Model Course on Teaching
This model course is designed to introduce middle and high school students to a possible career in education.

A NYSUT member workgroup of experienced educators developed this Model Course on Teaching to introduce middle and high school students to a possible career in education. The five course modules are designed to be flexible and can be adapted for use in classrooms, a career exploration course, an after-school club, or a service-learning project.

Purpose of the project:

The purpose of the model course is to introduce middle and high school students to the teaching profession. Students will explore career options and learn more about high-need subject areas and locations. Many urban and rural districts across New York are reporting severe shortages in many subject areas. Districts with high child poverty rates and racially diverse students are much more likely to face challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers. Like many other states, New York reports persistent shortages in special education, bilingual education, English as a Second Language, science, mathematics, English Language Arts, social studies, world languages, career and technical education, health education, literacy and library science.

Ideas for use:

The five-course modules provide a basic curricular framework that includes an overview of topics, essential questions, outcomes, suggested activities and assessments — but do not include specific lesson plans. The modules can be implemented in partnership between a P-12 school or district and an institution of higher education, or by an individual school or district. The five segments may be used individually as standalone mini-courses or developed into an entire curricular program. Each segment is designed to be flexible and can be adapted for use in after-school education clubs, middle or high school classrooms, career exploration courses, or service-learning projects.

View the Overview


Module 1
What does it mean to learn and who are our learners?

What is learning and what exactly does it mean to be intelligent? How can a teacher figure out exactly how to teach when students are not all alike? Are you good at solving math problems in your head? Do you like to sing or play a musical instrument? Can you turn an object upside-down and still figure out what it is?

Some people excel at certain things, while some are better at others. This is called “multiple intelligence theory.” In this segment, you will take a simple quiz to find out more about the types of intelligence you have. 

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Module 2
What is teaching? Why teach?

Teachers can make lifelong impressions on their students. Can you remember one of your favorite teachers? What did you like about that teacher and what makes them stand out in your memory? In this exercise, we will discuss our most memorable teachers and decide just what made them so good at their craft.

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Module 3
What do teachers know and need to be able to do?

Just because you attended school doesn’t make you an educator. Learn more about classroom management styles, social-emotional learning and lesson planning.

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Module 4
What is a school community?

How does community shape education and education shape community? It’s all about relationships and collaboration within a school. Learn more about creating a strong school community and improving communication with families.

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Module 5
What makes teaching a profession?

How do you become a teacher? And what makes teaching a profession and not just another job? In this segment you will learn all about the characteristics of the teaching profession and explore just what it takes to become a teacher.

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