How did you decide you wanted to become certified in Business Education?
I knew I wanted to be a Business Teacher after I made several poor financial decisions. I had turned 18 and said “Yes!” to every store that offered me a credit card so that I could save 10% on my order. I also insisted on financing a brand new card with no credit and was paying an incredibly high interest rate and could barely afford the car payments. When I would talk to other students in my business classes they were surprised by howI was. Many of them were offered a financial literacy course; some schools even mandated it for graduation! There was no such class at my high school and I felt like I was unprepared and already taken advantage of. I didn’t know how to write out a check, balance a checkbook, distinguish between APR and APY or know how to manage my credit. I thought that it would be a great to help students better prepare for life after high school
What brought you to Hofstra for graduate studies and what stands out about your time here?
I went to Hofstra for my undergraduate degree knowing that I would continue there for my graduate degree. Very few schools on Long Island have Business Education programs. Hofstra not only had a great reputation for their program, they also had a great record for job placement after graduation. The professors for the program are teachers and administrators on Long Island who share real stories and provide insight to the school environment. Marsha Iverson, the program director and professor, encouraged us to network and played a huge role in our placements during and after the program
Can you share details about your favorite course?
I enjoyed the methods course SED 238 taught by Marsha Iverson. This was when I developed my “Toolbox” of lessons, assessments, review games and activities to create a dynamic and engaged classroom. We always brought extra copies or exchanged flash-drives to share our lessons and activities. Each day we would start with an icebreaker activity followed by a motivating activity. We practiced demo lessons for all the various courses and topics that fall under business. Marsha also prepped us for the interview process, demo lessons, networking events and resume writing. This is the course that made me feel prepared to teach
Tell us about your field placements/student teaching
I truly enjoyed observing. A majority of my hours were done at Baldwin High School’s Business Department. They had a great program, great students and great teachers that allowed me to get involved. Whether it was offering to help hand out papers or assisting students in formatting, I tried to leave a great impression on all of the teachers I had the privilege of observing
I believe that your student teaching experience is all about what you make of it. You sometimes learn what not to do, and in some cases that’s more of an experience because you need to figure out what works for your students. I wouldn’t change anything about my student teaching experience. My cooperating teacher was fun, but had a less structured style than I saw myself having as a new teacher. This motivated me to connect with other teachers to get ideas from their classrooms and gain more perspectives on teaching
Who do you consider your professional mentor(s)?
My first chairperson at Floral Park, Stephanie Scolieri, really developed me as a teacher. Her expectations are just as high for herself as they are for her teachers. Whether it was reviewing lessons, providing tips for classroom management or guiding me through seemingly endless paperwork, she truly invested the time to make me better. Her support through those rough untenured years was greatly appreciated. She works harder than anyone I know in this profession, and she proves that this really is not a 8am-3pm job. Even as she has taken on more administrative roles in our district she still exemplifies the same standards
What advice do you have for future teachers and those interested in business?
NETWORK! Get your name out there. Be memorable and always put your best foot forward. Professional Organizations to Join: LIBTA and BTANYS. If you get a position do everything and anything you can for that school. Stay late, be early, plan great lessons, be professional and get involved in the school. Show your dedication and enthusiasm! Lastly, seek help. Reach out to other teachers in the school, former classmates or other business professionals
How did the Business Education program support you during your job search?
Today, I am a Business Teacher and Assistant Chairperson at Floral Park Memorial High School. I technically did not apply for my job. The chairperson, who also graduated from Hofstra, called Marsha and she recommended me. Still to this day, when we need to hire a teacher or leave replacement we call Hofstra. I am very appreciative that this program provided me with such a great network of resources.