All Action Items (Joined in Oct-Nov)

Starting Onboarding • Action Items • Communication Systems

licensure • HiringSummer TrainingResourcesCONTACT US


getting started…

Below is a list of all your action items if you accepted your offer in October or November. Click each one for detailed instructions regarding: due date, associated costs, and how to submit each item.

Reading your Actions by Cohort page and completing actions items by the due date is required.

  • To request financial support for upfront Onboarding Costs click here.

    • Note action items with this symbol ($) indicate that there is a cost associated.

  • For a master checklist of all action items click here.

December Actions

+ Due 12/17 (2 options): Attend the WELCOME webinar

Welcome Webinar | Meet your regional onboarding team and begin to build community with one another. RSVP HERE.

Pre Work: None - just attend!

System Requirements: Laptop with Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.9 and higher OR Windows 7 and higher OR iPhone with iOS 7.0 and higher -- you will need to have speakers

+ Due 12/18 (2 options): Attend Intro to systems webinar + complete pre-work

Intro to Systems (Logistics) Webinar | Learn about systems and required action steps related to onboarding (licensure, hiring, communications and more). Please plan to attend one of the two options below. RSVP HERE.

Pre Work 1: Identify if you are exempt for the Basic Skills Licensure exam via previous SAT or ACT scores. Learn if you are exempt here. If you are exempt please take a screenshot of your exempt scores and have that saved on your computer in advance of the webinar. If you are not exempt please email Lauren at

Pre Work 2: Download Slack, instructions are here (there is also a mobile app!).This is the communication platform we use during Onboarding to build community and stay in touch

System Requirements: Laptop with Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.9 and higher OR Windows 7 and higher OR iPhone with iOS 7.0 and higher -- you will need to have speakers

+ Due 12/21: Use/Save your new TFA Google Apps ID

Friday, 12/21 | Within 48 hours of confirming your offer to join the corps, you should receive an email from with your new Google Apps ID/Gmail account (

This new email address will enable you to access a wide variety of resources later this year, including regional and institute information. Please make sure you have saved that email’s information and you are able to log in by taking the following steps:

  • Log in to and click on your name in the upper right corner to view your profile and find your Google Apps ID.
  • Navigate to “TFA Apps” in the upper right corner and choose the Google Apps for Education icon. You will be redirected to a new page where you can log in with your TFA Google Apps ID and the same password you use to log in to

You can also sign in to your Teach For America Google account at, using your Google Apps ID and the same password you use to access

For more resources on your TFA Google Apps account or for related tech support, visit the Google Apps Support Center. If you have questions, please reach out to tech support through this form.

January Actions

+ take the onboarding info survey (Due: 1/13)

Sunday, 1/13 | Help us better get to know you by completing this Onboarding Survey here.

In this survey, you'll share a bit more about yourself, your preferred method of contact, working and learning styles, and some facts. We'll be using the information shared here as we gear up for Hiring and Summer Training. [Here's the raw link to copy/paste into your browser should the hyperlink not work:]

+ Create Your State Licensure Account (Due: 1/13)

Sunday, 1/13 | Create your Illinois State licensure account, known as your ELIS Account here. Once finished, confirm you created your account via this survey. If you are teaching in Northwest Indiana, please take no action.

Why? Your ELIS account is Illinois' online licensure portal. This action only takes 3 minutes and it is incredibly important. Your ELIS account is where you will be entitled for your license and where your test scores will populate. You cannot teach without this account. Please make sure when you are registering that you enter all your demographic information correctly (first, last, SSN). Any misspellings, or wrong information, will lead to a delay in your license in August 2019. If you feel you need additional time complete this action please reach out to Lauren via Slack and she can work with you.

ELIS Resources: How To Create your Account | Navigating your ELIS Account

+ send your basic skills exempt score to isbe ($) | (Due: 1/13)

Sunday, 1/13 | Send your Basic Skills Exempt score to the Illinois State Board of Education.

  • If you are using the ACT for exemption click here for instructions.
  • If you are using the SAT for exemption click here for instructions.
  • If you are not exempt, or are teaching in Northwest Indiana, please take no action.

Why? In order to be entitled for licensure the State of Illinois must see that you have met your basic skills requirement and/or are exempt from taking that exam. When you submit your scores to ISBE they will show up in your ELIS account automatically (this is why creating that account is so important). It takes ISBE a very long time to process your scores in your ELIS account, between 2-6 months, this is why we ask you to take this step very early on. If you do not take this action you will not able to recieve a license and will be required to defer the corps until 2020.

Cost: There is a cost associated with this step ($37-$54). If you have questions about up front licensure costs please review your transition guide here. We know the cost of licensure is not small, if you have concerns about covering this cost by 1/13 please reach out to Lauren via a direct message in Slack and we will work with you on an alternative timeline.

+ Complete the Disability Accommodations Request Form (Due - 1/21)

Teach For America strives to offer reasonable accommodations for corps members with disabilities, mental health, or chronic health needs during institute. Please use the form linked below to let us know if you have a disability that will impact your housing, mobility, medically-dictated dietary needs (i.e., diabetes, severe allergies), engagement with instructional materials during institute, etc. Our Disabilities Accommodations Office and summer training staff will follow up with corps members who request an accommodation. Please note that you may be required to complete additional medical documentation after you submit your request.


To submit an accommodations request, we ask that you complete the 2019 Accommodations Request Form by 1/21/2019 so we have ample time to follow up on the needs you indicate in the survey. While we ask that corps members complete the survey by this deadline, the survey is open to corps members until May 9, 2019.

Please note: We will collect information about non medically-dictated dietary needs (e.g., halal, kosher, vegan) this spring.

+ Study for your Content Exams (Due: Ongoing all of January and February)

Ongoing |During the month of January there are not action items due! Please take this time to ensure you are studying for your content exams, have created a prep-plan, and fully understand the costs associated. The due date to register and take your content exam will be in February. However, you can take those actions at any time - meaning, you can absolutely register and test prior to Feburary. If you need support or additional resources you can reach out via the Licensure Slack channel or directly to Lauren.

February Actions

+ Register for your content exam(s) & Upload your registration confirmation to your google folder ($) | (Due: 2/3)

Sunday, 2/3 | Register for your content exam(s) and upload your test date/time screenshot to your Google folder. Please select a test date no later than Feb. 23rd 2019. Locate registration information by clicking on your specific content exam from the list here. You do not need to be in Illinois or Indiana to take your exam. You will be able to select a testing location near you (international locations are available).

Study Materials: You can locate information on your specific exam, study materials and more in content test section here. On average corps members that study for 5 hours between when they register and when they test have a 90-98% passage rate.

Cost:There is a cost associated with this step ($122-$198). We know the cost of licensure is not small, if you have concerns about covering this please reach out to Lauren via a direct message in Slack and we will work with you on an alternative timeline.

Need an extension? If you would like to apply for a registration/test date extension please reach out to Lauren via slack no later than 24 hour prior to the due date.

30 day rule:In Illinois and in Indiana if you fail your exam you must wait 30 days to retest. All exams must be passed by July 6th 2019 (some exceptions apply if you are teaching in Indiana). For example: if you test by February 23rd you will have 5 attempts prior to the deadline of 7/6/19 (Feb. 23rd, Mar. 23rd, Apr. 25th, May. 23rd, Jun. 23rd). We backwards plan our registration and test deadlines to ensure you have the maximum amount of attempts possible.

+ Update your Resume and upload to your Google Folder (Due 2/12)

Tuesday 2/12 | In preparation for our upcoming interview experiences (more information to come), we want to ensure that we are taking steps to get you “interview ready”. The first step is to revise and submit your resume. Please update/revise your resume using this resume guide and upload the draft to your folder using the naming convention (LastFirst_Rough Draft Resume) by Tuesday, February 12th.

+ Take your content exam(s) and upload your "unofficial" pass Status to your google folder (Due: 2/23)

Saturday 2/23 | Take your Content exam(s) no later than this date (although you can test earlier if you prefer). Upon completion you will receive a print out indicating an immediate Pass/Fail status, this is known as an "unofficial pass". If you passed upload a picture of that to your Google folder. If you did not pass send Lauren a direct message in Slack and she will connect with you on next steps. You will receive your "Official" pass (indicating your specific score) as a PDF via email within 4-8 weeks. To learn exactly when you will get your official PDF scores you can review the score reporting calendar here.

Passing Scores: In Illinois a passing score is 240/300 (or 80%). In Indiana your score is scaled. For each test, the score is based on your performance on all sections of the test and is converted to a scale that ranges from 100 to 300, with a score of 220 representing the passing score for the test.

March Actions

+ Interviewing with Cultural Competence Reflection (Due: 3/6)

Wednesday 3/6 | In preparation for our upcoming interview experience, we’ve already prepared our resumes and now we’d like to set you all up with an opportunity to reflect on what it means to interview with cultural competence. We know that many of you are well aware and strive for cultural competence but want you to spend some time thinking about what this might mean during the interview experience.

By Wednesday, March 6th, please review the following document here and submit a word document of your reflections (questions included) in your Google Folder. Please use the name LastNameFirstName_CCReflection.Additionally, be on the look-out for an email from Ryan directly with more information regarding the upcoming interview experience and how to prepare.

You can also find all the "becomming interview ready" materials here, as well.

+ (Optional) Apply for one of the hiring special processes/pilots (due: 3/8)

Interested in applying for the Chicago-Community Based hiring process or the Northwest-Indiana pilot? Learn more about these special processes here and submit your application by March 8th.

+ upload your official IL content test passing score Report pdf to your google folder (Due: 3/16)

Wednesday 3/16 | Upload your the PDF of your official IL content test passing score report to your google folder and (if applicable). You should have received this PDF directly from the ILTS via email 2-4 weeks after taking your exam. Please review the calendar here to learn when your scores should have been returned.

Your official score reports are required in order for you to be entitled for your license. If you received an extension for taking your content exam please review the score report return dates here to learn when you will receive your report.

Note: If you already know you will be teaching in Northwest Indiana this step does not apply to you. To learn more about your unique testing process click here.



(actions will include: updates about interview weeks, AmeriCorps registration, university partner application information, and summer training actions)