Alternative Paths to a Job in the Classroom: Why and Why Not?



If you chose NOT to major in Teaching of English, and you’re now second-guessing that decision as graduation looms, several organizations can give you another path to a teaching job: an intensive summer-long training, followed by placement in a school for the fall. There is a competitive and lengthy application process for these programs.

Teach for America is advertising its Oct. 30 application deadline in signs around the English building, and the local chapter is holding recruiting events this fall.

The Indianapolis Teaching Fellows Program just emailed us to encourage us to tell students about their Nov. 9 deadline.

City Year Chicago, associated with Americorps, does not recruit as aggressively as TFA, but it’s a similar program with a Nov. 15 deadline.

Programs like these are controversial.  Detractors say that the quick training they offer cannot adequately take the place of standard credentialing and that placing under-trained teachers in classrooms further undermines the low-income schools and communities such programs are meant to serve. Supporters say that these programs serve a real need in bringing excellent teachers to the schools that need them.

Before you commit your time and energy to the application process, research the particular program that interests you and know both sides of the debate. As you should in any job search, use, LinkedIn, and your own network to learn as much as you can about the organization.  Talk to classroom teachers and find out what they think.

Assess yourself, as well.  Teaching can be rewarding, but it is also grueling and all-consuming.  If your long-term plans don’t include working in the education field (that is, if you’re only considering these programs because you don’t have many other ideas), there are easier ways to earn an income while figuring out what you want to do next.  Make an appointment with Kirstin Wilcox, Director of Internships, at 333-4346 to discuss your options.

Leave a Reply