Fast Track to a Teaching Career

Eric Morris ‘12G has a passion for studying and understanding economics, but wanted to share this passion more directly than his job as an economic and policy analyst allowed. He decided he really wanted to teach.

Morris was attracted to Nazareth’s post-baccalaureate program called ACCESS: Adolescence Certification for Career Change Emphasizing Secondary Schools because it was the fastest route to teacher certification for people like him who already have a master’s degree. But he soon found the program had more to offer. “It turned out to be an incredibly valuable asset to my future, launching my career in a spectacular way,” said Morris.

His 16 months of coursework taught him the science of how people learn and the importance of getting to know students’ learning styles and needs. He found his professors approachable and helpful in discussing teaching and his future, and they guided him through what can be a big bureaucracy to help him get good placements as a student teacher.

Those seven-week experiences as a student teacher at East High School and at Young Women’s College Prep charter school, both in Rochester, and the connections he made led directly to his first two, full-time teaching jobs. He graduated in December 2012 and started full-time in January 2013 at East High as a long-term sub for the semester. Then Young Women’s College Prep wanted him full-time. After his first one-year contract, Morris was asked to return. But he also was offered a teaching job at Brighton High School, his alma mater, and “it’s pretty cool to come home,” he says. He is a social studies teacher and particularly loves teaching economics.

“It’s about human behavior and why people make the decisions they make,” says Morris. He enjoys seeing students develop their thoughts and their sense of pride in their knowledge as they refine their understanding of the world. “Teaching is awesome.”