Hi Hallie, thank you so much for writing this and sharing your thoughts. I’m a current Google software engineer who is strongly considering teaching with the GIR program (pending manager approval as I just switched teams — most likely won’t happen until 2018). My eventual goal is to transition into teaching full time, but for the moment I only have a bachelor’s degree under my belt so something like GIR seemed like a good option until I get a master’s or teaching credential.
One point of disagreement — Google employees are not doing this on strictly a volunteer basis. Google is still paying them their entire 100k+ salary plus all housing and relocation expenses. That’s a damn fair bit better than any other teaching program I know of for someone with my credentials. Still, it is true that Google discourages employees from staying in the program for more than a semester. Their goal was never to pay full-time instructors to stay on indefinitely, it was to pay their engineers to take some time off and then go back to working as engineers. So maybe not the best outcome for the school or students, but at least it’s a start.
Please keep writing and thinking critically! Just because Google is doing good work or has good intentions doesn’t mean we get to stop and pat ourselves on the back. There will always be room for improvement.