Students Stay Positive Despite Layoffs

Notre Dame College has a long tradition of teacher education. Nearly half of the College’s 2,000 current students are planning to pursue a teaching career after graduation despite recent news of large-scale teacher layoffs nationwide. When the Cleveland Municipal School District announced plans for potential layoffs of as many as 545 of the district’s teachers, WKYC TV 3 reporter Dick Russ came to campus to get the inside story from Notre Dame administrators and education students who are preparing to enter the work force. Read their perspectives on the situation and on their future plans.

The following is the copyrighted story broadcast on April 22, 2010.

South Euclid: Future educators hopeful despite teacher layoffs

SOUTH EUCLID -- Nearly half of the 2,000 students at Notre Dame College are planning to be teachers. Despite news of massive teacher layoffs nationwide, they find reason to be hopeful.

"It's a bump in the road and we'll get over it, and one day I'll be in the classroom," Anshawn Ivery says confidently.

But the fourth-year education major admits he has closely followed the news of teacher layoffs in Cleveland and elsewhere.

"As an education major, it strikes me hard," he tells WKYC. "I'm one of those people who wants a job in education but also remains hopeful. I know that, eventually, they will come back."

While the Cleveland Municipal School District  was announcing the layoff of 545 teachers, other school systems across the country were facing similar situations.

It is estimated that, by the end of the current school year, 300,000 teachers nationwide will have lost their jobs.

"It's kind of depressing," says Nikki Koplow, who will be getting her education degree from Notre Dame College next month. "We'll be coming out of here and not have a job, but hopefully, in time."

Koplow will student-teach in the fall, and may enter a master's degree program, waiting for the time a job opportunity matches her passion for teaching.

"I think that, with the skills that we're taught, we can go out there and make a difference," she said. "I know that we are put in lots of different situations where we've gained experience in schools. And I think a lot of people in that program have a desire and an interest in their hearts to help students."

John Galovic, who chairs the Education Department at Notre Dame College, says he has seen these cycles of economic downturn  and teacher layoffs during his 40-year career.

"I would not discourage young people from going into education," Galovic stated. "We need our young people. That's who we need as our teachers. And I know it can be discouraging to get your degree and not find a job right away, but eventually, they'll all find jobs."

Galovic was joined by a number of colleagues from Notre Dame College at the Cleveland City Club on Thursday, where State Superintendent Deborah Delisle was speaking. She told WKYC the economy is to blame for the rising number of layoffs.

"I guess my best advice is to keep the faith," Delisle said. "Certainly, we're hoping for an economic recovery and when that happens, we're certainly hoping that more teachers will be employed."

On his way back to class, Anshawn Ivery said he was confident of being equipped with the skills that will ensure him a job in his chosen profession, sooner than later.

"It's how to be a step above the rest," he explained. "Here, they teach us how to be diverse teachers, that is, how to work in whatever situations we're placed in. I think that's an excellent quality as a teacher, and one that's needed."

Galovic said those future teachers who will be best qualified and are most likely to be hired are those who possess certain skills and qualities.

He pointed to some of the most important as complete mastery of their subject matter, having an effective teaching method and presence in the classroom, and a dedication that extends to every aspect of their school and profession.

"Teaching is a very, very hard job," Galovic said. "It's not eight hours a day. It's much more than eight hours a day."

© 2010 WKYC-TV


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