Teach for America

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
hellomoto
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:32 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby hellomoto » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:48 am

Thanks again for all your help guys! One last question: I know they asked you on the initial application what your plans are if you didnt get admitted into TFA, but do they also ask you again during your in-person interview? In other words, do they ask you if you have any other job lined up should you be rejected?


They actually did ask me this. My general rule in interviews is to always tell the truth and just be candid. My interviewer asked me whether I had any other plans besides TFA, and I told them about how I had already secured post-graduation options (a marketing job at Disney or the Peace Corps). I don't think it made any impact one way or another with my application. I ended up being admitted and joining Teach for America, where I am now in my 3rd year of teaching.

(Oh, and another thing--organization is important. However, it also happens to be one of my weakest characteristics. I was very candid with my interviewer about my organizational skills. I have never successfully used a day-planner and I am awful with keeping track of and doing paperwork.)

Berkeley09
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby Berkeley09 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:32 pm

Hey guys! I have my interview coming up in a cople days and i had one quick question for people who have already been through the process: do the guys wear full suits (i.e. with a jacket) or just slacks, shirt, and tie? I have to go get my dry cleaning done today so I just want to know what i should take....i was thinking about going without a jacket, but what did other people do? Thanks

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zonkadonk
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:26 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby zonkadonk » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:13 pm

full suit, no question. a dude showed up in the old sweater, shirt, and tie combo, and he looked out of place. We ended up eating lunch together, and at one point he mentioned that he felt underdressed.

Berkeley09
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby Berkeley09 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:24 pm

zonkadonk wrote:full suit, no question. a dude showed up in the old sweater, shirt, and tie combo, and he looked out of place. We ended up eating lunch together, and at one point he mentioned that he felt underdressed.


Thanks so much for your help man...i guess i'll have to go back and drop off the jacket as well...sorry to bother you again, but the guys weren't wearing black suits were they? i'd imagine that's a bit too formal (i was going to wear a navy blue or grayish black suit)

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ShadowRabbit
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:34 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby ShadowRabbit » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:31 pm

I really wish I had found out about TFA a year ago. Definitely would have done it before law school, not as a soft as I doubt it would matter, but because its a good cause.

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ShadowRabbit
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:34 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby ShadowRabbit » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:31 pm

MrSoOoFLy wrote:
YankeeFan wrote:Teach for America, Peace Corps, blah, blah, blah. If you think any of that crap will get you into a better law school-you are mistaken. I haven't done ANY of that community service and plan on going to the University of Chicago School of Law in 2010.


I was BORN and BRED for SUCCESS and ACHIEVEMENT.


Oh yeah... Why don't you plan on shutting fuck up once in a while?


BTW, epic, +1

mvhsbball22
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:20 am

Re: Teach for America

Postby mvhsbball22 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:49 pm

Berkeley09 wrote:
zonkadonk wrote:full suit, no question. a dude showed up in the old sweater, shirt, and tie combo, and he looked out of place. We ended up eating lunch together, and at one point he mentioned that he felt underdressed.


Thanks so much for your help man...i guess i'll have to go back and drop off the jacket as well...sorry to bother you again, but the guys weren't wearing black suits were they? i'd imagine that's a bit too formal (i was going to wear a navy blue or grayish black suit)



Just like all professional occasions, black is probably a little too much. A normal dark grey or navy suit is your best option to make your clothes not an issue, which should be the goal.

That being said, you're not going to get dinged for wearing a black suit.

EdmondDantes
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:38 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby EdmondDantes » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:58 pm

mvhsbball22 wrote:
Berkeley09 wrote:
zonkadonk wrote:full suit, no question. a dude showed up in the old sweater, shirt, and tie combo, and he looked out of place. We ended up eating lunch together, and at one point he mentioned that he felt underdressed.


Thanks so much for your help man...i guess i'll have to go back and drop off the jacket as well...sorry to bother you again, but the guys weren't wearing black suits were they? i'd imagine that's a bit too formal (i was going to wear a navy blue or grayish black suit)



Just like all professional occasions, black is probably a little too much. A normal dark grey or navy suit is your best option to make your clothes not an issue, which should be the goal.

That being said, you're not going to get dinged for wearing a black suit.


As a current TFAer, I can attest that not everyone that doesn't wear a suit is rejected (I did not wear a suit and still got in). As long as you have nice pants, shirt, tie, etc. the lack of a jacket doesn't really matter.

As they always say... the man makes the clothes, the clothes don't make the man.

And as advice for the lesson... MAKE SURE you have some way to check if your "class" understood or not. This is huge and is a reason some people can get rejected. Even if it is something as simple as hold up 1, 2 or 3 fingers for the right answer DO NOT forget this. Be a real person, make them want to accept you. They want to accept as many people as they can. Make sure your paperwork is in order, to say they care about organization is no joke. If you tell them you have a date organizer with assignments, tests, work, etc. in it they will ask to see it.

Just make sure you come across as a decent person who genuinely cares and has leadership experience they can explain you will be fine.

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20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby 20160810 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:07 pm

My number one tip for success in Teach For America is to program the Suicide Prevention Hotline number into your speed dial ASAP.


... 73 days left...

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hmlee
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:12 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby hmlee » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:23 pm

I can't answer your initial question, but I can tell you that I have a friend who has been "waitlisted" at TFA because of the record number of applicants this year and the fact that many school districts are short of cash due to the economy. Something to think about...

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zonkadonk
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:26 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby zonkadonk » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:19 pm

sbl, you gotta be the most desperate current corps member I've talked to. i'm pretty seriously considering my offer, but your posts give me pause. you mind sharing a few more details about your experience (grade level, charter or traditional, etc.), now that cycles are winding down?

and for the record, i had to wear my black suit (because I spilled coffee on my navy one that morning) and i got in. so yeah, no big shakes either way. good luck!

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20160810
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Re: Teach for America

Postby 20160810 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:24 pm

zonkadonk wrote:sbl, you gotta be the most desperate current corps member I've talked to. i'm pretty seriously considering my offer, but your posts give me pause. you mind sharing a few more details about your experience (grade level, charter or traditional, etc.), now that cycles are winding down?

and for the record, i had to wear my black suit (because I spilled coffee on my navy one that morning) and i got in. so yeah, no big shakes either way. good luck!


My big problem is that I just don't like teaching. Most people in TFA are fired up about it, but it doesn't do a lot for me. So there's no real motivation, which means the only thing that gets most people through a pretty rough job is absent for me. But yeah, I've taught 8th and 5th grade and both have been a real kick in the shorts. PM me for horror stories and whatnot.

Berkeley09
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby Berkeley09 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:05 pm

Sorry for bumping this thread again but I had one last question. I have heard that TFA likes applicants who were involved in frats/sororities. First of all, for people who have been through the process, do you think this is true? And second, if yes, then how would you go about incorporating it into your one-on-one interview (do they ask you straight out?)?

Thanks a lot for your help guys!

ehouse5
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:40 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby ehouse5 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:19 pm

Sorry for bumping this thread again but I had one last question. I have heard that TFA likes applicants who were involved in frats/sororities. First of all, for people who have been through the process, do you think this is true? And second, if yes, then how would you go about incorporating it into your one-on-one interview (do they ask you straight out?)?


TFA does not favor or dislike those involved in Greek life. Leadership is incredibly important, but whether or not it was in Greek life makes no difference whatsoever. I was a Panhel VP in college and that role was key to my admission to TFA, but they are equally impressed with leadership roles in other organizations. Also, my GPA was well below the average for TFA admits. Like earlier posters have said, leadership is key, and it can easily outweigh other factors.

I'm actually in my 3rd year of teaching in DC and work part-time for TFA helping high school science teachers, but I will be attending law school next year. The job is incredibly demanding and stressful, but it can be very rewarding. If you'd like to talk about TFA let me know and we can get in touch. I had some really high highs and very low lows with TFA, so I'd give you my honest assessment, not a TFA recruitment speech.

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20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Teach for America

Postby 20160810 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:24 pm

Berkeley09 wrote:Sorry for bumping this thread again but I had one last question. I have heard that TFA likes applicants who were involved in frats/sororities. First of all, for people who have been through the process, do you think this is true? And second, if yes, then how would you go about incorporating it into your one-on-one interview (do they ask you straight out?)?

Thanks a lot for your help guys!


1. TFA doesn't care very much one way or the other, but if you can make the case that your fraternity/sorority experience helped you build leadership skills, then that's a case you want to make. Philanthropy experience is also worthwhile during the TFA application process. There were only about 10 dudes in my incoming TFA corps, and 7 of us were in frats.

2. PM me with which house you were in at Cal.




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