Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A new state program seeks to provide help for Syracuse schools and hands-on experience for SUNY Oswego students.
The program puts future teachers in classrooms of schools in what are considered high needs districts.
The experience is aimed at providing future teachers with valuable training and also helping a district that has seen a significant leap in students who do not speak English as their primary language.
School officials say as many as 90 different languages are spoken in the schools across the Syracuse City School District and they’ve had a difficult time finding and hiring qualified teachers in the specialized area.
Around 16 college students who want to go into teaching in the English as a Second Language (ESL) area will be put in Syracuse schools alongside teachers.
They will spend five days a week for a year at school, helping students at the elementary and high school levels.
“The teacher candidate is getting more help. The teacher in the school is going to team and get help with their teaching and the kids in school are going to get more help,” said SUNY Oswego program coordinator Pat Russo.
The program also provides the college students with an opportunity to be mentored by a professional. This, along with being in the school district, should better prepare them to possibly teach in the district once they get their degree.
Right now, the grant money will allow for the program to run at least two years , but the hope is it will continue after that and become permanent. SUNY Cortland has a similar partnership with Binghamton schools.