By Joseph D’Andrea
To feel surrounded by those in a similar boat as yourself is reassuring, especially on a campus with thousands of students. Adelphi’s Future Teachers Association (FTA) is one of the university’s clubs that creates a comforting environment for students in the Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP).
The FTA members include students who are on track to pursue a career in the education field. The club’s meetings cover classroom-related topics and offer advice in that area, while also bringing in more diverse and in-depth subjects that help members obtain a full grasp of communication and education as a whole. By engaging with the members weekly through activities and workshops, FTA provides a domain for those in STEP to learn more about their path from the classroom chair to the blackboard.
Senior Lena Demas, a history major with a psychology minor for adolescent education, has served as the president of FTA for the past year. “I think FTA is different from other clubs on campus because we strive to help our members achieve professional development while also providing fun personal activities,” Demas said. “We have a great advisor and network of alumni that help us grow as an organization… [FTA is] great for future classroom inspiration, lesson planning ideas and making friends. I personally learned some of the most valuable teaching and STEP information from the people I met in FTA.”
Some of the club’s recent meetings have covered humanities in the classroom, as well as specific subjects ranging from art to math. Opening their members up to how several subjects can be incorporated into the classroom, FTA shows the benefits of using any available resources in order to both create an inclusive and engaging feeling in the classroom. The club knows how to connect with their members, and will occasionally offer lighter-feeling events, such as their “De-Stress with FTA” meeting this past December.
“Our focus on not just education practices, but incorporating facets of various subjects into our classroom settings and learning about the process of becoming a teacher allow for flexibility and variability in our club operations,” said Zachary Zeller, a sophomore history major in the STEP Program and FTA community service chair. “[Our last meeting] was a resume- building meeting where we had an alumni come in to give some tips on making an attractive resume and going through the job hunt process. Our ability to switch gears and be versatile in how we operate, I think, sets us apart from other clubs here. We have a good time while learning some great tips.”
Dana Diapoli, FTA treasurer and senior English major in the STEP program for elementary education, spoke about the importance of STEP students joining the club. “If someone in the STEP program, or otherwise, is interested in joining FTA I would tell them that the club is a great way to get involved in activities, meetings and events that cater to everyone’s passions,” she said. “We have a wonderful advisor, dedicated E-Board, and fabulous members who all make the club as amazing as it is. FTA goes beyond the curriculum and classroom instruction to provide beneficial information, friendships, professional connections and fun learning experiences for everyone. We invite students of all majors to join us, gain experiences and participate in the fun.”
This past semester, FTA hosted the Mungai Walk for the Mungai Foundation, whose goal is to aid children from disadvantaged backgrounds by building schools for these orphans in Kenya. The walk helped raise money for the foundation and the club plans to continue to host events that have an overarching goal of helping others. “We have several events in the works right now,” Zeller said. “We're currently planning a trip to Crossroads Farm at the end of March as a community service event.”
The Future Teachers Association meets in a hybrid format in the Performing Arts Center in room MPR 216 and on Zoom on Wednesday nights at 7 pm.