ALBANY, NY Sept. 20, 2018 — New York State United Teachers today launched “Take a Look at Teaching,” a new initiative to strengthen teacher recruitment efforts and elevate the profession as a whole. The program targets college, middle and high school students; adult career changers; and individuals already working in the education field who want to become certified teachers.
Starting this fall, the campaign will feature campus conversations, a series of regional summits for students and educators hosted by P-12 and higher education union locals statewide. The campaign also features a new site that will help people navigate the process of becoming a teacher, and provide inspiration for entering the profession. Information ranges from facts about teacher education programs, teacher certification and student loan forgiveness, to educator testimonials about what teaching means to them.
“NYSUT sounded the alarm last year about the looming teacher shortage, and many districts have already begun experiencing recruitment problems in certain subject and geographic areas,” said NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango. “We have to act now.”
The campaign is an effort to counteract a “perfect storm” of factors contributing to the teacher shortage, including plummeting enrollment in teacher education programs, and an aging population of veteran educators, explained DiBrango. In addition, NYSUT is working hard to change the state’s disastrous APPR teacher evaluation system, which has further discouraged people from entering or staying in the profession, she continued.
The campaign places a special focus on increasing racial and ethnic diversity within the teaching field. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s annual report, The Condition of Education 2018, although nationally 51 percent of students in grades K-12 are children of color, 80 percent of all public school teachers are white. And student diversity is only expected to grow since the percentage of white students enrolled in public schools is projected to decline through at least 2025.
“Having diverse teachers benefits all students,” said DiBrango.
For more information, visit www.nysut.org/TakeALookAtTeaching.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.