So far, I haven't been too happy with this process.
At first, I thought it was really cool that I was contacted and offered a one-on-one meeting about TFA from an outreach person. It told me that they care an individual's needs and concerns.
I met with the lady and I was very put off by the way that the meeting went. I understand that she's very busy, but she didn't greet me very warmly when I arrived and she barely made eye contact with me because she was reading text messages and sorting through papers while I asked her questions. She didn't smile even once during our 15-minute meeting.
I felt like I might as well had search the answers to my questions online because her answers were so impersonal and memorized. She is an outreach liaison person for the organization because she actually has experience with TFA, and yet she offered absolutely no personal insight or opinion -- good or bad. I didn't get the vibe that she was even trying to sell the organization at all; rather, I felt like I had been handed a thick information brochure of answers. And not like one of those pretty, colorful packets with pictures and anecdotes and graphs, but more like a big, fat, black & white, soft bound reader.
Points off for impersonal welcoming, TFA.
Secondly, I'm looking at this preliminary application thing, and it kind of sucks. Why? Because as I fill out each little detail about my college experience (not much else is asked about), I find that on paper, I suck as a teacher.
But you know what? I don't. OK, that was high and mighty of me to say, but really. No drop-down menu form or GPA breakdown by year and coursework will express my experience, willingness, and excitement in teaching. It's as if they just don't care about these things.
So far, my impression from the application and meeting that lady is that TFA is all about looking for the cream of the crop. The leaders and visionaries. Then, they want to take them in and give them a crash course on teaching just before sending them off into the real world.
You should hire me because I understand the meaning of struggling in academics. You should hire me because I have experience in the classroom. You should hire me because I'm good at what I do, even though there's nowhere in your application where I can prove that. You should hire me because even if you come across the most successful group of applicants in the entire country, you will not find a single person [woman] [person of color] harder working and more passionate about social justice than me.