepared I was, gave it my all, but realized I could not be effective or healthy blah blah blah.

The better response would be just to get another job and wait a cycle if possible.

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

Postby minnesotasam » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:07 pm

ccs224 wrote:
zephyr36 wrote:
minnesotasam wrote:
Bodhi_mind wrote:...

Yeah, yours is a good post. It frustrates me that their are no tangible consequences from the decision to renege on a huge commitment like TFA. I hate hearing excuses like the ones OP made. If you can't handle a situation then you do what you have to, but don't tell me that "what's best for the kids" played any role whatsoever (and please don't tell yourself that either, come to grips with your decision and accept it.. we're all imperfect).


I didn't quit because I thought it would be best for the kids.



Hey OP, you don't need to apologize to this hole or anyone else. If the whoever really thinks no TFA kids should ever quit, he's welcome to sign up and do it himself.

Ok, I did that, now what? I'm an alum. And I don't think that, as evidenced by my words quoted in your post.

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ccs224
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Re: I quit Teach for America; will this hurt me?

Postby ccs224 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:42 pm

Sorry for calling you a hole, Sam. I was being an angry drunk.

My point, though, is that OP shouldn't worry about what anyone else thinks about her leaving or the reasons for her leaving; nor should others feel entitled to judge her on them. There are plenty, in fact lots, of educators and administrators who think TFA'ers are pricks for leaving after two years and they apply all the same reasons (selfish, abandoning children, etc) that are being applied to OP. They're similarly invalid.

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

Postby minnesotasam » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:10 pm

It's ok, you know how thick-skinned we are after all. I mostly agree with you (I disagree that its really similar to leaving after two years.. after that its easy to replace with a new corps member or veteran teacher, you have 4+ months). But you touched on my whole point, no excuses, no justifications, just acceptance.

Leaving midyear really does screw things up though.

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

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:36 am

Image

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

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:50 am

If you're not happy with whatever it is in life you're doing you have the absolute right to quit. If you can find a way to omit it without too much complications, I'll advise you to leave it off. This is no different than working at Walmart and walking off the job.

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

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:26 am

Blessedassurance wrote:If you're not happy with whatever it is in life you're doing you have the absolute right to quit. If you can find a way to omit it without too much complications, I'll advise you to leave it off. This is no different than working at Walmart and walking off the job.


MoAr controversy plz. Perhaps a personal attack, or something about inner-city children.

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

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:57 am

Nicholasnickynic wrote:MoAr controversy plz. Perhaps a personal attack, or something about inner-city children.


impress us with your knowledge of the intricacies of the problems facing inner-city kids, your highness.

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

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:21 am

Blessedassurance wrote:
Nicholasnickynic wrote:MoAr controversy plz. Perhaps a personal attack, or something about inner-city children.


impress us with your knowledge of the intricacies of the problems facing inner-city kids, your highness.


"Inner-city kids should get a job." - H. Cain

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

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:54 am

"Let he who is without sin be the first to cast the stone..." - J. Christ. Nazareth, Israel. Zip code unknown.

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

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:41 am

Blessedassurance wrote:
Nicholasnickynic wrote:MoAr controversy plz. Perhaps a personal attack, or something about inner-city children.


impress us with your knowledge of the intricacies of the problems facing inner-city kids, your highness.



Umm... In some poor inner-city area of VA, if black children do well in school their classmates make fun of them and call them oreos- because while they are black on the outside, their good grades mean that they are white on the inside.

That's about all of I've got.

Icanhascontroversynow?




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