The news of the teaching industry in New York has been circulating for years now. Very soon, we are going to need more teachers to replace the retiring generation, and we will need them to be a revised model for the future of education. Studies show that we will need an average of 1,700 new teachers every year. Across the country, there will be a call for 1.6 million new teachers over the next decade. These reports are a key contributor behind the creation of the TeachNY initiative, a movement to lift up the teaching profession and to ensure that New York and the nation will have the high quality educators needed for the future.
Yesterday, at the SUNY Board of Trustees meeting in New York City, the research and hard work with teachers throughout New York State came to fruition as Chancellor Zimpher and the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees approved the TeachNY policy that will guide SUNY to achieve a higher standard of excellence in educator preparation and support. This policy will be considered by the full Board of Trustees for final approval at its June 21 meeting. (**Update: It was fully approved)
TeachNY policy was developed through a large process that included a review of the current teaching landscape by state and national experts who comprised the TeachNY Advisory Council. There was also a listening tour that took Chancellor Zimpher and New York State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia all across New York State where they received input from teachers, faculty, students, and communities, a Statewide Roundtable comprised of New York’s leaders in the field, and a TeachNY Steering Committee led by Provost Cartwright that ultimately incorporated feedback from these efforts as it developed the new policy.
Throughout the entire process, TeachNY has garnered widespread support from many throughout education, including students, teachers, administrators, and editorial boards in New York.
“There is perhaps no higher calling – no single profession that has a greater impact on quality of life and economic prosperity – than teaching; and yet today’s teachers are among the most underserved in terms of clinical preparation, professional development, and support,” Chancellor Zimpher said. “Through this policy, TeachNY can and will lift up the profession while ensuring excellent teachers for New York’s classrooms at a time when students, families, schools, and communities need them most. Thank you to the thousands of New Yorkers who lent their expertise and their voice to the TeachNY movement, to Commissioner Elia for SED’s ongoing partnership, and to the SUNY trustees for their continued leadership on this important issue.”
The new policy reflects SUNY’s ongoing commitment to excellence in teacher preparation and includes a framework built around four major components.
Teachers help us form our path in the future. We need a strong educator workforce to carry us forward with the knowledge to be leaders and change makers in industry and society. Now the development of this policy aims to help bring us that refined teacher supply for the future in New York and beyond. As Chancellor Zimpher is known to say, “In a truly rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of would have to settle for something else.”
Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.