Over the course of the past few months my colleagues and I have been planning programming that culminated this past week during our annual Career Week. During the process of planning events it occurred to me that a program we introduced this past spring for education majors remained important in their search for employment and therefore needed to be continued this fall.
The program, now a series, Careers Outside the Classroom, focused this fall on museums and cultural institutions and brought three panelists to campus. Students and alumni heard three distinct stories from the panelists who all shared a common passion for educating others; however all took rather roundabout ways of finding how that passion would show itself with regard to their careers paths.
As educators we are led on a path to teach formally within a school and/or classroom. And although the classroom is a wonderful way to impact the learning of students and make a difference in our world, it is not the only place to do so. The current market for teaching jobs within schools is highly competitive. A May 2010 NY Times article indicated that in one suburban Long Island school district the number of applications for just 8 positions exceeded 3000. Another year later I assure you that the number of applicants and the competition has grown.
During the our discussion of careers outside the classroom, specifically looking at museums and cultural institutions, we learned about internships, part-time, per diem and full-time positions that specifically work with both students and their classroom teachers to further learning. It might sound scary to think that when you graduate from your teacher education program you may not end up in a classroom or in a school; however I challenge you in this market, in today’s world where education and the potential to learn is everywhere - explore, the world of possibilities is endlesss.
Senior Associate Director, Career Center
St. John’s University
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