Do you enjoy helping others find their way? Would other people consider you a strong leader? Do you like to work with kids? Teach for America- Greater Tulsa Region is looking for strong leaders to help fight America’s epidemic of educational inequity.
Teach for America has over 30 sites nationwide, yet the Greater Tulsa region is nestled in the Southern Midwest and is full of history and progressive change. Home to part of Route 66, Tulsa is known as the “first oil capital of the world” and the book The Outsiders was based in the city. People might know the city for its Native American Heritage, specifically Creek, Choctaw and Osage tribes, and its unfortunate history of Tulsa Race Massacre; however, Tulsa’s diversity has begun to flourish and even has been attracting more visitors with the park, The Gathering Place.
The Greater Tulsa region of Teach for America was founded in 2009 with under 100 corps members. Now, a decade later, corps members are educators, school leaders, non-profit professionals and so many more roles, with many choosing to stay in Tulsa after their two-year commitment.
Nationwide, Teach for America corps member commit to two years of service. In exchange for two year of service, corps members become highly qualified licensed teachers in the subjects they teach, while being hired by schools, districts or charter organizations. Corps members spend their two years teaching within the classroom, but two years completely changes perspective and support.
Erin McIntosh, a 2019 Corps Member, embarks on her journey so far. “I teach Science, specifically in Expectational Student Services or ESS. Summer training mimicked some of the things that I would see in my classroom, but some of the huge differences are the class sizes. ESS classes are mandated by law to be smaller because there are so many other things regarding the development that we have to take into consideration. But with the support of my MTLD or manager from TFA and the ESS Specialist in the school, I feel like I am able to better serve my students.”
One specific school site in the Greater Tulsa region has a department full of current 1st and 2nd year (2018) corps members, in addition to TFA alumni. Wilfredo Borges, 2nd Year Corps Member, embarks on his journey with Greater Tulsa.
“The first corps year flew by, but with my second year, I’ve had a bit more to reflect on my journey thus far. Teaching Math in a state that has cut pupil monetary support has really charged me with being creative and ensuring that my students are exposed to the things they need to be successful in college if they choose that path. The journey has not been easy, but its been more fulfilling because students need to see people who look like them teach them. Teaching sometimes doesn’t even mean that content will be taught every day. I’ve had to have heart to heart lessons with my students because they needed it.
Teaching may not always be the nicest or most glamorous job, but leaders are able to reach back and pull another generation up starting within the classroom. If you have any questions or just want to learn more about other regions, visit the national Teach for America website at teachforamerica.org.