In Focus: Ryan Fisk
Tell us about your background and how you knew you wanted to be a teacher.
I was actually a huge lover of computers and all things technology. It wasn’t until my first job at a summer camp that I developed a fondness for working with children. I soon decided that I wanted to make a career of it, and the rest was history!
What brought you to Hofstra University for both undergraduate and graduate studies?
Growing up on Long Island, I wanted to be near my family and a quick ride from Manhattan (where I currently live). During my undergraduate studies, I lived on campus, and enjoyed the resident life, diversity, and excellent sense of community at Hofstra. With the University’s reputation getting better and better each year, I decided I would continue my studies here, for both my Master’s Degree and my Certificate program.
Were you active in any Hofstra student organizations?
I was an active brother of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity throughout my undergraduate studies, served on multiple positions on their executive board, and have developed lasting friendships with many of them. During my graduate studies, I was inducted into Eta Sigma Gamma - the National Health Honor Society - dedicated to teaching, service, and research in the field of Health Education.
How would you describe your field placements?
To be honest - EYE OPENING! As a K-12 certified educator, I was teaching kindergarten Physical Education in my first placement, and just weeks later, teaching high school students in my second placement. I was fortunate to have great cooperating teachers (Karen Nolan and Dorothy Marino) and an excellent university supervisor (Dr. Enid Friedman) to assist and guide me through this tremendous experience.
During my Educational Leadership Certificate program, I had three different administrative internship opportunities, both at the building and district level. Dr. Barbara Warren of Hofstra connected me with three terrific administrators, all of whom provided invaluable experiences and shared meaningful advice throughout each experience.
How did Hofstra prepare you for the job search process post-graduation?
I found the student teaching seminars very informative, and the career center set up some really good opportunities to polish my resume and gain valuable interview experience. I was fortunate enough to land a job straight out of student teaching in one of my cooperating districts…talk about being in the right place at the right time!
What are your long-term goals?
After gaining several valuable years of teaching experience, I was offered a chance to chair a department. Since then, I've moved on to my current role as a Director of Instructional Technology and Adjunct Professor. Although a departure from my Health & Physical Education roots, I've always had a drive for incorporating technology effectively in the classroom and gymnasium, and continue to advocate with NYS AHPERD for quality Health and PE programs, presenting workshops and sharing best practices with educators throughout New York State. Moving forward, I hope to one day serve as a building administrator in the capacity of Assistant Principal or Principal, and hope to work with and motivate faculty and staff the same way as I've done with my students.
What advice do you have for future teachers?
Once you get in the classroom, don’t be afraid to experiment! Whether designing a new lesson plan, or introducing a new technology into your teaching, the best way to discover your own strengths and weaknesses is to get out there and take risks, especially while you’re student teaching under the guidance of an experienced educator!