So, technically I’m a TFA alum, despite the fact that I was a really terrible corps member. Mind you, I was and am a kick-ass teacher, but my failings as a TFAer were legion. Luckily for me, the nice TFA staffer directly responsible for me was seriously overworked, and didn’t have time to deal with my crap beyond the occasional half-hearted verbal warning. Apparently “NO MORE STABBINGS” is not a suitable big hairy audacious goal for your second year in the classroom…who knew?
A while back I got one of those mass emails looking for alumni to help recruit. Now, I’m not sure why TFA needs to recruit, seeing as how a)bright-eyed young people are already piling up neck-deep to apply and b)most regions where TFA operates are laying off teachers anyway, but the notion of me representing The Corporation tickled me, so I replied that I would. They then sent me some of the most unintentionally hilarious documents I’ve ever seen, instructions on how to properly “tell [my] corps member story” and a worksheet to help me regurgitate TFA’s goals in my own words. I’ll just quote two of the high points – if you don’t see why they’re funny, no commentary from me will help.
Through market research and extensive experience meeting with thousands of prospects, we have learned that in order to get people to apply and join our corps, they must be invested in and believe the following two Core Beliefs. We have also found the three ideas that we call Common Influencers facilitate prospects’ understanding of Teach For America as a viable and smart option. A compelling case for Teach For America will have some similar content regardless of the presenter because it will be grounded in the Core Beliefs and Common Influencers, however, it is essential you communicate these ideas in your own voice. After reflecting on the Core Beliefs and Common Influencers, the information you have gathered from the website and your own corps member experience (as well as those of other corps members and alumni you know), use this graphic organizer to write down how you will convey this information based on your unique perspective.
WordPress thinks I should tag this post with “kick-ass teacher.” I agree, WordPress.