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What Do Buzzwords Have To Do With My Career?

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t.jpgEach semester at Slippery Rock University, we host a panel of administrators to speak to education majors about job search issues. One semester, a student asked, "Should we use education buzzwords in our interview answers?" 

One administrator answered, "Yes, but know what they mean and use them in the appropriate context." 

As a future educator, it is never too soon to research, understand, and relate to the professional issues in education. That means also using educational terminology in your conversations with peers, professors, teachers, and administrators. You should learn what the latest issues are in your education classes. But you will also learn them during your field and student teaching experiences by listening to teachers and administrators. If you hear teachers talking about issues and are unaware of what they are talking about, ask them for more information and take the time to research on your own.

You do not need to know the minute details of Every Student Succeeds Act, but you better know how this national legislation will impact school districts and your future teaching career. It is highly unlikely that you will be quizzed during an interview on what a particular acronym stands for, "You have two seconds; what does ELL stand for?" But you will be asked, "How will you accommodate your lessons for ELL students?"

The 2017 AAEE Job Search Handbook for Educators contains an article on page 35 titled Know the New Education Reform Initiatives. Yet, this article only touches on some of the issues, terms, and acronyms you need to know. And one of the initiatives in this article, "Race to the Top (RTTT)," is a program under President Obama. Does it still exist with President Obama no longer in office? That's what you, as a future educator, should know. 

If you haven't been paying attention to professional issues when they are discussed in your education classes because you are thinking, "That doesn't pertain to me," then you have some catching up to do. Education is a profession, and like all professions it has knowledge and standards that its practitioners should know and adhere to. Buzzwords should become a standard part of your professional language and practice.

By John F. Snyder

Associate Director of Career Education and Development

Slippery Rock University of PA

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