New Club Introduces Students to the Benefits, and Ins and Outs of Teaching
Valley Stream, NEW YORK (February, 2022) — The Valley Stream Central High School District is preparing the next generation of educators with the launch of the Future Teachers Academy, a new club at each of its schools that gives students the opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of teaching, as well as how to break into the profession.
At a recent Future Teachers Academy session, Dr. Laura Seinfeld, Dean of the College of Education, Information and Technology at LIU Post, and Professor Cary Epstein, Assistant Dean at the college, gave a presentation titled “Why Teach” for club members at Valley Stream North High School.
The two lifelong educators went over the credentials required to become a public-school teacher in New York State and the ways students can specialize their educations to their teaching interests and future ambitions. Dr. Seinfeld and Professor Epstein also went over the benefits of becoming a teacher—namely job security and work/life balance—as opposed to other professions.
“I always had a feeling that becoming a teacher was something I wanted to do,” Samantha Altieri, a junior at North, said after the presentation. “When I heard about this club, I was excited to have a community, and foster an environment where we can learn information that we need to be successful in the future.”
“I’m not completely decided on what I want to do, but I know that with teaching you get to work hands-on with children, and that’s something I want to lean into,” North sophomore Gunand Thind said. “I want to help people, and with teaching you get to see the impact you’re making every day on the students’ lives. Like Maya Angelou said, ‘Be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud,’ and to be able to do that is something that interests me about the field.”
For senior Sarai Alleyne, her own experience at North pushed her to begin her pursuit of teaching. “I’ve always wanted to work with kids, and a lot of the teachers here at North inspired me because of my relationships with them,” she said. “They’ve made my experience in the classroom easier and enjoyable, and I wanted to go into a career that would give me the opportunity to have those same kinds of relationships with students.”
The creation of the Future Teachers Academy came at the suggestion of Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Administration Cliff Odell, who said he wanted it to serve as part of a pipeline encouraging members of Valley Stream’s diverse student body to enter the teaching profession.
“The driving force behind this club is to educate our diverse community of learners on the field of education,” Mr. Odell said. “Research shows that nationwide there is a significant lack of diverse educators, and this is a way of introducing our students to the profession of teaching, and the necessary higher education requirements to pursue it.”
“The vision and mission of the Future Teachers Academy is to educate our students about the field of education so that they understand how they can make a difference in our community and beyond in a challenging and exceptionally rewarding career,” North Principal Dr. Robin Small said.
Club advisors Brenda Coleman and Catherine Modzelewski, who each have more than two decades of experience in the teaching field, said they were happy to help steer students toward their field. “We want to provide them access to resources and individuals who can answer questions and help guide them,” Modzelewski said.
For more information about the Valley Stream Central High School District, please visit the District’s website at https://www.vschsd.org/, and like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ValleyStreamCentralHighSchoolDistrict
Date Added: 2/18/2022