Subscribe Today
Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13
You Are Here: Read an Article > View All Posts for the Article > Read a Post
Read a Post for The Promise of Older Novices: Teach For America Teachers’ Age of Entry and Subsequent Retention in Teaching and Schools
Reply to this Post

* TFAs in teaching......

Posted By: carol lucchesi on June 10, 2014
The majority of TFAs sign on because of the perks---a large percentage of their student loans are paid for, some cities provide housing, and it's a boost to their resumes.
The supposition that TFAs are qualified to teach ("even Duncan agrees") is wrong on many levels. The major reason for this "opinion" is it provides low costs to districts by hiring TFAs every few years at starting salaries. Experienced teachers, who will cost more in the long run and will likely be involved in a union, is more troublesome to the "Reform Agenda".

Are these schools really"hard to staff"? Or, is it the political spin needed to hire TFAs? Many newly certified teachers apply but are turned away in order to hire TFAs. And with TFA given special status as "highly-effective teachers" with only a few short weeks of training via Congressional legislation, puts a greater strain on those teachers straight out of college to find a position. Teaching is no longer a career but truly becoming short-term employment as politicians look for ways to rid schools of experienced teachers.

However, there is a greater problem with retention whether it be TFA or those who are called to teaching. And, it has to do with the lack of support for teachers and the constant demoralization of the profession. The emphasis on testing over teaching and low pay are forcing good teachers, new and experienced, to leave the profession. As for TFA, we are learning via social media that many leave due to their lack of training and lack of support from TFA after they are assigned. The way you cannot give a rookie cop a gun and put him on the streets after a few weeks of training, you cannot do this to a teacher in training.

As to why older TFAs stay, could it be because they know, given their association with TFA, they can move up the administration ladder faster and find government positions as well regardless of their lack of years teaching. They see former TFAs in positions of power and high salaries with only 2 years of teaching under their belt. And, it is hard to find a career teacher leading a school system in this current political climate. I would say this is a big incentive to stay.
Thread Hierarchy
 TFAs in teaching...... by carol lucchesi on June 10, 2014  * 
    Member Center
    In Print
    This Month's Issue