Teaching Here

Why Choose Washington?

To me, Washington is home and that makes it the best place in the world. It is incredible to be able to give back to my state and to help ensure that kids growing up here have access to an incredible education and graduate ready to embrace all that Washington, and the world, has to offer. From the Puget Sound to the Cascades to Seahawks Sundays, the Pacific Northwest is a gorgeous place to live and an innovative and unique contributor to the education reform movement. - Megan Claus (Washington '13)
I love living in the Yakima Valley for so many reasons. I love the smell of the grapes in the air in the fall and the cherries blooming on the trees in the spring. I love the community of students and families, whom I think are so critical, creative, and full of hope. I love working at my school, which is always striving for improvement. In my placement, as in a lot of rural communities, the school is the hub of the community, which positions my students as such powerful change-makers. The TFA family in the region may not be huge, but it's active and very supportive. Most corps members live together, attend school events together, and spend our weekends together. - Erin Schultz (Washington '14)

What You Need to Know


Salaries range from $38,000 - $45,000.




University of Washington (Optional two year program)


One year.

Becoming Certified to Teach

  • Overview
  • What is U-ACT?
  • What does it cost to become certified?
  • Can I pursue a Master's degree?

Certification Requirements

In Washington, corps members must complete the following before they begin teaching:

  • Take and pass exams
  • Enroll in an alternative certification program during their two-year commitments
  • Apply for conditional certification through the State Superintendent’s Office

Certification Program

Through the University of Washington U-ACT Certification Program, corps members will earn certification in their content area after completing one year of coursework and passing the TPA assessment.

U-ACT instructors observe corps members in the classroom and meet with them individually and in small content area groups to offer further support. Enrolling in the U-ACT program also requires corps members to work with a school district mentor. These mentors are experienced teachers in the district who tailor their support according to the needs of individual new teachers.

U-ACT is the Accelerated Certification for Teachers, specifically designed to support Teach For America corps members by the highly-ranked University of Washington College of Education. The three-quarter sequence of courses for U-ACT earns candidates a WA state residency teaching certificate. It also earns candidates 21 graduate credits, which s/he may choose to apply towards a Masters in Education. In this program, teachers develop pedagogical practices grounded in ambitious and equitable teaching that positions students as “competent sensemakers.” Teachers have the opportunity to work and collaborate in a content-specific cohort supported by professors and mentors from one of the most robust university partnerships in the nation. 

For the 2015-2016 school years, the cost of U-ACT was $14,000. This cost can change some each year as the cost of tuition changes.

Corps members are able to use their Americorps Award towards the cost for U-ACT. Corps members are also able to apply for student loans for this program. More guidance on loans is available through our partners at the University of Washington

While not required, corps members can complete a Master’s during their corps commitment through the University of Washington’s College of Education. Previously, corps members have pursued Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. The University of Washington is hoping to expand more pathways to earning your master’s in two years.

Learn more.

Subjects And Grade Levels

  • Elementary
  • Secondary ELA
  • Secondary Math
  • Secondary Science

In Washington, 45% of our corps members teach in elementary schools and 55% teach in secondary settings in English, Social Studies, Math and Science. We seek to meet the needs of our district partners and match our placements to the growing shortages, especially in STEM, that they are experiencing. 

Get to Know Our Communities

  • Grandview
  • Federal Way
A dock lined with boats on the water at sunset.

Grandview, in the Yakima Valley, takes its name from the stunning views of both Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. This rich agricultural area is roughly ninety percent Latino and Mexican and Chicano cultures heavily influence the local community. Grandview is a great place to teach if you want to get better at or love speaking Spanish.

The Grandview School District prioritizes providing diverse, enriching experiences for students. From dual-language opportunities in the elementary schools to college prep programs like AVID and Gear Up in middle and high schools, students and teachers at Grandview constantly seek new pathways to learning and leading. This year, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction awarded Grandview Middle and High School the state’s Career Guidance Award of Excellence for programs aimed at helping students prepare for their futures and develop a growth mindset. Grandview’s outstanding students will be Washington’s next teachers and leaders and we are so proud to be a part of the community.

A scenic photo of an urban beach along the coast of Puget Sound.

Located between Seattle and Tacoma and bordered by the beautiful Puget Sound, Federal Way is a thriving residential community with increasing diversity. On Saturdays from May to October, the Farmers Market is a popular destination for families and anyone looking for fresh, local produce and the chance to sample cuisine from some of the area’s best food trucks.

Year-round, you can play on the sandy beach or hike through forested trails at Dash Point State Park. Many corps members both live and teach here, with the intention of being a part of the same community as their students.

Regional Expenses