Teach for America Reviews

Updated 18 April 2015
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3.8
503 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Matthew Kramer & Elisa Villanueva Beard
100 Ratings

Pros
  • opportunities for professional development and taking on big jobs early in one's career (in 52 reviews)

  • It's nice to know that you're making a difference in people's lives (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • The work/life balance involved in the corps commitment is a significant challenge (in 45 reviews)

  • Long hours and work/personal life balance can be difficult as a first year (in 31 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Marketing teM

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Teach for America full-time

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible work from home. Mission driven.

    Cons

    Feel like small cog in a big wheel.

  2. Kindergarten and First Grade Teacher

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Teach for America full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I was provided with individualized support within the classroom as well as outside of the classroom. I had the opportunity to attend monthly professional development seminars catered to particular areas of interest and was surrounded by a group of intelligent, dedicated Teach for America Corps members.

    Cons

    Although I was provided with support, the support was not always there when I most needed it from the staff. I needed to be very self-sufficient and flexible in terms of acquiring the materials I needed.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to check in with corps members on a regular basis and provide resources to assist teachers to fundraise and mind the materials they need. Conduct more classroom observations to allow for specific feedback.

  3. It is wonderful to be working with incredible mission-aligned individuals

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Director in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (more than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Mission-aligned, focus on students' success, very high-functioning nonprofit

    Cons

    there is a lot of work to get done and working many hours is common, but over time you develop your personal strategies for success

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Great people at great mission oriented place

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Teach for America

    Pros

    Mission
    Growth opps
    Leadership development
    Compensation

    Teach For America is an incredible place to work and learn how to get to results through obstacles.

    Cons

    Work life balance

    The intensity of the work can feel all encompassing at times. It is very hard to create boundaries.

    Advice to Management

    Stay grounded.

  6. Production Assistant

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Teach for America

    Pros

    Great People to work with

    Cons

    I only worked with them for a short period

  7. Challenging but Rewarding

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Teach for America full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Social Capital, Idealism, Great People, Student Loan Forgiveness

    Cons

    Brutal Hours, Hard Work, Psychologically Draining

    Advice to Management

    Communicate realistic expectations to Corps Members

  8. excellent organization

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Charlotte, NC (US)
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Charlotte, NC (US)

    I have been working at Teach for America

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    smart, driven corps members working hard ending the gap!

    Cons

    lots of archetypes involved in the organization, especially corps members

    Advice to Management

    find different recruitment strategies

  9. My TFA experience was incredibly rewarding but challenging.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - TFA Corps Member in North Charleston, SC (US)
    Current Employee - TFA Corps Member in North Charleston, SC (US)

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Extremely impactful work. You will forge very fulfilling relationships with students. You will become hyper-organized. You will how to segment large problems into smaller problems, how to use data to drive decision making in the classroom, and how to effectively communicate concepts to different learners. You will also learn effective stake-holder management.

    Cons

    Compensation is extremely low. Work-life balance is non-existent. You will literally work 14 hour days every day your first year. Also Challenges of the school you are in can at times feel overwhelming. You will deal with difficult students and will serve not only as a teacher but also a motivator, disciplinarian, and sometimes-regrettably-even a parent. Depending on location, placement can be isolating and extremely distant from other young professionals.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent with the challenges incoming corp-members will experience in the classroom.

  10. Great team of professionals - lots of clear structures and systems.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Recruitment Manager in New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Recruitment Manager in New York, NY (US)

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Predictable, structured, thoughtful, smart - Teach For America has built out a very thoughtful org chart that allows JDs to be predictable and work flow expected.

    Cons

    Can be repetitive - especially in recruitment you can begin to feel a little bit like a cog in a wheel.

    Advice to Management

    Allow more stretch projects - after a year on staff I was afforded opportunities to have stretch projects and this was really great.

  11. Helpful (2)

    Lots of internal/management issues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director, Development
    Current Employee - Director, Development

    I have been working at Teach for America full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are kind and well-intentioned, and the organization supports diversity and a wide range of lifestyles and perspectives. The work is for a good cause. The network of peers and supporters is powerful. The hours are reasonable (40-50/week)

    Cons

    Management is generally too young and inexperienced, yet there is not open acknowledgment of room for growth at the top, nor efforts to recruit more expertise. Operations are poor: disorganized and reactive. There is not a lot of thought given to efficiency or leveraging synergies across teams and regions. Teams are siloed, leading to redundancies. Innovation is tossed around a lot as a concept, but there are not clear procedures and protocols for ensuring innovation is happening and reinforced through codification of best practices. Regions do not have adequate capacity to support PR and communications, data management, technology - these functions are consolidated at the center, which is quite disconnected and even sometimes at odds with the needs of regions. Poor professional development and salary is relatively low.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be more consistent and transparent accountability and performance management structures for upper management, especially in regions. Retention should be more proactively driven through positive rewards for excellent performance - I have seen a lot of attrition of good talent and then retention of those who are comfortable with the status quo. Regions continue to need added capacity in support services, and this should be more decentralized, while the central org should be playing a much bigger role in coordination within and across regions, as well as in identifying efficiencies. Spend more time on operations, professional development of hard skills, less time on internal messaging, soft skills development. There's a lot of rhetoric floating around but very poor execution and concrete implementation strategy.

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