South Texas is a special and storied region where you can view Mexico across a river and where life is a rich tapestry of Latino culture and Texas pride. The Rio Grande Valley, known to locals as The Valley, is bounded by the Rio Grande River to the West and South and the Gulf of Mexico to the East. Three out of four children are growing up below the poverty line and communities remain severely under resourced. A historically rural region, The Valley has experienced rapid development recently and a number of its communities are emerging as urbanizing cities.
For many of our corps members, the Rio Grande Valley is home; some even serve in the same communities they grew up in. Others are newcomers who are exploring our region for the first time as they absorb the quickly changing landscape, a mix of small town rural communities and rapidly growing international cities.
Where do corps members teach?
Because of our region is geographically vast, with corps members teaching in the state’s five southernmost counties in nine different districts and over 40 different schools, we strive to keep corps members in groups to ensure that they receive support and can partner together and with colleagues to increase student opportunities and achievement.
As a corps member here, you could teach in a variety of school settings, from a traditional public school to a public charter school network, such as IDEA Public School (founded by Teach For America alumni Joanna Gamma (RGV Corps ‘97) and Tom Torkelson (RGV Corps ‘97)).
In the last decade, our region has seen many innovations in education including Early College High Schools, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) high schools, dual language schools, International Bachelorette programs, and nationally lauded dropout recovery programs. We actively seek corps members with master’s degrees, Spanish language experience, and STEM backgrounds to teach in these innovative models.
What makes the Rio Grande Valley a great place to live?
The Rio Grande Valley is consistently ranked as one of the most economical places to live and a teacher’s salary certainly provides for a comfortable lifestyle. Outside of the classroom, our corps members can be found underneath the lights at Friday night football games, jogging and biking on our extensive trails, relaxing on South Padre Island and enjoying our vibrant music scene.