All Action Items (Joined in February)

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 February 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.

February Actions

+ Due 2/22: Use/Save your new TFA Google Apps ID

Friday, 2/22 | 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.

+ Due 2/25 (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 2/25 (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


+ take the onboarding info survey (Due: 2/28)

Thursday, 2/28 | 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: []

March Actions

+ Complete your NLU or Relay GSE application (Due: 3/15)

Friday 3/15 | If you are attending National Louis (aka your are teaching ECE) or if you are attending Relay GSE (aka anyone who is not already certified, teaching in NWI or teaching ECE) -- your initial application is due on Friday 3/15!

  • For those attending Relay -- your application was sent to your email directly from Relay (so search SPAM folders).

  • For those attending NLU -- your application can be found on the NLU page on the licensure hub ( -- you also would have received information about it via your Transition Blast.

These applications should take you no more than 20 minutes, if not less! You did 90% of the work by getting admitted to TFA! However, if you need an extension please send Lauren Weekes a DM in slack!

Remember - if you have been accepted to the NWI Pilot or are Already Certified, and transfering your license, this step does not apply to you.

+ Create Your State Licensure Account (Due: 3/17)

Sunday, 3/17 | **Create your Illinois State licensure account, known as your ELIS Account here: Once finished, confirm you created your account [via this survey]1. 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: 3/17)

Sunday, 3/17 | 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 the Financial Transition on the Onboarding Hub. We know the cost of licensure is not small, if you have concerns about covering this cost by 1/21 please reach out to Lauren via a direct message in Slack and we will work with you on an alternative timeline.

+ Interviewing with Cultural Competence Reflection (Due: 3/8)

Friday 3/8 | 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.

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.

+ Update your Resume and upload to your Google Folder (Due 3/8)

Friday 3/8 | 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 guidee and upload the draft to your folder using the naming convention (LastFirst_Rough Draft Resume) by Friday, March 8th.

+ (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 Hiring processes HERE and submit your application by March 8th.

+ Complete the Disability Accommodations Request Form (Due: 3/15)

Friday, 3/15 | 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.

Click this link to fill out the form:

To submit an accommodations request, we ask that you complete the 2019 Accommodations Request Form by 3/15/2019 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.

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 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.

+ Register for your content exam(s) & Upload your registration confirmation to your google folder ($) | (Due: 3/24)

Sunday, 3/24 | 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 April 6, 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 April 6th you will have 2 attempts prior to the deadline of 7/6/19 (May. 6th, Jun. 6th). We backwards plan our registration and test deadlines to ensure you have the maximum amount of attempts possible.

+ Upload citizenship and eligibility documents to the Applicant Center (Required for those interested in enrolling in AmeriCorps)

As a Teach For America corps member, you may be eligible to enroll in AmeriCorps during your first and second year in the classroom. To qualify for enrollment, you must meet specific citizenship and service term requirements. If you are planning on enrolling in AmeriCorps this fall, please upload the required citizenship and eligibility documentation no later than [03/24/2019] to the Applicant Center. Instructions regarding applicable documentation can also be found there. Failing to upload the required documentation by the deadline will likely cause a delay in your enrollment, so be sure to complete this action no later than [03/24/2019].

You can learn more about AmeriCorps in our 2019-202 FAQs, found here. As a reminder, the AmeriCorps benefits are dependent on federal funding. Due to the competitive grant application process and dependence on Congressional funds, these benefits are not guaranteed each year.

If you run into any technical issues uploading your documents, please reach out to Admissions utilizing Contact Us. Have questions about citizenship documentation or AmeriCorps requirements? Please reach out to Steven Grosso via slack.

+ Study for your Content Exams (Due: Ongoing all of March and April)

Ongoing | While you will not need to register or take your content exam until February it will be critical that you map out and begin test prep in January. Please take this time to ensure you are studying for your content exams, have created a prep-plan, and fully understand the costs associated. Remember, you can absolutely register and test prior to Feburary. The earlier to test the more attempts you will have to re-take the exam if you do not pass on your first try. If you need support, or have questions about this action, please reach out via the Licensure Slack channel or directly to Lauren.

+ Take part in our 10 year challenge

As you approach your first day in the classroom, we want to share your stories! Our current corps members, alumni, partners and supporters are eager to get to know our newest corps, and so every year we create a social media campaign introducing them. This year, our campaign is our own twist on the 10 Year Challenge. Click here for more information. We hope you'll consider participating!

April-May Actions

+ Take your content exam(s) and upload your "unofficial" pass Status to your google folder (Due: 4/6)

Saturday 4/6 | 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.

+ MicroLearning Videos- Watch & Complete Check for understanding (Due 4/15)

Monday 4/15 | In preparation for Summer Training watch the first four MicroLearning Videos and complete the Check for Understandings. Visit the Preparing for Summer Training page and scroll down to find the videos and Check for Understandings!

+ upload your official IL content test passing score Report pdf to your google folder (Due: 5/16)

Thursday, 5/16 | 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.

+ Corps Member Leave Request Form- Read the Policy & complete the Leave request form

Friday 5/31 | Read the Corps Member Leave Request Policy for Summer Training. If you need to request an excused absence, complete the Leave Request Form.

+ Summer Training Survey- Complete the Information Survey (Due 4/28)

Sunday 4/28 | After watching the Life at Summer Training video and reading the Summer Training manual, complete the Summer Training Information Survey where you'll provide us with emergency contact information, medical and dietary needs, and select your housing option. Questions? Reach out to Steven

+ AmeriCorps Background Check Process (All items by 5/31)

Friday 5/10 | Complete the Criminal History Check Authorization Form to allow Teach For America to process your background checks.

Friday 5/31 | Complete your FBI Background Check.

Information for both of these action items can be found here.

+ CPS Student Teaching Registration Form (Due by 5/31)

Friday 5/31 | In order to teach summer school in June and July, all Corps Members must complete the CPS Student Teaching Registration Form. We have created a walk-through to help you answer some of the questions. Additional questions? Reach out to Steven

June Actions

+ Sign the Summer Training Stipend Promissory Note (Due by 6/14)

Friday June 14 | In order to receive your Summer Training stipends this summer you must sign the Stipend Promissory Note. Steven sent instructions and your PIN number to your email on Monday, 5/27. Please reach out to him if you have questions.

+ Complete the Mandated Reporter Training (Due by 6/16)

Sunday June 16 | Now that you’ve completed the Student Teaching Registration Form, your next step to be able to teach at Summer Training is completing the required mandated reporter training by Sunday, June 16. This training is to make sure our students are safe this summer and during the school year. You can put 0 for the CPS ID question and Cook County for Chicago's county. When you’ve completed the training save or screenshot the completion certificate and send it to Steven. He’ll track your completion for the summer.

+ Complete the Onboarding Survey (Due By 6/17)

Monday June 17 | As onbaording comes to a close, we want your feedback! Throughout onboarding we try to ensure that our incoming corps members are clear, feel connected and supported throughout the process. We welcome your feedback as we are constantly trying to improve our work for future corps members. Please share your feedback via this survey by Monday, June 17th.