Wall of Fame

SUNY Oswego Graduates Teaching In New York City

Teacher School Location Grade Email Address
Dorald Bastian   Harlem, NY 7th Grade Doraldbast@aol.com
Everette Hughes PS 306 Bronx    
David Lai Dr Sun Yat Fen MS 131 Manhattan, Chinatown   teachervido@yahoo.com
Cassie McDonough PS 288 Brooklyn 3rd Grade Cmcdonou@oswego.edu
Denee Scott   Bronx   dscott@acps.k12.va.us
Jamie Wilner IS 229 Bronx   Jamiefour@aol.com

Dorald Bastian: "Immediately after graduating (1996) I joined Teach For America, a national, Americorps organization that trains and certifies recent college graduates so that they may fill teacher positions nationally; mostly in under-resource, urban school districts.  I was trained in Texas, then later I was placed in Baltimore, Maryland.  After completing my two-year commitment to TFA, I realized that I wanted to continue teaching- I had so much more to learn.  I taught for four more years in the inner city school system of Baltimore, wrote curriculum for the city's English department, and piloted a new program as a professional developer for the Office of Curriculum and Instruction.  I had an incredible experience!!!!
   I also earned my masters degree in the teaching of English, grades 6-12 at John's Hopkins University, walked away as the "poster-child" for the school of Business and Education, and with a richly developed sense of what it takes to be a middle school teacher.
   Currently I am teaching seventh grade in Harlem, NY.  This is my first year, so I have loads to talk about to anyone who is interested.  I am excited about teaching, learning, and student achievement...I have dedicated my life to the profession because I love the role of teacher.  But mostly I am just crazy about schools."
-excerpted from an email dated 04-23-03

Everette Hughes, teacher and SUNY Oswego grad, and student teacher Veruska Oviedo at PS 306 in the Bronx.

Cassie McDonough: "I suppose I would have one piece of advice for those looking to teach in NYC, or anywhere for that matter.  I would suggest that instead of adopting the attitude that all NYC children are destitute and in need of YOU to change their lives, or 'save them,'  one might say that they are going to teach in an area where teachers are needed, and are going to teach kids that are ready and willing to learn."

Denee Scott: " I graduated with my undergraduate degree in 1994 and graduate degree in 1996 (finished my project in 1998).  

I am currently teaching in Alexandria, VA, but started my teaching career in the Bronx, NY.  I was very excited when I read that there is a focus on teaching in urban areas.  When I attended Oswego, my student teaching experience was in Oswego and not in the setting I wanted to teach in.  Coming from an inner city area, I wanted to teach in a similar community giving children opportunities and the education I didn't always receive.

Although I loved my classes, professors, and program in general, I felt as though the preparation for me to teach in an urban setting was not there.  I would have liked to visit inner city schools, observe teachers and how they taught as well as classroom management, which is extremely important.  An internship in the city would have been helpful, and is an excellent addition to the program.

I have only been in the education field for 6 years and a few months, but I have to say that when I entered my OWN class in April of 1997 I knew what to do, but it was tough.  Especially with a class where I was the third teacher they had in one school year.  Oswego prepared me with the book knowledge, but it was totally different from the small school in Oswego where I did my student teaching.

I am sure that my experience is not that different from many others, but I am willing to share all I have experienced with students who are currently in the program." -from an email dated 05-06-03

David Lai: "You wouldn't believe it but school was closed last month because of the weather, how about that, a snow day in NYC!  My first year so far has been simply amazing.  Words really can't express how lucky and fortunate I am to be placed at MS 131.  My students, all ninety-three of them, are full of energy and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

One of the reasons why I'm so satisfied with the school is because of the faculty I work with.  A good chunk, 35% of them, are relatively in their mid to late 20's.  It's fun!  I'm just disappointed that I'm the youngest in the group and considered the "baby."

Some advice to your students is to be as "open-minded" as possible.  To never let your guard down (all the -ism's from 301) and to spend as much time as you possibly can in a classroom.  Don't expect that each day is going to run smoothly, because it won't.  I've already experienced a few bad days but as I look back, those days are the most memorable moments!!  The most important thing is to have fun.  You know me Dr. Russo, I can't stop smiling.  So as a teacher, take some time to know your students.  Just spending time with them goes a long way!

I saw this ad on the subway a few days ago and I'm sure you'll like this.  It goes something like this "...Right now you are teaching to 30 pre-teens.  5 years from now, they might be in pre-med..."

P.S. How many OSU students are student teaching down in the City?  I would love to take them out for a drink and to chat about how things are going.  If any of your students ever need any advice, they can always holla at me at this email address!- from an email dated 03-06-04

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 Pat Russo
 Last Updated 2/16/10