May 03, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Amanda L. Aiken, senior director for schools for New
Orleans college prep charter schools, discussed the ins and outs of
the teaching profession at Mount Saint Mary College’s Teach the
Change event on May 1.
Mount Saint Mary College hosted its annual Teach the Change
conference – a career development event for teacher candidates,
high school students interested in becoming educators, and their
mentors – on Monday, May 1.
About 200 people attended the conference, which featured an
introduction by keynote speaker Amanda L. Aiken, senior director
for schools for New Orleans college prep charter schools.
“The goal of education is to interrupt poverty, and the goal of
education is to end suffering,” said Aiken. “These two quotes are
why I’m committed to this work.”
Sometimes teaching can be tough, Aiken explained, but it’s one
of the most rewarding career paths.
“It’s not easy,” she said. “You’ll have bumps along the way.
You’ll make mistakes. But you have to get up, show that fire, love,
and determination, and keep going.”
Teach the Change is a comprehensive initiative of the Mount’s
Division of Education, coordinated in conjunction with the Center
for Adolescent Research and Development (CARD), under the
leadership of Frances Spielhagen, Mount education professor.
The initiative has three major focus areas:
- Continuing to strengthen the teaching profession in the
programs provided by the college.
- Creating a pipeline of teacher candidates from area high
schools, especially first- generation college students and those
who may be underrepresented in the teaching profession.
- Enhancing the current teaching force by providing teacher
leadership training for area educators.
The Mount was recently named a Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC)
higher education institution and the Teach the Change initiative
was awarded a five-year New York State TOC grant. Over the next
five years, the Teach the Change initiative will receive funding of
$39,000 per year to nurture and mentor minority and/or economically
disadvantaged candidates and prepare them to teach in at-risk
school districts in New York State.
Teach the Change is a recruiting vehicle for TOC, a component of
the New York State My Brother’s Keeper initiative. The purpose of
TOC is to increase the participation rate of historically
underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in
The event was sponsored by the Mount’s Division of Education,
CARD, the college’s Sigma Tau chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (the
International Honor Society of Education), and Teacher Opportunity