What Is TFA's Problem?
Emails go out to second-year corps members (of which they are four at my school) urging them to consider a job pushing paper in the TFA corporate office world. The response from at least one such teacher at my school is "no thanks, I plan to keep teaching," and still three TFA honchos show up to continue the recruiting process. Stop teaching, come work in an office. Stop working in what should be the flagship school for pretty much anyone concerned with public education in Northern California, and go work on the style book, and copy-editing Institute materials, and help recruit more Harvard kids so the numbers look good the next time the New York Times runs a story.
Never mind for a second that it is abhorrent to try and actively remove quality teachers who like teaching from the classroom. Forget how repugnant that is, and just think about what fucking gall it takes to enter a place of business without permission from the manager (principal) and engage in discussions of future employment opportunities that would take those employees away from that place of business. I think there are actual laws, not to mention a variety of ethical obbligations, that forbid such pirating. TFA ought to realize that corps members are not your employees. You want to have that discussion and do your recruiting, I think you suck for it, but do it on email, or after school, or at a CDN. But to do it on the clock, during working hours, at the workplace you're trying to get them to leave? Would that you had the same testicular fortitude in helping protect public education from the chartering and privatizing hordes.
And you're trying to get teachers to leave the classroom! To leave. The classroom. Think of all the effort, time, money spent on keeping quality teachers teaching, especially in under-resourced school districts, and here comes the big-shots with their message of go do something else. Teach For Awhile and then get the hell out, and we'll pay you a lot more. This isn't simply making the opportunities available, no no no, this is personal visits by three executives. In discussing the neo-conservative policy death march, a radio talk personality said, "When they show you who they are, believe them." That's where I am with Teach For America. I do not believe they actually want people to teach. Contrasted to the countless emails, postings, and messages about grad school and private sector employment opportunities, not to mention a glorious future undermining public schools through the promotion of charter school employ, I cannot remember, ever, seeing, hearing, or reading someone from TFA actually promote or encourage the furtherance of a teaching career. That's not something they can sell at Palo Alto fund-raisers. Teachers are boring and unlucrative.