Tina Fey Loves It and So Do We: Chicago

The National Teaching Fellowship is the opportunity to serve middle school students through the expanded learning day in one of eight states.  This is the first of a regional series to profile each of our locations.“I’m going to give the slight edge to Chicago. There’s a beach there in the middle of the city, and you can use it for like 10 days a year, so yeah, I like Chicago a lot.” Tina Fey, on Chicago versus New York.

As a college senior you have the chance to pick your own path. When you apply to Citizen Schools' National Teaching Fellowship, you are able to preference where you'd like your road to lead you.  In this series, we take a look at the eight states where Fellows serve.  We hope it opens your eyes to the shores, mountains, and cities of America.  This installment: Chicago.

We sat down with Erin Driesbach, Chicago Operations Manager, and Sahrish Saleem, first year Teaching Fellow to find out why you should consider Chicago. Here are the top 5 reasons:

1. A Whole New World (for all you Aladdin fans)

Citizen Schools Chicago is brand new.  If you join the Chicago National Teaching Fellowship, you’re joining something different to both Citizen Schools and the city itself.  There is no better opportunity to establish culture, set standards, and pave the way for the new face of education.  Joining the cutting edge movement are also new Citizen Teacher partnerships with MB Financial, UNICEF, and United Airlines.  When students visit an aircraft hangar, you know we’re launching in style.

2. Work hard, play hard

The National Teaching Fellowship is a demanding and rigorous experience.  With that said, Fellows bond over a passion for social justice and serving students.  In life between classrooms, Chicago Fellows can be found planning dinners, holding house warming parties, and hanging out (Happy hour is legal in Illinois).  If that doesn't excite you, consider “The Bean” viewing at Millennium Park, catching a baseball game at Wrigley field, or going to the top of the formerly named Sears Tower, now Willis Tower.  For Foodies, check out Tina Fey’s restaurant suggestions.

3. The Office Described as “…the hottest place in the city right now,” The Merchandise Mart hosts the office of Citizen Schools Illinois, the Chicago Google offices, and Groupon.  It’s not uncommon to see Citizen Schools Chicago staff playing a mean table tennis game during the lunch hour.

4. Lights, Camera, Oprah!  Celebrity spotting

Chicago is also your chance to set TV names to faces as the setting for television shows, notably Chicago Fire, Mob Bosses, and one of the Google images for “Women Role Models,” Oprah.  However famous television stars may be, the most notable celebrities are the ones who enter your classroom: Meet the celebrity Citizen Teacher.  Citizen Teachers are the celebrities of the corporate world and leave students (and Team Leaders) star struck with knowledge.  With partnerships like Google and Deloitte, you could be co-teaching next to America’s Next Top Mind.

5. Making dollar, dollar bills

Living on a stipend is challenging, but the Fellows in Chicago make it work.  Here are three things that are cost-effective about living in Chicago: Reliable public transportation, affordable living costs, and free attractions like parks and beaches.  For more resources, check out the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Public Schools, and low to no cost entertainment at chicagofree.info.

If you're looking to start a career as a new professional, Chicago is the place.  Whether you're a fan of Oprah, love meeting Google engineers, or are just so excited to eat the chicken sandwich Tina Fey suggested, Chicago has a lot to offer. Plus, if you're looking to start your career as National Teaching Fellow, Chicago has some great kids who are ready and eager to meet you. The first deadline for the National Teaching Fellowship application is October 29th. Apply today and make the Windy City your new home.