Friday, February 3, 2012

Do you remember?

Mrs. Verini, Miss Blake, Mrs. Martin, Ms. Casazza, Mrs. O’Hara, Mrs. Sollecito, Ms. Duryea – these were all of my elementary school teachers.  I remember each and every one.  Do you remember yours?

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting between the NYC Department of Education and many local college’s schools of education.  It was very interesting to hear about all the changes to our educational systems and how we evaluate teachers in NYC, NYS and the entire country.  Our teachers have received much negative press over the years about their salaries, unions, time off, and effectiveness in the classroom.  My intention here is not to discuss the politics and dispel or support the rhetoric.  My intention is to remind students even with the downward hiring of teachers across the region and country, and even with all the changes coming to the teaching profession that teaching is still a noble profession.

At this meeting, I had the privilege of hearing closing remarks from the Chancellor of NYC Schools, Dennis M. Walcott.  As the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, Walcott oversees 1,700 schools, 1.1 million students, 136,000 employees, and a $23 billion budget.  He is a product of the New York City School System and currently has a personal stake in the schools as his grandsons are attending in Queens. 

Mr. Walcott not only was able to remember all of his elementary school teachers but he was able to recall fond memories of all and has kept in touch with many of them over the years.  These teachers profoundly touched his life and the life of others.  Can you remember yours? Did any of them change your life? Did they teach you to read and write? Did they somehow contribute to where you are today?  Chances are the answer is yes. 

Do you have the special calling to make a difference in a child’s life?  If the answer is yes, and you are up for the challenges ahead, I encourage you to explore teaching as a profession.  Even if you are not an education major there are many programs for non-education majors to teach: Teach for America, NYC Teaching Fellows, Peace Corps, and many more.  Feel free to visit, make an appointment with us at The Career Center, and/or speak with your professors for more information.

~Suzanne Dagger, Director of Career Services

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