It is a common misconception that Education majors are lazy or only have easy work to complete, but this could not be further from the truth, especially at SUNY New Paltz. There is extensive work and teacher training that goes into being an Education major. Here are some tips to be a successful Teaching Candidate at New Paltz:
1. Talk to your advisors:
At New Paltz, you start out with a general advisor, who is great for helping you out with schedule planning, major and minor exploration, and nearly any basic questions you have about your education. Once you have declared your major in the Education program, your advisor will likely become Joanna Schroer; her office is in the Old Main building, and she is very kind and incredibly knowledgeable about everything it takes to be successful as an Education major. In addition, you often will have another advisor for your concentration within Education, whether it be Earth Science, Spanish, English, Math, or anything else. It cannot be emphasized enough how valuable your advisors will be; they stick with you throughout your years at SUNY New Paltz, and the guidance and aid that they can provide you with are truly important.
2. Go to the Career Resource Center:
Located in the Humanities building, the Career Resource Center is one of the most helpful places at New Paltz. They will help you with anything related to jobs or internships, including how to write a resume, how to build interview skills, and how to develop your professionalism. They can help out with major and minor exploration, and they can also give you lists of all of the possible fields you could go into with each major offered at New Paltz. If you are worried about job outlook for the area you hope to work in one day, the Career Resource Center can give you an idea about whether your chosen field will be growing or decreasing within the next few years. They also offer workshops about how to properly conduct job and internship searches.
3. Connect with Education professors:
Becoming close with your Education professors can only benefit you. They have a great deal of teaching experience and can tell you what being a teacher is really like. Staying connected with your favorite Education professors could even help you with networking one day when it comes to possible future employers or schools that you may work at. Definitely stay involved with professors who are involved with the literacy center; teaching candidates coming out of the Literacy Education Program are highly-trained and currently in high demand, if that is something you’re interested in.
4. Experience, experience, experience!
One of the most significant things you can do to be successful in the Education program is to gain as much experience as you are able to. You can start out on winter, spring, or summer breaks, by contacting your old teachers and administration to see if you would be allowed to return to your former elementary, middle, or high schools to observe in the area you are studying. This kind of observation can show you what teaching is like, and it can help you to decide if becoming an educator is truly for you. Any extra experience you obtain will help you to be well-prepared for the fieldwork you will eventually take part in as part of Education program coursework.
5. Put in effort in ALL classes:
At SUNY New Paltz, Education majors need to keep a 3.0 GPA. Your Education classes may be the ones that are most interesting to you and that you try your hardest in, but it is important to maintain your grades in all classes to ensure that your GPA does not drop and you are not in danger of risking your spot in the Education program. Most General Education classes that you are required to take are designed to be decently easy, as the professors understand that these courses may not be part of your desired area of study. Even in classes whose subject matter does not quite appeal to you, you must put in hard work and power through even the worst of mind-numbing boredom; it will all be worth it in the end!
It can be easy to become discouraged when faced with the intense amounts of work that must go into successfully completing the Education program at New Paltz, but just remember that everything you do is to follow your passion and hopefully attain your dream job one day.