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Tougher to become a teacher
Geneseo, N.Y.If you want to become a teacher in New York, the task just became a bit tougher.
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees has officially adopted a new measure requiring new admission standards for incoming teachers at the states colleges and universities. Admissions offices will take a closer look at assessment exams such as the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and will raise the admission requirement for principal and teacher preparation programs to a grade point average of 3.0.
Im all for raising standards for teaching candidates, said Anjoo Sikka, Professor and Dean School of Education at SUNY Geneseo.
I think that our students deserve to see teachers as role models as well as people who actually guide them in the learning process.
Though she also said raising standards means more than a students grade point average.
Interpersonal skills, the ability to relate to students, and working with parents are among the most important skills a teaching candidate can possess, said Sikka.
You dont really get that from the classroom, said Tom Scalia, a graduate student in the school of education.
Recently compiled data show that in any given education program at SUNY Geneseo, approximately 6 percent have a GPA below 3.0.
The new standards are unlikely to alter enrollment for most incoming teachers at SUNY Geneso, but could impact those transferring in.
It is possible that they may be a little leery about coming to Geneseo as transfers because they feel that they have missed out on the window to get into teacher education programs, said Sikka.
Incoming teachers face tougher standards, but salaries remain the same. Some feel that could remove one more reason to enter the profession.
I think most people recognize that teachers in any state do not enter the teaching profession for the money, said Dr. Don Halquist chair of the Department of Education and Human Development at The College at Brockport.
There are other more intrinsic motivators fueling teachers desires. And while teachers salaries in New York State could certainly be better, the issue for many is not a tipping point.
While teaching salaries vary, entry level teachers in the Finger Lakes Region make between $27,050 and $40,160, according to Labor Statistics from the New York State Department of Labor.