Seventy-five senior-level teaching candidates and several school administrators from Nassau and Suffolk attended SJC Long Island’s seventh annual Teacher Fair last month in O’Connor Hall.
“The annual springtime event gives our students an amazing opportunity to meet and interview one-on-one with school administrators throughout Long Island,” Director of the Office of Career Preparation and Professional Development Jennifer Rooney said.
School administrations often bring in students they met at the fair for additional interviews and hire them for full-time teaching positions.
“We really enjoyed the candidates we met with,” said Joey J. Cohen, Ed.D., assistant superintendent for human resources for Patchogue-Medford School District. “(We) will definitely be seeking several candidates for further interviews.”
Prepping for the Fair
In addition to job opportunities, the fair offers invaluable interviewing experience. The career preparation office held résumé reviews and an interviewing workshop prior to the event to help participants prepare.
“Attendance at the interviewing workshop is integral, so that students really understand what is expected of them at an interview,” SJC Long Island Career Counselor Kevin Gill said.
Forty-six students attended the workshop, learning about appropriate interview attire, common interview questions and what the actual fair itself is like.
Students must have a résumé approved by the Office of Career Preparation and Professional Development and need to be either in their second semester of their senior year, in a graduate program or have graduated within the past year in order to participate. The event is open to all education majors at the elementary and secondary level.
Tiffany Luu, a senior at the College, suggested that students interested in secondary education, particularly math and science, pay close attention to Teacher Fair deadlines and requirements.
“I was shocked by how many schools are interested in candidates with science and math backgrounds. I always thought the Teacher Fair was more for child study students, but I was wrong.”
Even though it is a tough market, SJC students should remain open-minded while pursuing a career in education.
“The fair is a great opportunity to showcase all of your hard work and preparation,” SJC Long Island student Christine VanGiulder said.
SGA President Kaitlyn Rodriguez, a senior majoring in child study, appreciated what she learned from the fair.
“It taught me a lot about what schools are looking for and what it’s really like to sit down with a school administrator,” she said.
School Administrators in Attendance
“Hampton Bays has found a pipeline with St. Joseph’s College,” said Dennis Schug Jr. ’97, a middle school principal in the Hampton Bays Union Free School District. “Permanent positions are popping up throughout various districts on Long Island, and schools are always looking for substitute teachers and leave replacements.”
Schug’s colleague Scott Garofola ’08 added that the fair provides administrators with a wonderful opportunity to screen and meet the next wave of great educators.
“The Teacher Fair is a very successful event that allows future educators to become better prepared for the interview process,” said Keith Fasciana ’01, principal at William Floyd Elementary School. “The event is well-organized and provides opportunities for networking among teaching candidates and local school districts.”
Students in all majors can contact the Office of Career Preparation and Professional Development with career-related questions and needs at 631.687.1248.