January 22, 2019

Western New York summit encourages young people and career-changers to 'take a look at teaching'

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations
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take a look at teaching summit

BUFFALO, N.Y. Jan. 22, 2019 — With the state facing a looming teacher shortage, the Kenmore Teachers Association, the West Seneca Teachers Association and New York State United Teachers have launched the second in a series of summits to encourage students and career-changers to “take a look at teaching.”

The Western New York Take a Look at Teaching Summit will engage teachers, high school and college students, state legislators, college professors and policymakers in a dialogue on how to inspire a new generation to become teachers and help diversify the profession. It will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Kenmore Middle School, 155 Delaware Rd., Buffalo, N.Y.

Kenmore TA President Peter Stuhlmiller, West Seneca TA President Joe Cantafio, and NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango, will lead participants in small group discussions to explore questions and possible solutions to the looming shortage.

“We hope to have a deep, meaningful discussion with students and professionals about the challenges and rewards of teaching and what the education community can do to spread the word that teachers make a difference in their communities,” DiBrango said.

DiBrango said the state’s looming teacher shortage has already emerged in difficult-to-staff subject areas and high-needs districts.

Enrollment in New York State’s teacher education programs has declined by 47 percent since 2009, even as the state Teacher Retirement System projects that one-third of New York teachers could retire in the next five years, she added. Last year, SUNY projected that New York State will need 180,000 teachers in the next decade.

In addition, the education workforce across the country, as well as in New York State, does not reflect the diversity of its communities and student population. In New York, 43 percent of students are Hispanic/Latino or African-American, compared to 16 percent of the teacher population.

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.

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