TFA...wait a sec.....

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tseliot
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby tseliot » Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:45 pm

Look, it's all about TFA's rep--I really think that's what it comes down to. It's a highly selective program. Comparing it vs. regular teaching is like comparing a UG degree from HYP to a UG degree from a regular state school. Obviously one is going to impress more than the other, and there's a reason for that, naturally.

And to agree with something that's already been said, certain posters seem to hint at possible past rejections from TFA... Jussayin'.

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prezidentv8
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:48 pm

muddywaters wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:Peace Corps I can see getting singled out. But I just don't see anything extraordinary about TFA or Americorps...they seem like regular softs to me...I mean it's teaching...which is good, like I said...but not exactly amazing. The Americorps people where I'm at go to grammar schools and help kids with homework...a nice thing, to be sure, but its also for a stipend and not that hard. I don't know, these things seem like they magically get tossed in with war vets, and easily beat things like elite athletics and community leadership positions (ie. small/local nonprofits), which take just as much time and dedication.


Also, this isn't ragging on anyone, I was just noticing a lot of specific attention given to TFA and was wondering why.


You were denied, huh? S'okay...


Nope, 6/6 on the law school apps so far (although I'm sure a denial is coming from a few places), and never heard of TFA before I logged onto TLS. I had heard of a similar program that repays loans (might just be in California), but never TFA specifically. Like I said, it seems like a great program, and a wonderful thing to do - just not so much that it should be singled out from what some other people on here have done.

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prezidentv8
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:52 pm

FuturehoyaLawya wrote:
its special because not that many people can handle this kind of work.....you said it yourself--you couldn't.


I'm about 99% confident that I said I wouldn't.

I'm also about 99% confident that I could.

mvhsbball22
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby mvhsbball22 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:03 pm

This thread is very interesting. As a current corps member, I'll throw my two cents in.

I think the most salient difference between TFA and teaching in low-income districts otherwise comes in the form of the numerous other commitments that corps members are expected to fulfill. In my region, for example, over 90% of members are in a full-time master's degree program in order to fulfill a state requirement. On top of this large time commitment, we are also required to attend many professional development meetings throughout the year, as well as pursuing professional development through other means to meet a certain number of PD points. The time commitment of these endeavors should not be underestimated.

That being said, I think any law school would look positively on an applicant who has dedicated two years to serving in a low-income district. Realistically, however, many law schools have partnered with TFA because they are both screening for similar qualities: dedication, commitment, intelligence, and collegiality. Because of this screening, an average TFA corps member is much more likely to be involved with the school and community outside of "simply" teaching, whether this is through coaching, mentoring, starting clubs, or many other examples.

~RC

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prezidentv8
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:15 pm

mvhsbball22 wrote:This thread is very interesting. As a current corps member, I'll throw my two cents in.

I think the most salient difference between TFA and teaching in low-income districts otherwise comes in the form of the numerous other commitments that corps members are expected to fulfill. In my region, for example, over 90% of members are in a full-time master's degree program in order to fulfill a state requirement. On top of this large time commitment, we are also required to attend many professional development meetings throughout the year, as well as pursuing professional development through other means to meet a certain number of PD points. The time commitment of these endeavors should not be underestimated.

That being said, I think any law school would look positively on an applicant who has dedicated two years to serving in a low-income district. Realistically, however, many law schools have partnered with TFA because they are both screening for similar qualities: dedication, commitment, intelligence, and collegiality. Because of this screening, an average TFA corps member is much more likely to be involved with the school and community outside of "simply" teaching, whether this is through coaching, mentoring, starting clubs, or many other examples.

~RC


Thank you for your well-thought-out and reasonable post.

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badfish
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby badfish » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:27 pm

TFA screening process and other (compulsory) commitments seem like the best arguments in favor of the additional boost (above other low-income teachers).

kjunfood
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby kjunfood » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:28 pm

I stopped reading this thread after the 2nd page because it was clear to me that no one else was reading it. You all started going off on tangents and arguing about points that weren't even originally brought up.

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20160810
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby 20160810 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:48 pm

I was going to sit this one out, but... nah.

Why do TFA Corps Members get a boost that other teachers don't? First of all, we've all taken this to be true (except for maybe one other poster itt) and I don't know that it is. I think years of teaching in a tough public school anywhere should be a good soft. That said, the only reason TFAers would get a boost is because of the program's name recognition. It generally has the reputation as a program that takes the top of the class at fancy-pants private universities.

Do TFA Corps Members deserve a big bounce in admissions? A better question is "Can SBL approach this question without massive bias?" (Hint, the answer is "no"). The only answer here is "Compared to whom?" Compared to a guy who lost his foot serving in Iraq, I damn well better not get one bit of an admissions boost. Compared to some guy who was the beer pong chair for his fraternity house, I damn well better get a big boost. Frankly, I think it's a loaded question, but the simple fact is that: TFA is a selective program, the one-month training is brutal, and the work is really, really hard. I realize that applies to a lot of varieties of work experience, and I do think that TFA applicants benefit from how well-branded TFA has become. But whether that benefit is "undeserved" is another issue entirely.

Should SBL be let into Boalt purely because of his involvement in this program? No. They should also take note of the many leadership positions I held in my fraternity and then let me in.

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Corsair
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby Corsair » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:31 pm

..

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20160810
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby 20160810 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:44 pm

Corsair wrote:Simple answer: It isn't a great anything. It is fairly common among law school applicants based on the forums. Most law school applicants get in exactly where their numbers suggest they will. This includes those with TFA.



Image

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MHP
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby MHP » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:18 pm

LawandOrder wrote:
MHP wrote:I am a teacher.

I did NOT do TFA.

I went to an undergrad engineering/science school and did not pursue a degree in education and I guess I could have had a lot of jobs other than teaching.

I went through an alternative certification program (albeit, one somewhat modeled after TFA) for one summer before entering the classroom. I teach special education. I teach students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. I usually have two, large male assistants with me at all times. I have taught in the worst urban schools (middle school, at that) and the poorest rural schools. My students are unable to function in a regular education room. They need extreme support, frequent counseling and constant redirection. My job is damn hard and I am damn good at it. This is my fifth year.

Perhaps I've gotten a boost this admissions cycle. I've had solid acceptances. I think that there are a lot of TFAers out there applying to law school and so if anything, the fact that I am NOT from TFA makes me a bit more of a unique candidate. Also, does anyone from TFA end up teaching the behaviorally disturbed? I don't know for sure, but I doubt it.

But anyway, yes, I think I've gotten whatever boost I deserved given the altruism, dedication and imperturbability demanded by my current profession. (For the record, we had an Ivy League TFAer at my inner city middle school during my second year there. She quit mid-year.) In my opinion, being a teacher-- even one NOT from TFA-- can help in admissions.


Can you enlighten me about your motivation for doing what you do?


I like a good challenge.
And I understand the lives of outcasts and rebels, outlaws and delinquents. It was one of those things that I didn't set out to find: it found me.

I am wondering this: What do adcoms think about our leaving the teaching profession? Not many people get a JD and return to the classroom. Our applications serve as a symbol of the poor teacher-retention rates across this country. We might have been hard-working, bright-eyed, hopeful champions of education for two years here, five years there, but now we are all in hot pursuit of a new career. (I say this simply to start a discussion, as I personally feel that if you spend any amount of time teaching in high-needs public schools, you are forever affected by your experiences. Just wanted to give you guys something to argue about. :wink: )

SDGirl
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby SDGirl » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:30 pm

I don't think everyone who leaves teaching to do something else (such as go to law school) is doing it with the intention of going and getting that high paying big law job. You have to remember that the education problem in this country is multi-faceted, so to truly fix it, you're going to need law makers, people in school administration, as well as the teachers on the ground. For example, my bf is planning on applying to law schools after his TFA commitment is over. But he's planning on pursuing a career in education law. Having the first hand experience of being a teacher will give him more insight as to what the problems in the system are and how to address them...

Also, I don't think most people who go into TFA plan on making teaching their career (even though a large number of them do decide to remain teachers after their 2 year commitment is over). Adcomms know that corps members usually have other career prospects but are taking time to help out their communities. So I don't think those who don't decide to remain teachers are really looked down upon by adcomms, because that's the whole gist of the whole program...

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frank_the_tank
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby frank_the_tank » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:31 pm

One thing I learned by reading this thread----You people are HORRIBLE at quoting.

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Lizface killah
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby Lizface killah » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:35 pm

Corsair wrote:Simple answer: It isn't a great anything. It is fairly common among law school applicants based on the forums. Most law school applicants get in exactly where their numbers suggest they will. This includes those with TFA.



Then how do you account for all of the people who get in below the medians? They had to have something that put them over the top. I would hope that these people have great softs, URM status, and/or excellent personal statements, otherwise the whole process would be pretty arbitrary.

upsnyf
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby upsnyf » Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:58 pm

My son is currently completing his second year working at an inner city school for TFA. He has no supplies, no books, nothing to assist him. The kids don't have art programs or even a library. My son has been threatened and even had a knife pulled on him. He said it is the hardest thing that he has ever done in his life, and that law school will be a "breeze" after this. On the other hand, it has been rewarding in many ways as well.
With his salary of $45,000. and half of his monthly rent costing $1,250., not much left over to live in the big apple.
In college he double majored in both history and philosophy, with a 3.8 grade average in both. He was the vice-president of a 150 member school organization. In his senior year he applied to several law schools, only to be wait listed at Cornell. In the mean time, TFA had been recruiting him and asked him to apply. By the way, TFA only requires a 2.0 gpa for acceptance. It is more about leadership than actual grades. My son is a true leader and has been since grade school. In high school there were several smarter kids in his class, but if an impromptu speach was needed, who did they look to to do that? That's leadership.
He got a 169 on his LSats and just found out that he was accepted to Michigan Law. He is absolutely thrilled. I think he could have done it without TFA.
TFA looks for people that they view to be "future leaders". The idea is to have them experience the inner city school situation with the hope, that down the road, when they are in a leadership role, that they will work to make change happen.
My son plans to do just that. He hopes to be a senator one day.
Teach for America is a wonderful institution and I hope that their goals will one day be realized through the experience and the efforts of their alumni.

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frank_the_tank
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby frank_the_tank » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:03 pm

upsnyf wrote:My son is currently completing his second year working at an inner city school for TFA. He has no supplies, no books, nothing to assist him. The kids don't have art programs or even a library. My son has been threatened and even had a knife pulled on him. He said it is the hardest thing that he has ever done in his life, and that law school will be a "breeze" after this. On the other hand, it has been rewarding in many ways as well.
With his salary of $45,000. and half of his monthly rent costing $1,250., not much left over to live in the big apple.
In college he double majored in both history and philosophy, with a 3.8 grade average in both. He was the vice-president of a 150 member school organization. In his senior year he applied to several law schools, only to be wait listed at Cornell. In the mean time, TFA had been recruiting him and asked him to apply. By the way, TFA only requires a 2.0 gpa for acceptance. It is more about leadership than actual grades. My son is a true leader and has been since grade school. In high school there were several smarter kids in his class, but if an impromptu speach was needed, who did they look to to do that? That's leadership.
He got a 169 on his LSats and just found out that he was accepted to Michigan Law. He is absolutely thrilled. I think he could have done it without TFA.
TFA looks for people that they view to be "future leaders". The idea is to have them experience the inner city school situation with the hope, that down the road, when they are in a leadership role, that they will work to make change happen.
My son plans to do just that. He hopes to be a senator one day.
Teach for America is a wonderful institution and I hope that their goals will one day be realized through the experience and the efforts of their alumni.


Is your son retarded? Why is he paying 2500 a month in rent?

markymark
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby markymark » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:12 pm

As a sidenote, did any of you feel that the TFA recruiters were absolutely obnoxious? I swear I got TFA emails from some former graduate every single day! I had to say no like 4 times before they relented. I know it is an admirable thing and all, but I know of several people who went to ACE instead of TFA because of how obnoxious the people were.

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Lizface killah
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby Lizface killah » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:31 pm

frank_the_tank wrote:
upsnyf wrote:My son is currently completing his second year working at an inner city school for TFA. He has no supplies, no books, nothing to assist him. The kids don't have art programs or even a library. My son has been threatened and even had a knife pulled on him. He said it is the hardest thing that he has ever done in his life, and that law school will be a "breeze" after this. On the other hand, it has been rewarding in many ways as well.
With his salary of $45,000. and half of his monthly rent costing $1,250., not much left over to live in the big apple.
In college he double majored in both history and philosophy, with a 3.8 grade average in both. He was the vice-president of a 150 member school organization. In his senior year he applied to several law schools, only to be wait listed at Cornell. In the mean time, TFA had been recruiting him and asked him to apply. By the way, TFA only requires a 2.0 gpa for acceptance. It is more about leadership than actual grades. My son is a true leader and has been since grade school. In high school there were several smarter kids in his class, but if an impromptu speach was needed, who did they look to to do that? That's leadership.
He got a 169 on his LSats and just found out that he was accepted to Michigan Law. He is absolutely thrilled. I think he could have done it without TFA.
TFA looks for people that they view to be "future leaders". The idea is to have them experience the inner city school situation with the hope, that down the road, when they are in a leadership role, that they will work to make change happen.
My son plans to do just that. He hopes to be a senator one day.
Teach for America is a wonderful institution and I hope that their goals will one day be realized through the experience and the efforts of their alumni.


Is your son retarded? Why is he paying 2500 a month in rent?


He has a roomate. NYC is expensive. I'm splitting a 2 Bedroom outside of D.C. 3-ways and the total rent is almost that much. That said. I don't know why this guy is surfing TLS for his son. I love my parents a lot and am very proud of them, but I would go all middle school melodramatic death by embarrassment if I caught my mom posting here.

upsnyf
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby upsnyf » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:36 pm

You wrote: "Is your son retarded? Why is he paying 2500 a month in rent?"

Maybe he is retarded, but he told me that $2,500. was the least expensive place that he and his roommate could find in an area of Manhatten that was safe to live in. He said that they got lucky, that it was under priced. They have to walk 3 flights of stairs, no elevator which would be nice for moving furniture, and you have to walk through one bedroom to get to the other. He thinks he was very lucky to find it.

Me, ummm, no I wouldn't pay that kind of rent, however, I don't have to live in nyc either!

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frank_the_tank
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby frank_the_tank » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:39 pm

Haha, aww ok now I feel bad.

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Lizface killah
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby Lizface killah » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:40 pm

upsnyf wrote:Maybe he is retarded


Nm. You're cooler than my parents. :)

upsnyf
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby upsnyf » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:48 pm

You wrote: "That said. I don't know why this guy is surfing TLS for his son. I love my parents a lot and am very proud of them, but I would go all middle school melodramatic death by embarrassment if I caught my mom posting here."

He would too! If you know him please don't tell him! I only wrote to confirm some of the things I read, and to explain some things that I didn't think were addressed. Wanted to point out the 2.0 gpa, that I believe that TFA is more about leadership than anything else, that I don't believe that TFA made a difference in his law school acceptance and why TFA is seeking leaders. Further, I could be wrong about everything I said regarding TFA. I only commented on various things that I've read about them, not any first hand experience. Finally, I am not a guy. I am a Mom. A proud Mom, I guess. Cut me some slack. :wink:

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Lizface killah
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby Lizface killah » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:51 pm

upsnyf wrote:You wrote: "That said. I don't know why this guy is surfing TLS for his son. I love my parents a lot and am very proud of them, but I would go all middle school melodramatic death by embarrassment if I caught my mom posting here."

He would too! If you know him please don't tell him! I only wrote to confirm some of the things I read, and to explain some things that I didn't think were addressed. Wanted to point out the 2.0 gpa, that I believe that TFA is more about leadership than anything else, that I don't believe that TFA made a difference in his law school acceptance and why TFA is seeking leaders. Further, I could be wrong about everything I said regarding TFA. I only commented on various things that I've read about them, not any first hand experience. Finally, I am not a guy. I am a Mom. A proud Mom, I guess. Cut me some slack. :wink:


Awww. Sorry about that (damn masculine/neutral gender assumptions). You're an awesome mom.

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frank_the_tank
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby frank_the_tank » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:06 pm

Just FYI upsnyf, you can use the quote function on the bottom right side of peoples posts to avoid having to do the " You wrote:..." thing.

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radical4peace
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Re: TFA...wait a sec.....

Postby radical4peace » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:08 pm

bcb1986 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:Peace Corps I can see getting singled out. But I just don't see anything extraordinary about TFA or Americorps...they seem like regular softs to me...I mean it's teaching...which is good, like I said...but not exactly amazing. The Americorps people where I'm at go to grammar schools and help kids with homework...a nice thing, to be sure, but its also for a stipend and not that hard. I don't know, these things seem like they magically get tossed in with war vets, and easily beat things like elite athletics and community leadership positions (ie. small/local nonprofits), which take just as much time and dedication.


Also, this isn't ragging on anyone, I was just noticing a lot of specific attention given to TFA and was wondering why.

Make a friend that does TFA, and then you will understand. It's an absolutely unbelievable program, and I have the utmost respect for anyone willing to give two years (and it's a 24/7 job) of their young lives to some of the nation's poorest, struggling kids.
These people have (1) proven leadership ability, and (2) they are passionate about their endeavors. These are two traits that are difficult to bring to life in a law school application, but they are outstanding traits for lawyers.

And, no it's not "just" teaching. It's the most rigorous training program you can imagine, and it throws college grads with zero experience into the nation's worst schools. The people they select are turning these schools around - something the experts haven't been able to do.

I have 4 very close friends in the program. 99% of the people I know don't have the heart, much less the ability and drive, for the program. Every TFA member deserves to stand out among the pool of law school applicants. Period.


As a TFA alum, I would hug you if I could. :)




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