Published August 4, 2016
The Graduate School of Education has one word for college graduates looking to find a career with good job prospects and high job satisfaction, and that at the same time leaves the world a better place.
“Teaching is an immensely rewarding career with the potential to shape students’ lives and engage with the communities schools serve,” says Elisabeth Etopio, interim assistant dean for teacher education in the Graduate School of Education. “Through GSE’s Teacher Education Institute, we prepare students who are curious, reflective and able to develop innovative solutions that are both research-based and practically informed.”
Despite the positive rewards of a teaching career, there are looming teacher shortages in many areas of the country, according to Jaekyung Lee, professor and GSE dean, a shortage that Lee says will reach Western New York within a few years.
What’s more, the problems and drawbacks that have discouraged countless students who may have considered a career in teaching — among them low pay, low demand and teacher evaluation systems based on standardized tests that may or may not measure quality education — are changing, Lee says.
This may be the best time to become a teacher in decades, according to Lee and his UB colleagues. And UB’s Graduate School of Education is dedicated and equipped to train quality graduates who are positioned to take advantage of this demand for teachers.
GSE develops qualified teachers with its nationally accredited, clinically rich teacher education programs for certification. A teaching certificate from UB means a better chance at landing a good job, says Lee and local school district administrators who have hired GSE graduates.
Across the country, 46 states have reciprocity agreements with New York State through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification to offer teacher licenses with a New York State certification.
“As a nationally top-ranked education school in a premier research university, GSE is committed to recruiting a more talented and diverse body of students who are interested in a teaching career and educating them to become highly qualified and effective teachers to serve anywhere across the nation,” Lee says.
“How do we get teacher prospects back?”
Here is the case Lee and his GSE colleagues make for teaching: Promising undergraduates looking for a rewarding career with good job prospects and competitive salaries should consider these developments:
GSE graduates have earned the respect and approval of local school administrators.
“The University at Buffalo is an internationally recognized prestigious university,” says John McKenna, principal of Fletcher Elementary School in the Tonawanda City School District and president of the School Administrators Association of New York State. McKenna earned his doctorate in educational administration from UB in 2008.
“UB grads have an instantaneous advantage over other candidates because of the high quality that UB represents,” he says. “A degree from the University at Buffalo is a badge of honor and a true advantage in the workplace and marketplace.”
Adam Norris, a social studies teacher at Maryvale High School, recently became one of 10 recipients statewide of the inaugural Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award. The award honors Norris for exemplifying the highest professional standards, citing his work to inspire students, instill a love of learning and ensure that school is exciting, motivating and challenging. Norris joined Maryvale in 2006 after receiving a master’s degree from UB.
“Adam is a single example that represents the exceptional teachers who earn education degrees at UB,” says Deborah Moore-Russo, chair of the Department of Learning and Instruction. “While not all have earned the public recognition that he has, we are proud of our graduates. They could be considered the unsung heroes whose rewards are more typically the respect, admiration and gratitude of students and parents in their communities.”
For more information about teacher education opportunities at UB’s Graduate School of Education, visit the school’s website or contact the GSE Office of Graduate Admissions and Student Services by email or phone at (716) 645-2110.