In Focus: Jerome Bailey
What made you choose Hofstra University?
I came to Hofstra in the fall of 2009. I attended a small high school, and wanted a university that was not too small and not too big. I found my school in Hofstra University. I visited six times! During the summer after my sophomore year of high school I did a Sports Journalism camp at Hofstra. I was interested in becoming a Journalist, and after the summer program Hofstra became my first choice. I was interested in History and Journalism and knew I would receive a great education at Hofstra.
What made you decide to pursue a career in education?
During my sophomore year at Hofstra, I was already a declared History major. However, I was stricken by a statistic of two percent of African American males teaching, and after that I decided to become a teacher. I want to help change such a small number of African American males teaching. I also love working with students. So, at the end of my sophomore year I declared a double major with Social Studies Education and History.
How would you describe your field placements and student teaching experience?
My field placements/student teaching experiences have been rewarding learning opportunities. For my field placements, I observed at the Dodd Middle School in Freeport, The Wheatly School in Old Westbury, and New Hyde Park High School. All three observations exposed me to different teachers and various teaching methods. For student teaching, I am working at the Wheatly School, and Lawrence Road Middle School in Uniondale. These placements increase my experiences in teaching. For instance, Wheatly is located in a primarily wealthy and not diverse neighborhood. On the other hand, Lawrence Road is placed in a less lucrative and more diverse neighborhood.
Were you active in any Hofstra student organizations?
During my freshman year I wrote for the Hofstra Chronicle. Secondly, I was a secretary on the African Caribbean Society for three years, and held a Public Relations position for the National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP) Hofstra chapter. I also am a Resident Assistant on campus, and oversee a house of 40 residents. In addition, I worked for the Hofstra History department as a student aide for two years. I also was inducted in Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Alpha Theta (National History Society).
Did you find mentors while you studied at Hofstra?
I was extremely close with all of my professors, especially in my major classes. For my history major, my mentor was Louis Kern. He was always there for me, and extremely helpful. He wrote me recommendation letters, and I still am close with him now. In terms of my Education major, Alan Singer is everything I could ask for in a mentor. Alan constantly is sending emails and assisting me with anything I need. In fact, he informed me about this interview! He sent me an email. He is simply the man!
How has Hofstra prepared you for the job search process post-graduation?
Hofstra has been helpful with the job search process, by the resources in the career center, and also the workshops with advisors from the career center. Essentially, Hofstra provides the resources, but it is up to the students to take full advantage and benefit from such wonderful assistance.
What are your long-term goals?
My long-term goals are to receive two masters’ degrees in Special Education and Education Administration. I want to one day be a principal, and possibly a superintendent.
What advice do you have for those seeking certification at the secondary level?
Well as someone who struggles with tests in particular, my advice would just be to study hard for the certification exams! I’ve very much enjoyed my time at Hofstra! I would not change my college choice for anything. It has been a great journey.