Year of the Teacher acknowledges SUNY Buffalo State educators

Year of the Teacher official logo.

Provided by Buffalo State

Year of the Teacher official logo.

The theme for SUNY Buffalo State’s 2013-14 academic year has been dubbed Year of the Teacher. The theme serves as a way to remedy bad publicity and show support for teachers.

YOTT is meant to reflect SUNY Buffalo State’s legacy and “underscores education as a vehicle for improving the lives of students,” according to the YOTT website.

For the past three academic years, there has been a coordinating theme to bring the campus together and engage in activities for that theme, said Tamara Horstman, executive assistant to the dean and event coordinator for YOTT.

Horstman also helps spread the news for YOTT.

Wendy Paterson, Buffalo State’s dean of the school of education, pitched the idea for YOTT this past January. Former President Aaron Podolefsky made the decision for this year to be YOTT year before he passed.

“You get this sense as you hear these themes that this is what Buffalo State wants to be known for,” Paterson said. “This is our contribution to the knowledge and activity base of our community.”

Paterson said that having these themes also highlights the interdisciplinary of what faculty and staff do. With all the bad publicity and pressure being put on teachers, Paterson feels that this year has not been a very good one for teachers.

“We are all about teachers at Buffalo State,” Paterson said. “This is a college that values the teaching skills of its faculty.”

An advisory council of people from across the campus as well as community partners come together to collaborate on ideas for activities.

Paterson said the first idea came from a grant to develop a minor in civic engagement.

Pedro Noguera, a prominent speaker on social justice and education, kicked off YOTT by attending Buffalo State to give a speech to faculty and students, according to Paterson.

YOTT isn’t limited to Buffalo State and people who carry the label of a teacher.

“Year of the Teacher is also for people who are teaching, but don’t call themselves teachers, even students,” Horstman said.

College Relations graphic designer Lynda Donati created the logo for YOTT. The logo is the tree of knowledge, Paterson said.

“It has roots, but it also reaches up and continues to blossom,” Paterson said.

Horstman said that former student David Lazerson, who now teaches in Florida and was featured in the book, American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom, will be attending the college in February to meet with students and present to the campus.

The Bulger lecture series was the latest event for YOTT. This series was funded by donors and focused on teaching with technology.

Jose Bowen, the author of Teaching Naked, was the speaker for this series.

In the spring, the Professional Development School will tour the Student Union, providing students with the chance to write postcards to teachers who inspired them.

Horstman said that there will be a computer set up to look up addresses to send out the postcards.

Another upcoming event will be a contest where students can submit essays about their teachers. Peers will be able to vote for which essay is the most touching and the winner will receive prizes.

Paterson is looking for students who would like to go on WBFO to be interviewed about a teacher who inspired them. Students will be on the show with that teacher for the interview.

Buffalo State’s radio station, 91.3FM WBNY, will be giving away YOTT merchandise such as t-shirts and posters. Students can stop by the station in the Student Union for free giveaways.

For more information on YOTT events and activities, students can visit the website to keep up with activities and for contact information.

Email: [email protected]