Monday, April 6, 2009

TFA versus Boston Teachers

Dear Joanne Jacobs, thank you for an unbiased approach to a touchy subject: Teach For America and the Boston teachers. 

Teach For America has been stereotyped, 

" They come from places like Harvard, Yale, and Brown, inspired to share their energy and knowledge with public school children..." 

They have one part right, Teach For America is full of individuals inspired to share their energy and work with real children, but this elitist stereotype has got to go. TFA is filled with individuals who are often incredibly motivated to move mountains, and often do. Teaching has one of the biggest turn around rates of all careers, and TFA members are no exception. Still, there are many individuals who stay in the field, or at least meander around the realms of education for some time afterwards. 

Boston seems to be rejecting TFA, trying to throw it out before it gets there...but it is coming,  and when the new teachers get there they will be joining a union that seems to hate the sheer entity that is TFA.

What do you see when you think about Teach For America? Do you see an elite rich white student who has never worked with children and suddenly thinks they can change the world? I don't, and I'm tired of people stereotyping Teach For America. Get to know the teachers, the individuals, and then make your decision. The Boston union is doing these incoming teachers a disservice by rejecting them before they come in, no one wants to walk into a negative work environment, and remember, in the end, what the union should be thinking about is the students, and giving them the best possible education. 

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