take a look at teaching

Why teach? We asked our members to tell us why they entered the profession, why they still love teaching and what they would say to encourage new and future teachers. Here's a sampling.

“Positivity. There is no better way to impact the future of this nation than to be a role model for kids. Think of your best teachers, coaches or other adults — other than your parents — who have helped make you who you are today. Be one of those people and pay it forward.” — Michael Struchen, Indian River Education Association

The most rewarding career you could ever choose ... teaching is a profession that is conducted through your heart. Join your union, be part of your union, participate in your union. It is the most important thing you can do for your career.” —Jamy Brice-Hyde, Horseheads Teachers Association

It’s a job you’ll love to hate. You WILL make a difference in the lives you touch. — Karen Woodring, BOCES Educational Support Personnel Association

Every job is challenging! Being a teacher is a special challenge and every day helping the future generation learn more about a topic that you love is SO worth it!” — Tamara Edwards-Wilson, Westbury Teachers Association

You know you’re doing it right when it doesn’t feel like work, like a job. It is a career, a vocation, a calling, and when it fits, you know it. And that is one of the best feelings you can have as a professional and an educator.” — Kurt Hassenpflug, North Colonie Teachers Association


why teach?

WHY TEACH? "I could be one scientist... or I could be a teacher and raise hundreds."

The desire needs to come from the heart. And when it does, you’ll have chosen a job you LOVE and never WORK a day in your life!” — Linda Yankowski, Hyde Park retiree

There is no greater profession than teaching. As a child it provided me with so much and it still does today.” — Tom McMahon, Mahopac Teachers Association

Teaching is a very rewarding job when you see how you are helping students learn and grow. There is never enough time in a day which makes the days fly by. I’ve worked desk jobs where you watch the clock all day long and wish it was time to go. Teaching is the opposite. You watch the clock and wish you had more time!” — Jen Fraser, South Jefferson Teachers Association

WE NEED YOU! Teaching is second only to parenting in terms of sacrifice and reward.” — Rhea Ummi Modeste, United Federation of Teachers

When I eliminate the ‘noise’ of administrative, testing, APPR, defending/ justifying academic freedom, I love teaching students. There are dozens of reasons this profession is awesome; one of the most rewarding reasons to teach is to watch a student become an adult and to know that we (teachers) helped launch him/her into the world.” — Heather Streeter Bellevillle-Henderson Teachers Association


take a look at teaching

TEACHERS TALK TEACHING. Jessica Coles was on track to become a police detective when a college internship in a prison made her do an about-face. “I wanted to make a difference,” she said. “Before they got to prison.”

Be in it for the students — not the money. We work to inspire the people who will fix the future.” — Casey Jakubowski, United University Professions - Albany

I would show them letters I have received from former students that show the rewards and I will tell them there is no better feeling in the world than helping a student reach their potential and face a challenge with success.” — Lori Atkinson Griffin, Copenhagen Teachers Association

My daughter and son-in-law both recently joined our profession. I tell them to keep their chins up. Try to ignore the difficult administrators, parents and colleagues. It’s very hard to be a teacher but it’s worth it for the children. They are the reason we go into teaching and they deserve our best. — Nancy Eaton, Webster Teachers Association

Our country needs you to keep democracy alive! We need dedicated people to help kids think critically, develop a strong work ethic and create vibrant communities where people can thrive. After 38 years in the classroom, I can honestly say teaching was my vocation, my passion and worth the efforts.” — Sue Haag, Union Springs Teachers Association

The future of teaching will most likely involve more local choices and bring more opportunities for out-ofthe- box teaching ideas.” — Brandon Lyon, Johnstown Faculty Association

Stay with it if you’re ready for a bumpy ride. It is beautiful to teach students, but it is a very long and difficult journey to get there.” — Alanna Majewski, Lowville Teachers Association

It takes at least five years to find a niche. Network with your peers and senior educators. Communicate clearly your goals for students and parents. Give your best unreservedly and continue despite setbacks.” — Rita Bhatt, United Federation of Teachers retiree

Teaching is truly one of the most rewarding jobs out there and when you are allowed to do it, there isn’t a greater feeling in the world.” — Erika Bosworth, Deposit Teachers Association

Pace yourself so you won’t burn out. Have a life outside of the school day. Teaching gets easier.” — Catherine Root, Corning Teachers Association

It is probably one of the most challenging professions and will test you to your limit, but stick with it and the rewards are endless.” — Thei Cherry, United Federation of Teachers

The students are why we do what we do, and helping them to succeed can be one of the most rewarding experiences that there is.” — John Cain, Copenhagen Teachers Association

You will be broke and stressed, but you will still love your job.” — Connie Catherman, West Canada Valley Teachers Association

Talk with veteran teachers. When I run into former students and they talk about their successes and how I influenced their life, it makes it all worthwhile. The media and the ‘reformers’ can never take that away from me.” — Rebecca Pordum, Buffalo Federation of Teachers

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