In 2010, the Tennessee Department of Education chose to recognize Teach For America - Memphis as the first non-higher education institution to be granted the right to license our own teachers. Our regional program is now able to license our own corps members as full-time classroom teachers based solely on their Teach For America professional development experience, passing state-mandated test scores, and a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75. As such, corps members and are not no longer required to take courses at a university in order to be fully licensed with the TN Department of Education’s (TN DOE) first level of teaching license, a Practitioner License. Upon successfully finishing their two-year corps commitment, our teachers are then recommended as “completed” to the TN DOE.
Your license will remain valid for a third year to allow you, should you chose, to teach a total of three years in a TN classroom (including your two years in our program). Once you teach three years, you would then be considered eligible for the next and final level of licensure, a Professional License. Corps members are responsible for submitting the necessary paperwork to the TN DOE in order to advance to a Professional License, however, we will support you in making sure you are clear on those steps are should you choose to do so.
At least a bachelor's degree is required for certification. As a result, we will not accept a transcript without a degree conferral date. Four sets of official transcripts are required. Both sets must reflect a degree conferral date and must be sent to our team on the deadline communicated to you should you be accepted into our program and once your onboarding begins.
Yes, given the changes mentioned above that were implemented in September 2015, all teachers coming in with out of state credentials would still need to take the praxis II exams – the Tennessee Department of Education does not accept out of state exams.
The GPA minimum for the Memphis region is 2.75. However, in very specific cases, exceptions can be made. Please let our organization know either in your application or with your regional recruiter that your GPA is and/or may be lower than 2.75 but that you’re particularly interested in the region, explaining why, and we may be able to determine if you qualify for an exception.
Yes, it is possible to complete a masters’ degree although not required. You have three master degree options (see below to learn more).
Our region partners with Christian Brothers University to provide an option for our teachers going into their second year of teaching to pursue a master's degree in education. Corps members are able to use their Teach For America experience to count towards course credits, making it possible to receive a master's degree in only one year of study and also reducing the overall tuition. You can begin the program either in the summer between your first or second year or in the fall of your second year.
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Once the confirmation window closes, please contact us at email@example.com and we can connect you with our CBU contact who directly works with our corps members.
All Teach For America corps members (incoming, current and alumni) have the opportunity to take advantage of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s online Master’s degree for Teach For America. This online format includes several support systems: Hopkins instructors to support educational pedagogy, real time discussions to ground the coursework in classroom context, and video-based platforms to support reflective practices – all aligned to TFA rubrics and expectations. You must currently be in the classroom in order to take advantage of this opportunity.
Relay’s Master of Arts in Teaching program focuses on techniques that make the deepest impact in classrooms, with unmatched opportunities for practice. Throughout the program, M.A.T. candidates learn from graduate faculty who has helped their own P-12 students reach extraordinary success in schools. Their focus on practice, observation, and feedback gives our graduates the tools they need to make a measurable, positive impact on students’ academic performance and character development. It focuses on concrete skills that lead to dramatic improvements in classrooms, and it allows their students to practice those skills until they can execute them with total confidence for their students.
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Elliot Perry, former University of Memphis basketball star and NBA standout, created the Education Champions initiative in 2011 to share stories and inspire action in Memphis
City Schools. Perry is a product of the local school system and knows the challenges urban school students face in the classroom and at home.
“My mom had me when she was 15 years old,” Perry told WREG-TV in Memphis. “If there’s one issue in our community that we should be fighting for and advocating for more than any other, positive or negative, it’s education—because it can fix everything.”
The Education Champions Initiative works to change the conversation about education in Memphis by highlighting champions with creative solutions for giving every child a chance at a high quality academic experience. It also encourages individuals to give, mentor, or advocate for the students in the Memphis school system.
Since its launch, ECI has identified 18 Champions as the groups on the frontlines of improving Memphis education. Among these are schools or school systems such as The Soulsville Charter School and KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools, and organizations including Teach For America, Stand for Children, and The New Teacher Project.
Given the energy of leaders like Elliot Perry and the community of champions gathering around education reform, Teach For America corps members and alumni are part of an exciting effort to create lasting change for the student in Memphis.
Charming and hip, Midtown Memphis contains several smaller neighborhoods within its borders. Corps members living in Midtown enjoy its eclectic atmosphere, cultural opportunities, and beautiful scenery. Overton Square features many theaters and restaurants, and historic Cooper-Young is known for its quirky coffee shops, ethnic food, live music, and independent art galleries. Midtown is also home to Overton Park, the Memphis Zoo, the Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis College of Art, and Rhodes College. Houses and apartments in the area tend to be renovated buildings from the 1920s through the 1940s that retain the structural character of the era.