In recent years—especially as a result of the “Great Recession” of 2007-2009 — the national myth attached to the teaching profession is that there are no jobs for teachers. We’ve all heard the tales of defeat from individuals who have given up their dreams of becoming educators because of the challenging job market.
It’s time to bust that myth! When we take a look at employment statistics, we find exciting news. Recent projections regarding teaching positions are positive. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment for high school teachers to increase 6% by 2022, while employment for elementary and middle school teachers will both grow 12% during this same time period. The student-to-teacher ratio is also expected to decline resulting in an increased demand for both elementary and secondary teachers. International trends in job outlook for teachers reflect an even greater need for teachers on the global level. Evidence of “growth” and “increase” in reports regarding job prospects for teachers should change our beliefs about how practical it is to pursue a teaching degree.
So you might ask, though teacher education graduates might be able to find jobs throughout the country or internationally, will Niagara University graduates be able to secure positions in the local community and throughout New York State’s competitive job market? Again, let’s consult the statistics. Statewide, both elementary and secondary school teachers are among the top 25 occupations with the largest number of annual openings projected by 2016, according to the New York State Department of Labor. Reflecting the national trends, NYS projects a 7% employment increase for those in educational services by 2022.
Of course, statistics do not guarantee that every teacher candidate will secure a job teaching around the corner. But, the College of Education programs at NU have a long history of preparing future teachers who stand out during the job search and consequently, obtain and succeed in their desired positions. Our graduates have proven that success is attainable—in NYS and beyond. The College of Education conducts a survey of graduates one year after leaving NU and we are pleased to report that more than 90% of our program completers are working full time in the profession. The other 10% may be among the 70% of our recent undergraduates who have continued their education at the master’s level.
Our recent graduates have secured teaching positions at the state, national, and international levels. Most recently, Niagara grads are finding success in states such as Arizona, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina and countries such as South Korea and Guam. Many recent graduates have found employment this fall in New York. We are pleased that they are now working in local districts such as Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda, Rush-Henrietta, Clarence Central, Wilson Central, North Tonawanda, Penfield Central, and Greece Central, among others.
As we know, job prospects are on the rise, and we are experiencing an increasing need for teachers at every level. Perhaps now, the reigning myth that “there just are no teaching jobs available,” will give way to the understanding that well-prepared teachers who are effective in the classroom will and do get jobs.
The College of Education would like to congratulate the following NU graduates who have very recently been hired or promoted within school districts locally, nationally, and throughout the world.
Joshua Prieur (’08)—Dean (Teacher on Special Assignment), Boca Raton Community High School
Marissa Felser (’12) –English as a New Language Teacher in Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District
Rebecca Oliver (’13)—Special Education Consultant Teacher in Rush-Henrietta School District
Bridget McDonnell (’13)—Fifth Grade Teacher at St. Mark School in Buffalo, NY
Monica Ecker (’15)—Third Grade Teacher in Clarence Central School District
Kassandra Grys (’15)—High School Math Teacher in Wilson Central School District
Sabrina Rotello (’15)—Pre-School Teacher in North Tonawanda
Catherine Gibbons (’14)—Middle and High School Math Teacher at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf in Buffalo, NY
Allison Radley (’14)—High School English Teacher in Penfield Central School District
Michelle Brannan (’13)—Seventh Grade Special Education Math Teacher at Colonial Heights Public Schools in Virginia
Jessica Lemke (’11)—Kindergarten teacher at Tapestry Charter School in Buffalo, NY
Hannah Ranney (’12)—High School Teacher at Henrietta F Lewis Campus School on the Wyndham Lawn Campus in Lockport, NY
Alyssa Polito (’13)—High School Math Teacher at Greece Olympia High School in Rochester, NY
Michelle Brutus (’14)—High School English Inclusion Teacher in Memphis, Tennessee
Gretchen Schwarzmueller (’15)—Teacher in Keshequa Central School District
Stephen Labanowich (’13)—Teacher in South Korea
Morgaine Enfiejan-Stewart (’13, ’15)—Teacher for Guam Department of Education
Kelsey McGinty (’13)—Teacher in the Orthopedic Disabilities classroom at Southside Middle School in Florence, South Carolina
Kelly Hoak (’15)—High School Geometry teacher at Sweet Home High School in Amherst, NY
We in the College of Education would like to celebrate the accomplishments of our recent graduates who are excelling in positions locally and around the world. We hope that you will keep in contact with us so that we might place a tack with your name on it on our world or local maps. Please email us at DeansOffice-COE@niagara.edu and let us know what you are doing.