To say that the Greater New Orleans-Louisiana Delta region is unique is an understatement. The physical landscape of the region alone is striking in its variation. Swamps and farms are only a short drive from the center of the French Quarter. Such contradictions allow for a broad range of fun, food, and culture, from eating jambalaya on the Bayou to listening to unparalleled local music in a jazz club to grading papers on your front porch.
Greater New Orleans has been a thread in the fabric of Teach For America since the organization began in 1990. The region's once small group of 30-45 corps members grew dramatically to 340 and now is 200-250. These corps members are teaching pre-K through 12th grade in 72 schools across three partner parishes. It is a testament to our region's vibrant culture and dynamic educational landscape that almost 1,000 alumni remain in the region, with nearly 80% of them continuing their work in education. Our region's corps members teach in traditional public and open-enrollment charter schools across Greater New Orleans and the Louisiana Delta.
The Greater New Orleans region and the Louisiana Delta region operate as sister regions; one urban and one rural, but both unique, exhilarating places to teach and live. See the Community Spotlight sections for more information on each specific region.
What You Need to Know
Becoming Certified to Teach
- Is it possible to complete a master's degree at the end of the two years?
- Is a master's degree required?
- Which universities do you partner with?
How is teaching certification structured in this state/region?
While enrolled in a certification program during the first year teaching, corps members will get a temporary Practitioner’s License. Upon completion of the first year and chosen certification program, corps members will achieve their Standard Level 1 Louisiana Certification.
The certification programs that we offer are described below. Please note that at this time we are only able to offer The New Teacher Project in the Louisiana Delta. These programs have an optional Master’s program for the second year.
TNTP Academy has trained high-performing teachers for over 12 years and has been the top-performing teacher certification provider for the past five years.
Relay GSE’s program is a unique, rigorous teacher training program designed specifically to respond to today’s urgent demand for effective teachers in low-income communities.
In order to complete the program successfully, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:
- Pass required exams
- Submit all required paperwork and documentation in a timely manner
- Successfully complete the summer training institute and related commitments
- Attend and participate in observation debrief discussions, mentor meetings professional development opportunities, and a series of three-hour content seminars
- Complete a teacher portfolio at the end of the first year of teaching
- Pass the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program (LaTAAP)
- Fulfill the two-year teaching assignment
Each of our certification partners offer an optional Master’s program available in the second year.
- Corps members can pursue a Master's degree directly through Relay Graduate School of Education.
- Corps members who complete their certification through The New Teacher Project can pursue a Master's degree through Johns Hopkins University.
Placement School Locations
Subjects And Grade Levels
- Early Childhood Education
- Elementary Education
- General Science
- Social Studies
- Special Education
- Greater New Orleans
- Louisiana Delta
Unique in every way, New Orleans is a city full of interesting neighborhoods, many of which change in character from one block to the next. The large area known as Uptown includes several of New Orleans' most historic and storied locales, like the Garden District and Audubon Park. Mid-City boasts beautiful City Park, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Fairgrounds racetrack, home of the world famous Jazz and Heritage Festival. Both Uptown and Mid-City, as well as the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods, are home to many corps members and alumni.
From sampling the city's famous cuisine at countless restaurants, to hearing live music on Oak or Frenchmen Street, to shopping on Magazine Street or dining in the newly revitalized Freret Street neighborhood, there's never a shortage of things to do in New Orleans outside the classroom. Even lesson planning can be done in a beautiful, unique setting like the Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center, which was recently rebuilt and reopened. A fantastic addition to the Broadmoor neighborhood, this library has a cafe and hosts a variety of weekly programs, including ESL tutoring, computer classes, knitting circles, and cooking classes.
The Louisiana Delta is home to some of the most fertile soil in the world and an equally rich history, including the origin of the Teddy Bear, birthplace of Delta Airlines, and home to CJ Walker, the first African American female millionaire. It could also be argued today that it is also home to some of the nicest and most hospitable people in our country—people who wave to most anyone they see, welcome you into their homes, and have even been known to drive 10 miles out of town to deliver you a good meal. However, while there are many great and truly special things about this rural place, it is also home to some of the highest levels of poverty and lowest school performance scores in the country. Roughly half of the children in Madison, Tensas, and Concordia Parishes grow up in poverty. Average ACT scores of 15-18, versus a national average and college-ready bar of 21, indicate far too many students are well below the college-ready mark when they leave high school. This is particularly problematic because until last year, when the ACT became a required component of high school graduation, that average only represented the top students’ scores, as they were the ones typically encouraged to take it. Ultimately, this means that today only 1 in 10 adults across the region have a college degree, and only 1 in 20 African American adults. Further, only 2 in 3 adults have a high school diploma or GED, severely limiting their access to opportunities to achieve their dreams in life.
Since 2010, our corps in the Louisiana Delta has grown from 10 teachers in one town and district to 36 teachers in five towns and three districts. While we still have a long way to go, we are already seeing our teachers becoming part of and working alongside the community to ensure our students have the same opportunities as those in other parts of the country. Inside our school walls, our corps members and other school leaders are working to ensure our kids are no longer unprepared for college by creating environments centered on rigorous content and a positive culture that will allow our students to prove what they’re capable of to anyone that doubts them. In addition to the hard work that goes into their classrooms daily, it’s common to see our corps members outside of the classroom, participating in extracurricular activities and after school tutoring, staffing ticket booths and coaching sports teams, helping with floats during community events, and running soccer leagues and dance clinics. The possibilities to impact our kids and communities while growing your own leadership are endless. It’s clear that people in the community – from parents to superintendents to mayors to corps members—want to make the Louisiana Delta a place where kids can achieve any dream they have in life, and schools that are rigorous and loving places for students to grow is critical to making this a reality.
Get to Know our Community Partners
Over the last six years, the city of New Orleans has developed an entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives new business ventures, attracts new investments, and brings new talent to the city. Nowhere is this clearer than in its school system, where school leaders and political leaders are ahead of the national curve in terms of innovation. To take advantage this local context, we are focused on providing corps members and alumni with opportunities to explore entrepreneurship.
In 2011, we partnered with local non-profit The Idea Village to develop the entrepreneurialism of our corps members and alumni. Together we piloted the Education Entrepreneurship Challenge and successfully brought 25 emerging entrepreneurs together for six months to explore issues facing students and teachers. Our corps members and alumni developed the skills to develop innovative solutions to real challenges in the field of education.
As a result of the Challenge, seven new ventures are in business development and two—Dash and Classroom Blueprint—have been incorporated as for-profit businesses. Dash created a mobile application that facilitates better communication between parents and teachers, and Classroom Blueprint helps teachers design and outfit their classrooms effectively by leveraging real-life examples and testimony from other teachers. Our successes from the Challenge show that our leaders have the potential to pioneer game-changing endeavors that drive progress inside and outside of classrooms in New Orleans and across the country.
Dancing Grounds brings high-quality, accessible and inclusive dance education programs to New Orleans residents of all ages and backgrounds. The organization uses dance as a vehicle for developing youth change agents, inspiring health and wellness, and promoting social justice. After transitioning out of the corps, Jeremy Guyton (GNO ’12) became the Education Director for Dancing Grounds’ in-school residency program, Dancing Grounds Rising (DGR). Their teachers use dance to uplifting the physical health, social-emotional health, leadership, and teamwork skills of New Orleans youth within a social, racial, and gender justice framework.
College Track New Orleans opened in 2008 with an inaugural class of 50 freshmen. Today, they serve more than 400 high school and college students and have grown into the largest college access and completion program in New Orleans. Their long-term vision is to increase the number of students who complete college, so they have the opportunity to participate in a rapidly growing and innovative New Orleans economy. With a 96 percent 4-year college matriculation rate, they are on track to meet their goal.
From ninth grade until college graduation, their 10-year program removes barriers that prevent students from earning their college degree by providing them with comprehensive academic support, leadership training, financial and college advising, and scholarships. College Track teaches its scholars the skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond.