Day in and day out, educators across New York State make a positive impact on the lives of students. Here’s some words of wisdom and encouragement from 10 classroom veterans to aspiring teachers:
"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."
— Sue Haag, Union Springs TA
“I have received (letters) from former students that show the rewards… 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 TA
“We work to inspire the people who will fix the future."
— Casey Jakubowski, UUP-Albany
“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 helped launch him/her into the world."
— Heather Streeter Bellevillle-Henderson TA
"WE NEED YOU! Teaching is second only to parenting in terms of sacrifice and reward."
— Rhea Ummi Modeste, UFT
"You know you're doing it right when it doesn't feel like work. 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 TA
“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 TA
"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, UFT
"The students are why we do what we do and helping them succeed can be one of the most rewarding experiences there is."
— John Cain, Copenhagen TA
“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 TF