Guest post by Jamie Paul
Program Coordinator for Campus and Community outreach
NAU Career Development at University College
US News and World Report says that this year “will mark the largest one-year hiring growth since the 1999-2000 school year!” Everyone seems to be hiring, and everyone wants you – the recent college graduate! A few weeks ago we wrote about the some of the fabulous opportunities for recent grads to make an impact as Teach for America Corps members. The next TFA application deadline is this December 5th, and this program is definitely a force for change in the new job market. Take a look at the various partnerships TFA facilitates with graduate schools and big names in the private sector that allow for deferred hiring or enrollment, and increased financial opportunities after completing your service.
Read on to find out how the TFA experience affected Andre and Mark’s post-grad careers and refer to our Part I blog post featuring other TFA alumni.
Andre Calderon Houston ‘99
NOW: I am an Instructional Facilitator in Seattle, WA, where I also Consultant with Youth Truth Student Survey on increasing student voice in schools.
THEN: I taught for 3 years at Lantrip Elementary. I stayed a 3rd year at my placement school and kick started my lifetime career in education. Being a TFA alumni has greatly impacted my career. I taught for 13 years in TX and WA State and moved to instructional coaching over the last 4. I continue meeting and working with TFA alumni doing inspiring work for all children.
Mark Meier – New Orleans ‘99
NOW: Teaching research writing at VCU, which prides itself on being a university that gets students of all backgrounds to graduate. My department, Focused Inquiry, is sort of like a mini-TFA within the university, though I didn’t pick it for that (unlike many of my peers). I was simply following a spouse’s career, applied, got the offer. I keep getting sucked back into teaching whenever I move and need a new job. It’s a worthwhile endeavor, but I’m also always drawn to something related to the environment. We’ll see what happens next.
THEN: I was shoved around a lot in general. Planned to teach high school science, instead got hired in second grade, then was moved to first, then was moved back to second. School had to fire three people at the end of the year, so I was glad to be one of them as the last hired. Got a job in second year teaching high school physics and physical science, which went much better. Turned down the offer to teach calculus if I stayed in New Orleans and went back to Boston, where the only job offers I got were to teach, so I did for two years in a charter high school. TFA made me more interested in race, education, and urban America in general, which partly sent me into sociology grad school. It also gave me the topic for my first novel manuscript, which may forever remain in manuscript unless I get lucky soon or publish it myself. I think TFA made me a better informed, more resilient person in general.