Monday, March 10, 2008

TFA Start-Up Costs (oof)

I've been trying to compile a list of the expenses I'll face to get started in teaching. It isn't going to be cheap, but Teach for America does offer grants and interest free loans to those who need the help. The costs I know about so far are:

Graduate tuition: $900 for the classes at the summer institute, where I'll teach summer school as well as learn about teaching.

Praxis tests: I hope $0. If get these all out of the way this semester, my scholarship will pay.

Travel to and from Houston for the summer institute and to the Delta: ? This pretty much depends on gas prices.

Housing and food while at the summer institute: Well, this should be $0 since a dorm room and a meal plan are provided, but I'd imagine eating out will be an important activity for getting to know everybody.

Apparel: While teaching summer school during the institute, there's a fairly strict dress code. Guys are expected to wear ties every day. I think I have enough clothing that should work, but I'll probably need a new pair of shoes, something dressy enough to wear with skirts, but comfortable enough for a job that involves standing and walking all day. Maybe $50 so I can prioritize quality over price?

Deposit and first month's rent: probably less than $500 total (?) since almost all corps member in the region have roommates, and housing prices are still quite reasonable in the Delta.

Graduate tuition for optional masters in education: possibly covered by an assistantship. I'll learn more about my options this summer.

Classroom materials: ? I have no idea what will be available or what I'll need.

Am I missing anything major?


plonkee said...

Will you need to pay upfront for utilities? You'll also need money to cover food and so on until you get paid. What about computer and internet access - after all you need to keep blogging ;) .

Budget more for clothes. You can always use the excess for other things, but you definitely shouldn't skimp on shoes.

I've heard that living and working in the Delta is pretty amazing (and challenging), it's a brilliant opportunity, best of luck.

Anonymous said...

As a fairly new teacher (2 months) (non charter school 1 year) I underestimated the cost of "things" for the classroom. After completing my residency program and given a blank room,I definitely had to go to the teacher stores only with cash you can really go wild in there. Spend wisely and ask veterans and your principal for everything first. Other than that you will love it, I promise...

Christine Streich said...

How will you move all of you stuff that you will need after institute? (If you are just planning on loading your car, ignore this)

Also if you are placed in MS and you move into a house that no one is living in the utility companies have annoying $200 security deposits. I don't know how things are in AR. Basically, save as much money as you can. The first few months are financially draining.

Anonymous said...

Apply for financial assistance!! TFA was very, very generous with me (since this is anonymous, i don't mind telling you that I was awarded a 2400 grant.)

Blue said...

I dunno if they have these where you live, but I managed to kit myself out in enough business-style clothes for a week for about $35 at Savers, a "department thrift store". (It's called Value Village in other parts of the country.) Let's see, I already had a white button down and two black jackets and a pair of pumps, and for about $35 I purchased three colored button-downs, a pair of black pants, and a blue suit jacket. Not too shabby, and I actually really love all the clothes I bought.

Laura said...

When I started teaching in the delta 6 yrs ago there was financial assistance available for teachers moving to MS (not AR)...I think it was $1000, which paid for gas, hotels, and/or a moving van. It was pretty awesome. It took a long time to get the reimbursement through the district, but it was worth it.