Secrets of the Job Hunt


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Texas Teaching Jobs with Teach for America

One popular nonprofit organization will create hundreds of Texas teaching jobs.

Teach for America, which is launching a program in San Antonio, Texas, this year, recently announced that the organization received a record number of applications for this year's corps of teachers.

The number of applications increased in San Antonio and throughout the nation. At Trinity University, more than 8 percent of the school's seniors, or about 45 students, are looking for jobs with Teach for America.

"The economy is a piece of the story, but I don't think it's the whole story," Laura Saldivar, executive director for the organization's San Antonio region, told the Express-News, adding that young people see inequities in education as a significant issue they can help solve. "Many people see Teach for America as a very high-impact way to get involved and to address that problem."

Unfortunately, less than 20 percent of the 46,000 people who have applied for positions with Teach for America will be accepted to the program. Anyone who is accepted must commit to a minimum of two years teaching, and will receive about five weeks of training.

Those accepted to the program in San Antonio could end up making a local impact, as the San Antonio Independent School District is set to receive about 100 Teach for America recruits during the new school year.

The local business community has supported the program by raising about $8 million in funding to bring Teach for America to San Antonio. There are some critics, however, who think program recruits lack the preparation to teach students.

Ryan Smith, director of Teach for America's South Texas recruitment team, combats that theory. He said about two-thirds of the organization's alumni continue working in education, whether in the classroom, as policymakers, attorneys or any number of other jobs that impact education.

"Whether they stay in the classroom forever, that is not something we look for in the admission process, but how committed they are to closing the achievement gap," he said. "That is absolutely something we look for."

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