Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a traditional teaching job and the National Teaching Fellowship?
Teaching Fellows do provide direct academic instruction, mostly in Math and ELA, but that’s only one part of the job. The National Teaching Fellowship model gives fellows a chance to teach, serve, and grow as a professional. Furthermore, the Citizen Schools model gives middle-school students the skills, access, and belief that they need to stay on a success trajectory. Through engaging families, co-teaching with community role models, practicing 21st Century skills, and connecting school to college and career success, Teaching Fellows complement first-shift teachers and expand their impact.
What do Teaching Fellows do during the first part of the day?
In the mornings, before Citizen Schools is in session, Fellows play a variety of roles that support programming, the school, and the organizational work of Citizen Schools. These assigned roles allow Fellows to work closely with school-day teachers, or perform a specialized function in the running of the program (such as data, family engagement, volunteer management, or collaboration among Citizen Schools programs at other schools).
In the application, what if I don’t have a preference of region?
In the application, there will be an opportunity to list your top two region preferences. Please begin by entering your first and second choices for the region where you would like to serve. Your first choice will be our primary means of determining how to process your application and will do our best accommodate your preferences when scheduling interviews. If you do not have any preference and are willing to serve in any region, you will have the chance to indicate this as well.
What does a typical week look like for a Teaching Fellow?
Teaching Fellows support student achievement and community engagement in a variety of ways, throughout a demanding work week of around 55 hours. In the mornings, Fellows work in specialized roles at their schools, ranging from data analysis to volunteer engagement. They teach and engage students when Citizen Schools is in session in the afternoons, usually running between around 2:30 until around 5:30 p.m. (depending on the school partner). In the evenings, Fellows call families or review material for the following day’s lessons. Once a week, Fellows participate in a full day of professional development either as a school staff or with the other Fellows and Citizen Schools staff.
What kind of jobs do Teaching Fellows get after they graduate?
Citizen Schools provides Teaching Fellows with skills and networks to succeed in a wide variety of careers. While many continue to work in education, becoming classroom teachers, advocates, and non-profit leaders (including at Citizen Schools), others successfully pursue careers or graduate school in public policy, academia, law, and medicine. Whatever their next steps, Fellows credit their service at Citizen Schools with equipping them with the essential tools needed to shape their careers.
What is it like to live on an AmeriCorps stipend?
For many Teaching Fellows, living on a stipend means maintaining a budget, being strategic about extra spending, or sharing an apartment with roommates. However, the stipend offered by Citizen Schools is near the top of AmeriCorps stipends across the country, and the Fellowship comes with a variety of other benefits, such as a $5,550 educational grant each year and full health benefits. Read about one Fellow’s experience here.
Do Teaching Fellows work after hours or on the weekends?
Closing the achievement gap requires extraordinary energy, and as a service experience, the Teaching Fellowship demands a level of commitment that is different from a typical wage-earning job. Generally, Fellows work 55 or more hours per week. Achieving a balance of work, fun and rest is a skill that Fellows hone throughout their two-year commitment.
What kind of training do Teaching Fellows receive?
Teaching Fellows begin training in the summer before their first year, both with their regional colleagues and at Citizen Schools’ national headquarters in Boston. When school begins in the fall, Fellows continue their growth as leaders and educators through a full day of professional development each week. Fellows are also provided with five hour-long, formal rating conversations based on classroom observations each year, as well as daily informal feedback from their Campus Director, so that Fellows’ teaching performance improves dramatically each semester.
Do Teaching Fellows interact with each other?
Fellows often say that the relationships they build with their peers at Citizen Schools are among the most valuable aspects of their service. Professionally, Fellows collaborate within their schools to deliver lessons, connect with students, and coordinate the components of the school partnership, as well as share resources and strategies with Fellows at other schools in their region. Fellows encounter the ups and downs of teaching together, sometimes undergoing intense challenges along with the communities they serve. Due to these shared experiences, Fellows often form tight bonds with one another and enjoy getting together outside of work to socialize or celebrate.
Do Teaching Fellows receive a housing allowance?
No, Teaching Fellows do not receive a housing allowance. All Teaching Fellows do receive a transportation stipend to help defray commuting expenses. Additionally, many Teaching Fellows qualify for food stamps due to the way the AmeriCorps stipend is calculated in food stamp eligibility.
Who do Teaching Fellows report to?
Citizen Schools programs are led by Campus Directors, who supervise Teaching Fellows and Teaching Associates, sometimes working alongside Deputy Campus Directors. Campus Directors provide guidance, instructional coaching, and ongoing, structured feedback based on regular classroom observation.
Do Teaching Fellows teach apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships are led by volunteers from beyond the school, and co-taught by Teaching Fellows and Teaching Associates. The volunteer Citizen Teachers are lawyers, carpenters, chefs, astronomers and more, who teach what they know and love through hands-on projects. While they bring their passion and first-hand experience, Teaching Fellows serve as coaches and project managers, aligning the lessons with day-to-day classroom learning. In some cases, Teaching Fellows may have the opportunity to create and lead their own apprenticeships, especially in their second year of service.
What is the difference between Teach for America and the National Teaching Fellowship?
Both Teach For America Corps Members and Citizen Schools National Teaching Fellows serve in two-year AmeriCorps programs dedicated to closing the achievement gap in low-income communities and cultivating future leaders in education reform. While TFA Corps Members teach core subjects in all grades, Citizen Schools National Teaching Fellows serve in the expanded learning time that public middle schools have added to their day. In addition to teaching academics, college readiness and 21st century skills in the classrooms they share with the school faculty, Fellows work together to assemble a second shift of educators—from families and teachers to volunteers from corporations, colleges, and the entire community—to connect education to kids’ dreams.