Teaching Here

Why Choose Arkansas?

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Maggie Hess - 2015 Corps Member

Every day I have the chance to learn something new about my small, Southern town and the people who live here in a way that shows I'm new but I'm welcome."

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Adrian Dhanaraj - 2013 Corps Member

…I’ve had the opportunity to get to know students who are some incredible human beings, and I’ve been able to share with them [what] I know about being able to get ahead in a world that has been unjustly set up to oppress them. … These young people overcome incredible odds to bravely pursue their education each day, and it is a privilege to be a part of their pursuit.”

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Seon Britton Arkansas - 2013 Corps Member

My passion has not just led me to a career path, but a life path. Waking up every morning to be in a classroom in which I learn as much as my students continues to ignite the fire in me that will drive me to fight for the rights of others."

Community Highlights

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  • Helena-West Helena
  • Marianna
  • Little Rock
Two people seated at a booth at the Cherry Street Fair.

 

“Look at Helena and one can see the broad reach of TFA beyond the school walls to the communities and neighborhoods where TFA’s presence has helped energize growth.”

—Chintan Desai, 2010 Arkansas alumnus

Helena-West Helena, a town of 11,000 people on the skirts of the Mississippi River, is a warm and vibrant community. Helena boasts both a traditional public school district, Helena-West Helena Public Schools, and a charter school system, KIPP Delta Public Schools, and Teach For America has long partnered with each in its efforts to ensure their children have access to rigorous and enriching educational opportunities.

Beginning with its first corps in 1991, corps members and alumni have become valued and active members of this incredible community with many moving into school leadership positions. Many have chosen to make Helena their long-term home while others, like Michelle Kuo, author of Reading With Patrick, continue to draw inspiration and learnings from their two years here even after moving away. Helena is truly a unique place to live and teach.

From local start-up programs for new entrepreneurs to the monthly Cherry Street Fair to the famous annual King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena is a town in its renaissance and reflects so many of the opportunities you can find in the Arkansas Delta.

Two side-by-side images of people entering Jones Bar-B-Que, and dining inside.

 

“When I get off the freeway and see the sky and stars—it’s just not something you’re used to if you grew up in the city,”

—Jessica Pontoo, 2011 Arkansas alumna

Marianna, located in Lee County, is our oldest placement area and one of our smallest communities. Our teachers have lived and worked in Marianna for 25 years, taking initiative in and outside the classroom with coaching sports teams, starting after-school clubs, and organizing college visits for students. With a population of 3,500, Marianna is situated on the edge of St. Francis National Forest, is home to James Beard award-winning Jones Bar-B-Que, and is a short drive to Memphis.

Lee County is deeply committed to education. Starting in 2017 they established a partnership with Forward Arkansas with the purpose of strengthening their teacher pipeline from within the community.

Alondra Jimenez, 2015 Arkansas alumna and Lee County High School teacher, describes her experience teaching and living in Marianna: “As a Lee County educator and Teach for America Corps Member, I really appreciate the opportunity to teach in a small town surrounded by a close community. I’m grateful for the opportunities for professional development offered by Teach for America and the Lee County School District. I am hopeful that additional opportunities to continue my development as an educator will present themselves so that my skills outside of the realm of education are beneficial to my students and their families.”

A photo of the Little Rock River Market

 

“There's something special about Little Rock and its people. I've never experienced such a combination of opportunity and intimacy. What better place to challenge yourself and grow than a community committed to doing the same?"

—Kelly Shi, California native and 2016 corps member

Little Rock, named by Forbes in the top 15 cities for young adults, has served as a national catalyst for change throughout our history. It is our newest placement and most urban site: we currently place in nine schools and serve over 1,300 students. A city of 200,000 with a small-town feel, Little Rock boasts an abundance of outdoor activities, a rich and complex history, and an up-and-coming community for young professionals.

Our alumni in Little Rock serve across all sectors, including law, policy, graduate school, medicine, non-profits, and education.

Get to Know What's Next Pine Bluff

Placement School Locations

Subjects And Grade Levels

  • Elementary
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English Language Arts
  • Math
  • Music (Band, Choir)
  • Physics
  • Social Studies
  • Spanish

Becoming Certified to Teach

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  • Overview
  • How is teaching certification structured in this state/region?
  • What costs are associated with certification?
  • Is a master's degree required?
  • I have a bachelor’s degree. Can I teach?
  • If I attain certification by completing the subject area examination, do I still have to complete any professional development?
  • What are the acceptable degree majors?

Certification will be obtained within two years through Teach For America – Arkansas. Teach For America is a state-approved route to alternative certification.

All corps members have the opportunity to become fully certified with standard five-year licensure in at least one subject during their two years, and initial licensure is dependent upon passing a series of tests that must be taken before the summer training institute. You must take and pass at least one standard teacher certification exam in the summer before you begin teaching. Upon your acceptance and confirmation into the Arkansas region, you will be given preparation materials and step-by-step directions on registering and taking your exam. This exam can be taken in various locations across the United States.

The state of Arkansas also requires corps members to participate in all of Teach For America – Arkansas’s professional development activities, as well as enroll in the nine graduate credit hours earned during the Teach For America summer training Institute.

Your certification will be obtained within two years through Teach For America – Arkansas. Teach For America is a state-approved route to alternative certification.

Your initial, two-year certification is free. Conversion to your standard five-year license at the completion of your corps commitment costs $75. Your other costs include testing and payment for background checks.

No. However, many corps members have opted to obtain a master’s degree during their corps commitment, taking advantage of both in-person and virtual programs (in-state and out-of-state), and have received degrees in a variety of fields, ranging from school leadership to history education. Some options include: Teach For America’s partnership with the Johns Hopkins Graduate School of Education, the Arkansas IMPACT Fellowship through the University of Arkansas, and the University of Central Arkansas.

A bachelor’s degree alone does not make you eligible for employment, though specific coursework is not required. You must have a minimum GPA of 2.7, clear all required background checks, and pass applicable exams.

Yes, you have to complete professional development throughout your corps commitment.

All degree majors are acceptable.

What You Need to Know

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Salaries range from $32,000 - $36,000.

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Required

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No Formal Partnerships

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Two years

Regional Expenses

Monthly Salary

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Estimated Monthly Expenses

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What's Left Over
Ongoing Certification Costs
You may be able to offset ongoing certification costs with an AmeriCorps education award. Learn more.
One Time Summer Start Up Costs
Estimated Start Up and Certification Costs