Truth For America— Alums Reflect on @TeachForAmerica 25th Anniversary Ep3

Truth For America is a podcast that provides voice to educators, parents, students and other stakeholders about Teach For America.  Episode 3 is co-hosted by Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig and Jameson Brewer. They are joined by Amber, Leah and Gary, three TFA alums. They reflect on their experiences with TFA and the 25th Anniversary event recently held in Washington D.C.

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One comment

  • Although the TFA-ers here are getting the shaft and I try to search for compassion in my heart for them, I find very little.
    These people who posed as teachers can go on, beyond their debt, beyond their terrible situation-that they CHOSE-beyond the realization of their arrogance thinking they could be teachers without knowledge, practice or skill for some of our country’s most deserving children, BEYOND the hardship they endured for such a very short amount of time, and with an improved resume.
    The worst of it might be the financial hardship. But even with that there is a way out, eventually. Whereas our children, who they claim to teach, are there in their situations of poverty, hunger, possible disability, and danger-not to mention systemic racism.

    I am a licensed teacher, a Reading Specialist, and as noted on my license, a Master Teacher. I taught for 20 years in poor, violent neighborhoods. I was born in the United States to a a working class, not on welfare family. I am a second generation American of a family of immigrants and many accents. I got a fairly decent education and consider myself very lucky. I chose to teach in high priority schools because I believed the students there deserved the best qualified and highly devoted teachers.

    I taught students who were from generations of people on welfare, drug abuse, ex cons, and criminals. I taught generations of children with brain and personality disorders due to drug abuse while in their mothers’ uterus. They experienced violence against them personally and/or witnessed violence against others. I buried many students who were shot dead by the police or by their peers. I helped many students be successful, graduate from high school, and go to college.

    None of my students chose to be born into their situations. Not many of my students got to go BEYOND their circumstances. They entered kindergarten already behind, not due to lack of ability but due to environmental factors. They don’t get to choose to have their civil rights moments.

    I can’t stand these people who are TFA-ers and their so called civil rights moments. I can see they are pawns of a bigger and more powerful system. But my heart does not ache for them, cry for them, worry for them or struggle for them. It might be difficult for them to get beyond their experience and debt.But the likelihood that they will get beyond it is so much better than the students who they claimed to teach. Civil Rights deserve more than a moment in the time of a life. That is a perspective of privileged individuals.

    Every student deserves the best teachers who have proven they have the knowledge and skills to deliver instruction and guide a course of study. Every student deserves a school that has an environment highly conducive for successful achievement. The fact that our country has allowed that some students do not get teachers who have proven they meet or surpass the standards of a professional teacher and quality environments in which to learn, is a violation of their human and civil rights. TFA is part of that violation and in my opinion must not be allowed to exist.


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