Teaching Here

Why Choose the Bay?

A headshot of a young African-American female teacher standing in front of the door to her classroom.
"San Francisco is a wonderfully progressive city that harnesses a spirit of individuality and open-mindedness." - Iowayna Peña (Bay Area '14)
"Having been born and raised in San Jose by immigrant parents – a background common to that of my students – working alongside this community feels very special." - Jorge Pacheco (Bay Area '14)
A headshot of a young Asian-American female teacher standing in the doorway of her classroom.
"The people of Richmond openly share their bold and fearless voices. I’ve grown to love this community." -Claudine Magsino (Bay Area '16)
"People here really LOVE Oakland. I am honored to work in a place that has so much pride and has a history rooted in social movement and change." -Nina Portugal (Bay Area '13)

What You Need to Know


Salaries range from $43,000 – 50,000


Highly Recommended


Optional. Loyola Marymount University (one year program, optional in second year)


One year program in partnership with Loyola Marymount University. You will take classes in your first year and can expect to spend up to $1,200 before institute in testing and upfront credentialing costs.

Earning Your Teaching Credential

  • Certification Overview
  • What requirements are necessary for corps members to become credentialed in California?
  • Will all corps members work with Loyola Marymount University?
  • What causes the range in beginning teacher salaries?
  • What are the up-front credentialing costs?
  • What is the expected cost of LMU tuition?

Steps to Earning Your Teaching Credentials

Teach For America – Bay Area works in partnership with Loyola Marymount University (LMU) to guide all corps members through the teacher credentialing process.

Year 1:

  • The process begins with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s Intern Credential Program. This program is designed specifically for individuals who enter the classroom through a nontraditional path.
  • You must pass four to nine credentialing exams prior to summer training in order to start your first year of teaching. The intern credential is a two-year, non-renewable teaching certification.
  • These credentialing requirements, including, but not limited to testing, can cost up to $1,200.
  • You will complete credentialing coursework through LMU during your first year of teaching. Upon completion of the LMU Teacher Credential Program, you are eligible to file for a five-year preliminary teaching credential.
  • On average, corps members in the past have spent $6,600-$11,600 (after using an AmeriCorps award).

Year 2:

  • During the second year of teaching, you have the opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree through LMU – but this is not required.

Corps members must meet these requirements prior to Induction (the week before summer institute begins):

  • Complete the basic skills requirement
  • Pass the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) subject matter exam/s
  • Complete the U.S. Constitution requirement by passing the online exam or providing a college course credit
  • Provide a certificate of clearance by completing a background check
  • Provide a copy of their degree-conferred transcript from an accredited college or university
  • Complete pre-service Coursework


The vast majority of our corps members work with LMU to earn their credential.

A small group of charter networks partner with REACH Institute for credentialing. If you are hired at a school that partners with REACH, our regional team will work with you to facilitate this process. 

Corps members are employees of school districts across a variety of communities in the Bay Area. The range in salary reflects the differences in cost of living within these communities. If you have a Master's degree or relevant experience, you may receive additional compensation.

Testing Fees

Corps members can expect to incur roughly $600 in testing fees; however, this cost can fluctuate depending on the credential area.

Credentialing/Hiring Fees

In addition to testing fees, corps members can expect to pay near $600 for other credentialing and hiring requirements.

Corps members can expect to pay from $6,600 – $15,000 (after using an AmeriCorps award).

The cost is dependent upon the credential specialization and the use of the AmeriCorps Education Award. Our partnership with LMU allows for a payment plan that begins after the start of the school year, and federal student loans may be available for use.

Corps members choosing to pursue their Master’s Degree through LMU will incur additional costs during their second year of teaching. 

What You'll Teach

  • Elementary/Middle School
  • Early Childhood
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Spanish
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education
  • Bilingual

Where You'll Teach

Get to Know Our Communities

  • Oakland
  • Richmond
  • San Francisco
  • San José
  • Other Popular Places to Live


Educational Landscape

For the past eight years, Oakland Unified School District has been named the most improved urban school district in the state of California. Due to the efforts of committed educators working alongside community leaders and families, Oakland’s schools are poised for real change today.

The Oakland school transformation began in 2000. During this year the small schools movement developed to respond to the academic achievement disparity between the city’s Flatland schools and the city’s more affluent Hills schools. This movement reorganized the already existing large, failing schools into new and smaller district/charter schools. As a result, school leaders gained more autonomy in budget, staffing, and curriculum.

Over the course of seven years, 49 new small schools opened in the district. This movement led to a new initiative for OUSD: an explicit commitment to work towards providing all children access to a high- quality school. As the Hills’ schools continue to excel academically, many other schools in Oakland’s highest-poverty neighborhoods are closing in on those results.

Longtime community organizer Ron Snyder, executive director of Oakland Community Organizations, believes the bonds Teach For America corps members and alumni have forged with the community have played a vital role in Oakland’s burgeoning turnaround. “They began to work with teachers and parents,” he says of their efforts, “house to house, school to school, church to church—creating an appetite for improvement.

Neighborhood Highlights

Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA

The Lake Merritt neighborhood sits at the center of the city, offering both a bustling commercial center and the eponymous sparkling lake. Residents of this neighborhood can be found running around the stunning waters, perusing Oakland’s largest indie bookstore, or movie-watching at the Grand Lake Theater. Fun fact: in 1870, Lake Merritt was the United States’ first official wildlife refuge!


Yellow and orange apartments in Fruitvale/Oakland, CA

Fruitvale is a neighborhood in east Oakland, California. Located about two miles southeast of Lake Merritt, this area became a center for the Chicano Movement in the late 1960s and 70s. The community has a solidly preserved and vibrant Hispanic culture. Fun fact: The name (originally Fruit Vale) comes from the many fruit orchards which dominated the area in the late 19th century.

The city of Richmond welcome sign

Educational Landscape

Over two decades ago, the Richmond Unified School District went bankrupt and planned to close all of its schools. Concerned parents, led by Tom Butt, had to sue California to keep the schools open, which required the state to lend the district $29 million. At a 5.7% interest rate, however, the district continued to struggle. To help turn the tides, Wendy Gonzalez, a concerned first-year teacher, and others marched to Sacramento on a hunger strike to lower the rates. Even with lowered rates, Richmond became the first district in California — and possibly the nation — to be taken over by the state.

After 21 years of receivership, the district has successfully repaid all of its debt and renamed itself the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

Currently, Teach For America alum, Matthew Duffy (New York 1995) leads WCCUSD as superintendent. He works closely with our United Teachers of Richmond (UTR) President, Demetrio González (Bay Area 2013) and Vice President, Marissa Glidden (Bay Area 2013).

We believe deeply in the power of partnership and building trusting relationships to create change. With eight alumni school leaders, several alumni teachers of the year, and our 110 incredible corps members building relationships and working alongside kids and families, we feel optimistic about achieving our vision in Richmond.

Neighborhood Highlights

Iron Triangle

The Iron Triangle is a densely urban neighborhood located in Richmond, California, where three major railroad tracks define its triangle-shaped boundaries – hence the name! Although the centrally located area is largely residential, it includes the downtown Richmond business district along Macdonald Avenue, where the Teach For America­ Richmond office is located. Fun fact: the Iron Triangle, oftentimes called the heart of Richmond, is celebrated in the novel Richmond Tales by Summer Brenner. 

North & East Richmond

North & East, also known as Central Richmond, is a pleasant Richmond, California neighborhood filled with charming bungalow homes and shady trees. An affordable alternative to similar neighborhoods in other East Bay communities, N&E offers residents proximity to all the parks, beaches and waterfront activities, as well as a wide choice of nearby retail centers. The Catahoula Café and Coffee Roasting Company is a treasured cafe in the area, and the local library's monthly book sale, the Natural Food Store, a skate park, Angelo’s Gourmet Deli, and the abundant choices between authentic Mexican restaurants are all just some of the beloved community hotspots. North & East has a lively neighborhood council that distributes newsletters and hosts social events. 

The golden gate bridge and San Francisco city view

Educational Landscape

San Francisco is world-renowned for its booming technological innovations and its progressive civil rights history. The city is consistently listed as the highest performing urban school district in California. Despite these accolades, it also has one of the starkest achievement gaps in the state. Students of color are trailing behind, with Latino and black San Francisco students Academic Performance Index (API) scores at 683 and 627 respectively (the 891 API score for white students). In addition, roughly 30% of Latino and black students are graduating high school with the required coursework to apply to a University of California school.

In response, actions by key leaders are shifting to best impact student outcomes. We see this through proposed school board resolutions advocating to close the opportunity gap for black students — and proposals to fund restorative practice in schools. Additionally, the superintendent’s Vision 2025 for the district is grounded in equitable outcomes for children across the city.

Over the course of the past five years, we've seen schools emerge that are disrupting the status quo. These schools are not only proof points of change, but also beacons of hope — and are also dramatically improving the outcomes for students of color. As these schools are highly requested by parents, some are being asked to expand student enrollment (others have wait lists twice as long as that of the previous year). KIPP secondary schools represent 3 of 6 San Francisco schools outperforming the state average for Latino and black students in math & English Language Arts proficiency.

Teach For America corps members and alumni are a part of these efforts. More than 1,000 alumni live in the city, and roughly half continue to work in education. Many partner with diverse organizations aimed at ending the status quo for low-income children of color in San Francisco. The city is ripe for corps members like you to pull up their sleeves and work in tandem with leaders in the community to answer the question, “What does a quality education look like for all students in San Francisco?”

Neighborhood Highlights

A mural in San Francisco's Portola neighborhood
The Portola and the Excelsior are two adjacent neighborhoods in the Southeastern part of the city. As they are close to many of our schools, they are popular neighborhoods for corps members to live in. Portola/Excelsior are very family-oriented communities with decade-long immigrant culture roots.
“It's such a treat to live here because there are so many delicious Chinese bakeries and street food restaurants.”
- Austen Coles (Bay Area 2016)
The Mission
A colorfully painted building in San Francisco

Many corps members teach and live in The Mission, the oldest neighborhood in the city. With easy access to public transportation (MUNI and BART) you can easily connect to many other neighborhoods in the San Francisco from The Mission.

I love the Mission because there is so much art, delicious Mexican food, and several parks that people bring their dogs to. 
- Elena Sullivan (Bay Area 2017). 

A turquoise truck at San Pedro Market in San Jose

Educational Landscape

When people think of San José, images of Facebook and Google may come to mind. What we might not visualize are the families and schools with limited-to-no internet access — a limitation severely impacting the opportunity of many to work for these tech companies in their own community.

The opportunity gap is overwhelmingly present in San José. And while eight years ago no schools in downtown or East San José produced student achievement levels near those of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods, presently there are at least seven schools challenging these odds. Teach For America is part of this story of impact.

We are proud to partner with 9 districts and charters in San José, where more than 100 Bay Area corps members lead. Our collective charge is magnified through the leadership of our alumni in San José, including the 20+ school leaders and the other 200 individuals continuing to work in education. Teach For America commits to working alongside these San José schools and to convening as a collective to increase student outcomes and better serve the community at large.

The impact of our corps members and alumni in San José is inspiring. These leaders — from classroom teachers, school leaders, union representatives, policy leaders and school network leaders —  invite you to join them in helping realize the community’s vision for educational change

Neighborhood Highlights

East Side San José

Mural in East Side San José

In the past, East Side San José was known for its high concentration of orchard fruit — and therefore received the name the Valley of the Heart's Delight. It is remains very unique area with a large Latinx population. Many corps members choose to live in this area as it is home to many of the schools we lead. Home to the Mexican Heritage Plaza and Cesar Chavez’s house, East Side is where you can truly ground yourself in the rich history and fight for justice in San José. Another perk: pan dulce.

Little Saigon

A mural in Little Saigon in San Jose

Located between Story and Tully roads, Little Saigon is the epicenter of Vietnamese culture in San José (with incredible pho). This area of San José is home to many Asian American immigrant families. These individuals successfully fought to keep their community name during a time when city proposed the name “Vietnam-town.” Similar to the fight to conserve their culture, Little Saigon community members’ resilience and perseverance is present their fight to ensure its students get the opportunity they deserve.

Other housing locations popular among corps members include:

  • Alameda
  • Albany
  • Berkeley
  • El Cerrito
  • Emeryville
  • Milpitas
  • San Leandro
  • Sunnyvale

Alumni Spotlights

Bay Area 2013
Executive Director, Boost!
Ty-licia Hooker is a Bay Area native, dedicated to changing the odds for kids in her community. She is currently the Executive Director of Boost! West Oakland. Ty-Licia is also the founder of the STORM program at University of the Pacific, the school’s only student-centered mentoring program – which has become a model for leadership development for the institution as the whole.
Bay Area 2009
Principal, Montalvin Manor Elementary
Katherine Acosta-Verprauskus ventured to the California to pursue a doctoral program examining avenues out of the cycle of poverty. Her studies pointed her to the same lesson: education is the solution – and thus began her journey with Teach For America.

Community Spotlights

A young female Bay Area student holds up a book in the library.


Fresh Lifelines for Youth 

Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY) is an organization whose mission is to prevent juvenile crime and incarceration through legal education, leadership training, and one-on-one mentoring. FLY believes that all of our children deserve a chance to become more than their past mistakes. 


The BlackBoard of West Contra Costa is a community organization that works to provide equitable access to resources, mentoring and education for communities, with a specific focus on African Americans.

Building Blocks for Kids

Building Blocks for Kids is a collaborative comprised of a couple dozen government agencies, nonprofit groups and local leaders, all working to ensure that every young person in Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood has the opportunity to thrive.


RYSE creates safe spaces grounded in social justice that build youth power for young people to love, learn, educate, heal and transform lives and communities. Their programming focuses on supporting Richmond youth in the arts, at school and in their personal development.

Mindful Life Project

Mindful Life Project teaches mindfulness, yoga, expressive arts and hip-hop/performing arts to elementary and middle school students. Through individualized instruction, the organization provides mindfulness programs that teach self-awareness, self-regulation, impulse control, confidence and resiliency. 

Educate 78

Through informed giving and strategic initiatives, Educate 78 accelerates the development of new high quality schools, cultivates local education leaders, and engages families and community to champion policies that will produce more world-class public schools in Oakland. They seek collaboration and diverse perspectives to find creative solutions to the historically intractable challenges facing Oakland students and schools.
Fun Fact: The name "Educate 78" was inspired by the city of Oakland's 78 square miles.


The Braven Accelerator empowers promising young people on their path to college graduation and strong first jobs. Braven partners with educational institutions, volunteer professionals and employers to offer a rigorous and relevant career readiness course, followed by robust campus-based alumni programming. 

Mission Graduates

Mission Graduates (MG) is a nonprofit organization that increases the number of K-12 students in San Francisco’s Mission District who are prepared for and complete a college education. For 40 years, MG has been an important institution in San Francisco’s Mission District–an ethnically mixed, low-income community, where per capita income is just $13,951.

Youth Leadership Institute

The Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) builds communities where young people and their adult allies come together to create positive social change. YLI’s community-based programs have engaged young people in increasing healthy food access, decreasing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, and creating opportunities for youth civic engagement, advocacy, and philanthropy.

Summit Public Schools

Summit Public Schools prepares a diverse student population for success in college, career and life, and to be contributing members of society by providing small classroom sizes and personalized, empowering and rigorous learning.

Education For Change

The mission of Education For Change Public Schools, a network of charter schools working in partnership with OUSD, is to provide a superior public education to Oakland’s most underserved children by creating a system of public schools that relentlessly focuses on students’ academic achievement. They believe that high quality instruction, and its continuous refinement, will lead to success for Oakland students.

Regional 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