NYS Department of Education Approves Russian Language Teaching Curriculum
The widespread shortage of teachers in New York State creates a significant need for high school educators.
Clarkson University has received approval from the New York State Department of Education to add the Russian language to its Adolescence 7-12 curriculum.
It is the seventh language offered in the Master of Arts in Teaching program and prepares students to teach the language at the secondary level. Clarkson also certifies teachers of Chinese, French, German, Greek, Latin and Spanish.
Clarkson Department of Education chairperson Catherine Snyder said there is a huge demand for high school foreign language teachers in New York State.
âWe have achieved 100% placement among foreign language applicants over the past five years,â says Snyder. âWe currently have no unemployed alumni of foreign languages ââ- in fact, the districts are competing for certified foreign language teachers.
âIf you are interested in teaching foreign languages ââat secondary level, you should come to us. We have a lot of experience in preparing foreign language teachers at secondary level. teaching only offer certifications in Spanish and French. We offer certification in seven languages. “
Typical foreign language applicants for the Master of Arts in Education program are usually students who have majored in French or Spanish, or native speakers of a language. Bilingual students often change careers and have always had an interest in teaching.
Snyder believes that with the current global situation, it is especially important to provide high school students with a world view. âOne way to do this is to learn about other cultures through language,â she says. âSecondary language teachers have a very important role in the education of our citizens. “
Russian is only taught at three secondary schools in the capital region and Clarkson did not plan to offer the language until they were approached by Galina Kats, the supervisor of the foreign language department at the Shaker. High School in the North Colonie Central School District.
âShaker has three Russian teachers and is very determined to keep the program going,â Snyder says. âMs. Kats contacted me to ask me why we are not certifying Russian. She wanted to make sure that future Russian teachers were prepared for her program and for others. “
Clarkson will partner with Shaker for internships and teacher residences.
Snyder says the shortage of foreign language teachers is indicative of a widespread teacher shortage in most areas of New York state.
âEarlier this month, we graduated 26 students from our MAT program, 80% of whom have already been hired,â she says. “It’s unprecedented. Most of our students are usually hired after graduation during the summer. It’s chaotic, students interviewing two or three schools, receiving multiple offers and starting salaries. higher than usual. “
Snyder says the shortages date back to the Great Recession, when schools laid off newer teachers. There is now a gap in the three main cohorts of teachers, with most schools lacking teachers with good experience, but not too advanced in their careers.
âThis group of teachers has been drained by the recession,â she says. “It’s scary to think that there are so many teachers retiring and the average age of teachers is now 48.”
Snyder is working hard to fill this gap and is already planning Clarkson’s next language offering. She says the next certification could be in Mohawk and that the university is considering partnering with the Salmon River Central school district and its superintendent, Stanley Harper.