To the Editor:
In an effort to leave politics out of an educational discussion about Teach For America (“Teach For America’s Defenders and Detractors Are Both Wrong,” June 25, 2019), I would just like to comment about TFA teachers.
For seven years, I worked as a principal at public elementary and high schools on the Navajo Nation in Gallup-McKinley County, N.M. I was fortunate to have TFA teachers among my staff each and every year. These recent college graduates, with only a 4- to 5-week summer internship, stepped in on day one and did a fantastic job of educating and caring for our students. The only downside to having TFA teachers was that most would leave teaching after their two-year commitment to pursue graduate school or some other profession. But, during their two years, they gave the students, school, and community absolute dedication, commitment, and professionalism. Aren’t those things we want from all our teachers?
I no longer work in a district served by Teach For America, but I would very much like to have TFA teachers in my available pool of applicants. Finally, if any of my former TFA teachers (if you read this, please reach out!) wanted to return to teaching, I would absolutely rehire them.
Ruidoso Municipal Schools
A version of this article appeared in the August 21, 2019 edition of Education Week as TFA Educators Are Dedicated Professionals