Educator’s Reception in Review

Educator's Reception Clip Art

Jennifer Donohue

Do you have dreams of teaching a class of students in your future? Teachers educate students who are going to be leading the future of the world. On Thursday, February 18, 2016, STAC’s Offices of Career Development and Alumni Affairs held an Educator’s Reception.  Education majors had the chance to hear from teachers who are currently teaching in schools.  All the teachers there were alumni from St. Thomas Aquinas College.  Each of the teachers stood up and introduced themselves and gave helpful advice to the students. They shared funny stories, what their first year teaching was like, and what makes a good student teacher versus a bad one. As a current education major, I was very interested in what they had to say.

The following is some of the advice they gave to those who attended the event.

  • As teachers, you have to want to be part of children’s lives.
  • You need to be passionate about teaching or your students won’t be passionate about learning.
  • There will be times where a lesson doesn’t go well or you think your students don’t like you. When you’re feeling down about choosing teaching as a career, just think back to why you wanted to become a teacher in the first place.
  • One of the teachers there shared a baseball analog, “You are not going to hit a homerun every day, just have the goal to hit a single every day.” I really liked this message… One day you think back to a lesson where everything went perfect and was great, like you hit a homerun.  Then the next day the lesson doesn’t go perfect. If you can find small, positive things that came out of your lessons, you hit a single for the day.
  • Another piece of advice they gave was that your job as a teacher is not secure, like any other job. You need to be diverse and have certifications in different areas to become more desirable.
  • Being a substitute teacher is a good way to start out and get your foot in the door to teaching. They talked about how the good student teachers were the ones who dressed professionally, were prepared, patient, arrived early and stayed late, and were creative. They said “yes” to everything that was offered to them. Good teachers continue to learn and accept that they can be wrong at times.
  • Teachers want their students to like them and think they are cool but don’t try to be friends with them.
  • Think about the teacher you want to be known as. Don’t become a teacher that you didn’t like.
  • As a teacher always write your lessons and examples down.
  • Read books to yourself before you read them to your class, and preview YouTube videos before showing them, as these teachers learned from past mistakes!
  • Finally, have goals for yourself and your students so you are not just teaching to the curriculum. For teachers, it’s like putting on a show 180 days a year to their students; create something students would be glad to reflect back on.

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The Non-Profit Panel

Jennifer Donohue

Have you ever thought about working for a non-profit? The definition of a non-profit is an organization whose purpose is more important than making a profit. On February 3rd, 2016, STAC’s Career Development Office held a Non-Profit Panel in the library. The room was filled with mostly Communications and English majors, but all majors were welcome to attend. There were four speakers from Rockland County, who attended the event and talked about the non-profits they work for. One of the speakers was from United Hospice of Rockland, an organization that enables patients who are in advanced stages of an illness to remain in a familiar and supportive environment while receiving relief from pain and other symptoms. The second speaker was from Keep Rockland Beautiful, an organization that cleans, protects and beautifies Rockland’s environment by educating and empowering people to care about their community. The third speaker was a recent alumnus of STAC that works for the Center for Safety and Change, an organization that serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes in Rockland County. The fourth speaker was from Jawonio, an organization that helps to advance the independence, well-being and equality for individuals with disabilities or special needs.

I came to the event with no prior knowledge of non-profit organizations and left feeling like I learned a lot in only an hour and a half! A few of the speakers had marketing degrees and were previously working with for-profit companies. They realized the work and family life balance was a struggle for them, so they switched to non-profit companies, where the hours are more flexible. The skills that non-profits look for are your writing skills, the ability to pitch a story and then tell it. Social media knowledge is essential in this tech-savvy world, you will need to know how to blog and tweet to help get the message out. In order to show interest in a non-profit, it helps to volunteer or have an internship there. They talked about how you should look at your work like a mission instead of a job. Nobody in non-profits goes into it for the money; you need to have the passion and interest in order to enjoy it. Finally, I learned that whatever you major in while you’re at college, it should always be decided on instincts rather than the opinions of others. The job you have long after graduation can be completely different from your major, but the skills can carry over into a different career.