Mitch Scott: Teaching Self-Reliance

When Mitch Scott graduated from New Paltz this past May, he knew exactly what he wanted to do: teach English. The only problem was that nobody seemed to be hiring.

“I attended Teacher Recruitment Day, applied to schools up and down the East Coast all summer, dropped off resumes in person, and all of it was to no avail,” Scott said. “Just as I was about to give up and take a job in retail, I received a call from the principal of my first student teaching placement.”

Within a few weeks, Scott was hired to teach English at LaGrange Middle School in LaGrangeville, N.Y. He says that courses he took as an undergrad greatly helped him once he got in the field.

“I learned an awful lot from my content area classes, and my Methods course was incredibly helpful,” Scott said. “A deeper understanding of your subject area is as or more helpful than ‘learning’ how to teach.”

He advises anyone entering the job market to be assertive.

“It’s tough out there, so you have to stand out and be a little shameless. You have to make phone calls, check on applications. It may not seem natural or polite, it certainly didn’t to me, but no one is going to help you except yourself.”

You can link to other stories below. And hey, keep your heads up, seniors.

Meg Zanetich, a recent journalism grad, is now freelancing at two publications in the Hudson Valley.

Anilsa Nunez, who graduated in 1995 with a degree in radio and television performance, is now assistant dean of students and director of residence life at St. John’s University.

Ivey Haber has been wearing many hats since she graduated in May 2009 with an interpersonal communications degree. She’s a freelance art production assistant,  set designer for film and TV, and a jewelery and makeup designer.

Katie Koch was a communication disorders major who graduated in December 2009, but now she is a preschool teacher assistant in Coram, N.Y.

Alex Storozynski has what nearly every journalism major wants: a Pulitzer Prize. He graduated in 1983 with a degree in political science.

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