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Nurture Your Strengths

Develop new habits to support and advance your strengths. The Strengths Finder action planning tool offers concrete suggestions for applying your strengths. Track your progress with tech tools like Chains.

Because student teaching in the senior year limits your on campus availability, junior year is the time for major leadership positions in clubs. Seek a leadership position that matches your developing strengths.

Continue your participation in the Emerging Leaders program.

Cultivate Depth of Knowledge

Consider doing an Independent Study as a way to pursue in depth a topic that interests you. You can begin with a one-credit IS, for example an action research project that you can present at CURSCA. You can build on that project in future semesters with an eye toward presenting the results of your study at conferences sponsored by professional organizations, and eventually publishing your work in a peer-reviewed journal. ISs are supervised by faculty members; this is a great opportunity to establish a collaborative relationship with a mentor that will endure long after you graduate from Marist.

Build Your Network

Think about who you should ask to write your letters of reference, and then take the time to develop relationships that will lead to letters that capture your strengths. If you are applying for a teaching position, you will want to have letters from teachers and supervisors who have observed your skills in the classroom; if you are applying for graduate school, you will want letters from professors who can attest to your academic abilities. In both cases, your reference writers should know you well enough to talk about your character as well as your accomplishments. Learn more here and here.

Demonstrate Professionalism

Join a professional organization that matches your interests. These organizations focus on strengthening the profession by helping their members learn about innovative practices, access classroom resources and participate in a professional learning community. Click here for links to the professional organizations recommended by Marist Education faculty members.

Showcase Your Technology Skills

Use technology to develop your personal learning network. Not sure what a PLN is? You certainly have an informal PLN already: people and resources you rely on to help you develop your knowledge and skills. With a PLN you selectively gather information through RSS feeds and use collaborative platforms such as Ning, Edmodo and Twitter to share and develop that information. Getting started is easy.

Monitor Your Progress

Commit to obtaining your New York State teacher certification, even if you never intend to teach in New York. It is the surest way to gain an initial teaching certificate in any other state. The Marist Education Department's "Path toward Certification" webpage summarizes the many steps in this process.

Currently 42 states are party to the Interstate Agreement, which makes it possible for someone who holds a teacher certificate in one state to earn a comparable certificate in another state. There are often additional requirements, such as testing or taking a state history course, but typically you can begin to teach on your New York certificate and then complete the additional requirements during your first year. More information about individual state requirements is here.

Click here to take advantage of Marist's Career Services