Onion Takes on Teach for America (or Reasonable Facsimile)

The Onion

July 17, 2012; Source: The Onion

Some of our readers urge us to take on both sides of an issue in a point/counterpoint style, and we have done some of that, but The Onion is modeling the behavior here for us in its spoof of some unnamed organization (which sounds a lot like Teach for America) that is funneling young people without teaching degrees into our nation’s lower performing schools. Here is a taste:

Point (fictional volunteer teacher): “When I graduated college last year, I was certain I wanted to make a real difference in the world. After 17 years of education, I felt an obligation to share my knowledge and skills with those who needed it most…Working as a volunteer teacher helped me reach out to a new generation of underprivileged children in dire need of real guidance and care. Most of these kids had been abandoned by the system and, in some cases, even by their families, making me the only person who could really lead them through the turmoil.”

Counterpoint (fictional 4th grader): “I realize that as a fourth-grader I probably don’t have the best handle on the financial situation of my school district, but dealing with a new fresh-faced college graduate who doesn’t know what he or she is doing year after year is growing just a little bit tiresome. Seriously, can we get an actual teacher in here sometime in the next decade, please? That would be terrific.”

We love The Onion. –Ruth McCambridge

About

Ruth McCambridge

Ruth is Editor in Chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly. Her background includes forty-five years of experience in nonprofits, primarily in organizations that mix grassroots community work with policy change. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ruth spent a decade at the Boston Foundation, developing and implementing capacity building programs and advocating for grantmaking attention to constituent involvement.

  • Julie

    I love the Onion -so classic. The only problem, these schools can’t afford ‘real’ teachers. My BIL is in TFA, great guy. I think he knew what he was doing.

    It’s 2 years, btw, and they try and keep the same teachers with the same students both years where he is.

  • Julie

    Oh, and there really are people who are and want to be teachers in TFA. I know four. :)