Kansas City, MO – In August of 2008, KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross spoke to Joe Fox, who was about to embark on his first year as a fourth grade teacher, recruited by Teach for America. The national program opened up shop in Kansas City last year, placing 50 new teachers in schools in the Kansas City, Missouri School District. It wasn't long ago that Joe Fox was finishing school himself; he recently graduated from college in Iowa and moved back to the Kansas City area, where his parents live.
Most of the new Teach for America teachers here are actually from other parts of the country. The program is highly competitive; each participant commits to at least two years in the classroom, and all 50 are staying on as promised in Kansas City. Two have changed school assignments. Most likely, 75 more teachers from the program will begin next year. Some will be placed in the Hickman Mills school district, and area charter schools.
Joe Fox and his room-mate, fifth-grade teacher Derek Hutchinson, (also with Teach for America) reflect on their first year at Troost Elementary School.