Operations Director – Apply by Jan. 12

By November 27, 2017Jobs

Operations Directors serve as vision setters for their team, and manage Operations Coordinators toward achieving operational outcomes and personal development goals. ODs are catalysts for cross-functional partnership and communication, and are the leaders of all institute operational systems and protocols.

The Role
Our 2018 Memphis Regional Institute is determined to achieve three overarching outcomes: 1) Foster a 21st century global learning experience for students, 2) Build a community that sustains, celebrates, and challenges, and 3) Catalyze our corps members’ learning and leadership to be Day One Ready. Teach For America – Memphis is seeking coachable, vision-oriented leaders to serve as Operations Directors (ODs) for the 2018 Memphis Institute. During the summer institute, corps members and regional staff members rely on the operations team to ensure that systems are put in place to reach desired outcomes and foster community-building between our teachers and staff. By committing to the collective team and having personal ownership of the corps member experience, the Memphis Institute operations team will help drive corps and staff culture and continuously model teamwork. The operations team owns the logistics of Institute, is flexible enough to adjust for unforeseen changes, and serves as the hub for all information on school and university systems. ODs serve as vision setters for their team, and manage Operations Coordinators toward achieving operational outcomes and personal development goals. ODs are catalysts for cross-functional partnership and communication, and are the leaders of all institute operational systems and protocols.

The Team
Just six percent of Memphis students graduate high school college-ready — a reality threatening Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of equality. Communities across Memphis are working urgently to change this and ensure all kids have choices after high school. We know that this work will require a reimagining of schooling in our community and will require diverse leadership at all levels. Our mission is to find, develop, and support a diverse network of leaders who expand opportunity for children from classrooms, schools, and every sector and field that shapes the broader systems in which schools operate. To foster this force of leadership, we focus on creating an environment where learners are deeply known, in a program that is intentional, supportive, and rigorous, so that they preform better, sustain themselves for longer, are more likely to persevere in the face of challenges (and even rise up to meet them at increasing rates), and lead more effectively.

To realize our mission and act from our learning theory, our staff MUST take radical responsibility for leading at every level and be obsessed with fostering community and empowering leadership in every interaction. To that end, every team member should embody the following:

Open Hearted Leadership:

  • Consistently lean in during moments where there is a lack of clarity
  • Build relationships where people feel deeply known and open yourself to be deeply known by others
  • Understand identity and privilege in a work setting
  • Shift into a solutions-orientation when breakdowns occur
  • Operate with authenticity by being true to your word, speaking from your perspective, and demonstrating openness

Radical Responsibility:

  • Track record of being committed to people’s development and success
  • Understand and co-own the creation of the corps member experience
  • Deeply invested in executing our institute design with precision and intention
  • Take full responsibility for your outcomes and impact and support others to take full responsibility for theirs

Continuous Learning:

  • Can autonomously direct your learning
  • Humble, flexible, problem solver
  • Understand that coaching comes from everywhere (peers, corps members, your manager)
  • Continuously reflect on your outcomes, the impact you are having on others, and the relationships you are building

Primary Responsibilities
Operations Directors will be tasked with, but not limited to, the following responsibilities:

  • Coach, develop and manage two Operations Coordinators to execute efficient and effective operations at the university site
  • Produce detailed project plans during the spring for execution in the summer by the team of operations coordinators
  • Build, maintain, and leverage relationships with our university partners and other key vendors
  • Develop and maintain a positive culture at the university
  • Perform meticulous record-keeping as needed
  • Analyze and use operations data to improve effectiveness of systems throughout the summer
  • Ability to work early morning and evening hours required; also, some weekend hours required
  • Ability to travel over the weekend to at least two spring training conferences required; participation in spring conference calls and completion of related pre-work are also required
  • Ability to move boxes, set up and break down items, especially during special events


  • Exceptional critical thinking skills
  • Demonstrated ability to manage people and complex projects in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong influencing and motivating skills to achieve outcomes
  • Tireless commitment to excellence
  • Strong organizational skills

Approach to Work

  • Enjoy coaching and managing others to achieve outcomes
  • Strong operating instincts
  • Ability to thrive and make decisions in a fast-paced environment
  • People/customer service orientation
  • Enjoys spending time building internal and external relationships as a means to achieve outcomes.


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Two or more years of professional experience highly preferred
  • Experience planning large-scale events or creating and implementing complex organizational systems
  • Experience managing individuals a plus

Apply Now
To be considered for this role, you must submit an online application. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the link to the online application. For more information, please contact memphisstaff@teachforamerica.org or visit https://www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers/summer-staff-opportunities/.

In order to be considered for this position, you must submit an online application and complete the following steps by Friday January 12, 2018.

1) Submit your initial application that includes uploading your resume.
2) Upload your cover letter (maximum length one page) answers at least two of the following questions:

  • Why are you applying to the Operations Director position?
  • In what ways have you been most successful, and in what ways have you been least successful, in your classroom?
  • Describe a time when you have led, managed, or taught a group of adults. How has this affected your leadership style? How would the adults in that group describe your leadership style? Include an example of when your style was effective or ineffective. (If you do not have experience leading adults, please reflect on the leadership style of someone with whom you have worked.)
  • Mandatory for returning institute staff: What did you learn in your role last year, and what would you change about your approach this year to make yourself more effective?

3) Create two videos, 5 minutes maximum each, responding to the following prompts:

  • Pretend you are talking to a corps member on the first day of institute that is nervous about their decision to join Teach for America, and they ask you the question, “What does Teach for America do and what does that mean for my impact?”
    • A few notes- this corps member is generally happy and just needs to be reminded of “Why TFA” to feel solid going into the first day.
    • Feel free to respond directly to the question or engage in a role play with someone willing to play the role of a corps member.


  • Recall a time where there was a major breakdown between a group of people with whom you worked. Describe the team; describe the breakdown.  How did you approach the situation and what steps did you take to help resolve the breakdown? What ultimately happened? What did you learn about yourself and working with teams?

Uploading Instructions:
Upload your videos to Youtube or Google Drive. Ensure that they are sharable, and clearly include the link to each video in your cover letter. Tips to upload to Youtube can be found here. Tips to upload to Google Drive can be found here.

Do not be concerned if it is not a professional quality video. A clip from a cell phone or digital camera will suffice.
Because technology can sometimes be fickle, we strongly suggest giving yourself plenty of time before the deadline to upload your video.

4) In the “Institute Application Started” email, you’ll see a “Reference Request Form” link. Follow that link to request up to three professional contacts to complete a reference survey on your behalf.  The survey is intended to give hiring managers an understanding of your full trajectory as a teacher and leader.  Therefore, we ideally want to see feedback from professional, managerial contacts who can speak to your experience in the classroom and school/corps community over time.

In this survey we want to hear from the people who know you best (with a particular eye towards those most familiar with your classroom). If that’s ultimately one person – for example, your current coach – that’s fine.  And if you’re not ready to tell your manager yet that you’re applying for another job, that’s fine. This is not about the number of references (although hearing from several people can sometimes help understand your full trajectory); this is about getting a full picture. Often, Teach For America staff have great perspective on both the role to which you’re applying and your own strengths. To that end, some suggestions:

  • Current Corps Members: At a minimum, please ask your current and former coaches to serve as your reference(s).
  • Other references should be professional contacts who know you well and can speak to your qualifications for the position to which you are applying.  This can include a current or recent manager, principal, or professional mentor.  If you’ve worked at Teach For America’s summer institute, your manager there could be a helpful reference as well.  You should not ask friends or family members to serve as a reference.

Upon submitting their contact information to us, we will send your references the reference survey to complete.  We encourage you to leave adequate time for your references to complete this step.  The survey will take approximately 20-30 minutes for them to complete.
Please note that if references are unable to complete the survey by the application deadline, this should not hold you back from applying.

For more information, please contact memphisstaff@teachforamerica.org.

About the Organization
There are more than 16 million children growing up in poverty in the U.S., and less than 10 percent of them will graduate from college. These statistics are not a reflection of our children’s potential; we know that children growing up in poverty can and do achieve at the highest levels. Rather, these statistics reflect the systemic lack of access and opportunity for children in low-income communities.

Teach For America (TFA) finds, develops, and supports an ever-expanding network of outstanding and diverse leaders committed to expanding opportunity for children in schools, school systems, and in every sector and field that shapes the context in which schools operate. Representing the diversity of America and sharing the experience of having taught successfully in our most challenging public schools, TFA corps members and alumni form a network of change agents inside and outside of education who are grounded in the tremendous potential of our most underserved children and connected to families and communities impacted by educational inequity.

Founded by Wendy Kopp in 1989, Teach For America has since expanded to 36 states and 53 regions, reaching more than 10 million students. Now 53,000 strong and growing each year, the TFA community is leading across all sectors, including as teachers, school and school system leaders, elected officials, policy and advocacy organizers, social entrepreneurs, and business and civic leaders. We support the individual and collective leadership of this network as they work hand-in-hand with students, families, and allies in the effort to realize educational equity and excellence for children across the nation.

Our Core Values and Diversity, Equity & Inclusiveness Statement
Learn more about our Core Values and our commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusiveness.

Commitment to Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment Policy
Teach For America encourages individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort. Learn more about our diversity on staff:

Teach For America is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member) or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

This job description reflects Teach For America’s assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing in this herein restricts management’s right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time.