Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

San Antonio

Why San Antonio should be “Highly Preferred” on your Teach For America application

- We are a BRAND NEW region. As part of the San Antonio corps, you will be instrumental in shaping what TFA looks like in our city for years to come.

-  Our staff KICKS MAJOR REAR END, as I’ve heard from every SA CM I talk to and many TFA contacts from other regions. They were picked for San Antonio because the job of building a corps requires a huge amount of creativity and bad-ass-ery. They definitely have plenty of both.

- We’ll have the most welcoming 2nd-year CMs ever. 1st and 2nd deadline 2011 matriculants can attest to this—You should have SEEN the facebook group exploding with OMG HELLO WELCOME CALL ME IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS. We have the right to be over-excited about our new corps, because this is the first time ever that San Antonio TFA will have a full corps of 1st and 2nd year teachers to support and learn from each other. 2011-2012 is going to be BOMB.

- Speaking of 2011-2012: with our new corps, TFA teachers will be teaching over 20% of the students in the district. WHOA. In our SECOND year as a region.

- San Antonio’s Mexican food. Um, enough said.

- San Antonio is thinking very long-term about its public transportation system. Right now, the bus system (VIA) will get you pretty much anywhere within SAISD–starting within the next decade and continuing until 2035 or so, the city will start developing a commuter rail system. The decision and the plan took countless citizen’s ideas into account from Via’s town meetings over the last couple years. (This means  you might not need a car!)

- We’re the closest corps to Austin, TX, Live Music Capital of the World—the “Portland of Texas.”

- San Antonio is RIPE for big changes in education. The district is shifting, roles are shifting, curriculum is shifting—big things are about to happen.

- The board of San Antonio Independent School District voted TFA in unanimously. (Found out tonight that the superintendent text-messages our ED!)

- Did I mention that we have the best staff in the history of TFA?

- We had the highest regional matriculation rate in the country for the third application deadline. Woot!  (That means of the CMs who were offered a placement in SA, more accepted their offers than to any other region. I helped.)

- Our regional office is a) right downtown and incredibly accessible b) colorful and inspiring, and c) open to corps members as a workspace (with laminator, copier, wireless internet, office supplies, etc) 24/7.

- San Antonio people are the nicest, friendliest, most generous people you will ever meet.  Exhibit A: it’s normal here, not creepy, for people to pull over if you’re standing at the bus stop and offer you a ride. Or if you’re walking and you look tired. Exhibit B: When SA people heard, upon first meeting me, that I’d just moved from across the country, they offered me furniture, gave me their phone numbers, and told me to “just call if you need anything, anything at all.” People say hello and good morning and smile at you when you pass them, and have real conversations with you when you’re waiting in line.

- We are spurring a MOVEMENT. San Antonio is often cited as the  predictor for trends in the greater US–and we’re set up to set the trend here.

Our kids need you. Change is on the horizon, but as they stand now, things in the district run about as smoothly  as … cottage cheese. Add ineffective systems to a super-sketchy curriculum and a lot of crippled bureaucracy, and you get a bunch of babies who need good teachers, bad.

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San Antonio
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June 2020
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