Testimonials - M.A.T. Program - Adam Institute - Clark University


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M.A.T. Program Recognition and Testimonials

National Recognition

Nationally, the M.A.T. program has been at the forefront of change towards a more collaborative and practice-based approach to teacher education, consistent with the recent call for a "clinical" model of teacher education in the 2010 report by the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education (our Teacher-Rounds model was cited). Our approach to teacher education was a principal reason for recognition by the Society of Education Professors with the annual Richard Wisniewski Award for innovation in teacher education in 2007. Our partnership approach to urban teacher preparation was mentioned recently in Linda Darling-Hammond's book, The Flat World and Education (2010): "…a growing number of universities—including Clark University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and others—have actually created new urban schools and developed partnerships that support and help transform existing schools to demonstrate state-of-the-art practices and to serve as training grounds for teachers." The program is represented as well in Teacher Rounds: A Guide to Collaborative Learning in and from Practice by Tom Del Prete (2013).


From Worcester Public Schools

I would hire all of them if I could.—Maureen Binienda, Superintendent, Worcester Public Schools

The Worcester Public Schools greatly value the Clark Master’s Program, which prepares its students to be effective urban educators. Clark has designed a preparation program that provides the critical skills urban educators need…Clark master students also have a passion and commitment to urban public education which is rooted in a belief system that high quality education can improve the human condition and strengthen communities.—Stacey Deboise Luster, Human Resource Manager

From graduates of Clark's M.A.T. program

I believe that the MAT program provided me with exactly the skills and mindset required to become a successful, mindful, and influential educator for the young minds I have the privilege to work with every day. Going through this program of study, I grew immensely, not only as a teacher but also as an individual. I learned valuable lessons about teaching, learning, resilience, patience, and the importance of providing a supportive and loving model for children from high-risk, high-need communities. — Vanessa Dopke, M.A.T. ‘17

After a decade of working in independent schools, I was ready for a new challenge and thus decided to make the transition to public school teaching.  In order to facilitate that move, I enrolled in Clark's M.A.T. program and could not be happier with my decision to do so.  The support I received from my Clark University and Claremont Academy mentors was outstanding, and I appreciated having the freedom to design units and create learning activities that I thought would best meet the needs of my students.  Upon graduation, I was thrilled to receive a job offer from the Worcester Public Schools -- teaching full-time at Claremont. — Adam Strogoff, M.A.T. `14

I just completed the M.A.T. program at Clark University, and I couldn't be more grateful for this past year.  Shortly after graduation, I was fortunate enough to get hired by the Lowell Public School system teaching 2nd grade at a new start-up school based on STEM, and although I am extremely nervous for the first day of school, I know through the M.A.T. program I have become a well-rounded and effective teacher.  The M.A.T. program guided me into the teacher I am today by providing me with unlimited resources, as well as a supportive community of educators, administrators, mentors and peers. This past year I learned how to effectively overcome challenges through reflection and collaboration, and how to help my students to do the same thing.  Although I am the newest teacher at my new school, I have gained confidence through my Ways of Knowing courses that I have the ability and resources to develop engaging, discovery-based lessons in every subject.  I wouldn't be the teacher I am today without the M.A.T. program, and I am thankful for all I have learned and experienced this year. --  Kerien Driscoll, M.A.T. `14

I am so grateful to have received a Clark M.A.T. education. Not only has it transformed the way I teach, but also how I view urban education.—Michelle Reed, M.A.T. '13

Since being an M.A.T., I have taught in two school districts. I started out my teaching career at Leominster High School and then was lucky enough to be able to return to UPCS. I have found that the M.A.T. program provided me with the tools that I needed to be a great teacher. I learned how to assess the strengths and weaknesses of my students and adapt my lessons to meet their needs. The design of the program, with the rounds model and professors viewing classes I taught, prepared me for the evaluation process when administrators visited the classroom as well. In addition, the preparation of the efolio prepared me for the interview process. I don't think that I would be the teacher that I am without the M.A.T. program, and I am very thankful for having the opportunity to develop my skills at Clark University.—Jessica Beaudoin, M.A.T. '11

The M.A.T. program at Clark University is structured for success. It provides students with guidance and directed support while simultaneously allowing flexibility to address the individual needs of all. As an alumnus and someone who has supervised student teachers from other graduate programs as well, I can attest to the program's superiority in equipping its students with the skill-set and experience to become leaders in the classroom and beyond.—Fjodor Dukaj, M.A.T. '10

I was a 2006 Clark sociology and urban development and social change graduate, and then a 2007 elementary education M.A.T. graduate. I love the idea of the Ways of Knowing courses, having a formal e-folio in the end, and all of the experience and support I received through the program.

I got a job at the Goddard School of Science and Technology (where I did my M.A.T. student teaching), and I have been there since. I have been teaching at Goddard now for ongoing 5 years switching in between grades 4 and 5, and I serve on my school's Internal Leadership Team. Since teaching in Worcester I have had the pleasure of being a mentor for M.A.T. students. I am active in the Clark math and science curriculum teams and have presented at 3 summer Institutes. I have co-taught the Graduate Ways of Knowing Science for elementary education spring course with [Professor] Letina Jeranyama for 3 years.

Also, for the schools in Main South Worcester (Claremont Academy and University Park Campus School), I have been the varsity-girls volleyball coach in the fall season, and the varsity-boys volleyball coach in the spring season for 4 years. Last year for the Worcester Public Schools, I was the recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award for excellence in student, parent, and community involvement from Claremont Academy.—Petra Kristie M.A.T. '07

I don't think I fully appreciated how much the M.A.T. program did for me until my first year on my own. There is a lot to be said for already having a full year of teaching experience under my belt thanks to the yearlong practicum I had at Jacob Hiatt. I felt comfortable with the routines and introductions of the first day, the last day, and every day in between. The Ways of Knowing Courses left me feeling confident that I could turn any lesson into something that would be engaging, productive, and appropriate for my students. About a month into my first year I found myself missing the rigor of teaching all day and going to class in the afternoon. I am so appreciative of all the things my professors did to help prepare me for teaching.—Lauren Arruda (Grade 3 teacher) M.A.T. '07

I work at Salem High School and teach three 9th-grade english classes, one mixed-level 9th-grade skills class called Freshman Seminar, and an 11th-grade english class.

The M.A.T. program helped me have the confidence I need to have my own classroom and curriculum. Having a whole year of experience stretching from the meetings before students arrived through to creating final exams has given me the perspective I needed to plan for the weeks and months ahead of me—Rachael Furman M.A.T. '12

I have been teaching high-school-level math in Boston Public Schools for nine years. I have taught Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry and MCAS Prep, so I have compiled many activities and resources over the years. I would love to work as a math coach in the near future. I am thankful for Clark's M.A.T. program and that it was made available to me…It truly changed my career direction, and I think my life would have been completely different without having participated in this program.—Amira Abdal-Khallaq, M.A.T. '04

From Waltham Public Schools

We hired more than ten teachers over the past decade here in Waltham, a socioeconomically diverse district in the greater Boston area. These Clark teachers have transformed teaching and learning here in Waltham. The key to the success of Clark teachers has its origins in their unique approach to teacher training and the intensive, mentored yearlong teacher preparation model. Teachers from Clark, just beginning their careers here in Waltham, arrive already possessing advanced levels of instructional practice. Moreover, these teachers are distinguished by their embrace of the call to work in urban education. They are professionally collaborative in ways that have not only benefitted our students, but positively changed the culture here in Waltham.—Thomas O'Toole, Director of English and Drama

From partner-school principals

UPCS really cherishes the responsibility to help train the next generation of urban teachers. These young prospective teachers also keep us on our toes, keeping us continually reflective about our own practice. UPCS and Clark are part of a shared community of learners. All of us, from professors to teachers to students are sometimes the learners and sometimes the experts. There is a continual flow of information and people between Clark and UPCS. Our high school students access many university resources and classes. Our teachers often take or even help teach university classes. Clark professors see high school teachers and students as the center of the very real work of urban education. Clark is a valuable, reflective, and supportive partner in envisioning what education in Main South can truly be.—Dan St. Louis, Principal, University Park Campus School

I cannot say enough about the value of the Clark M.A.T. program to Claremont Academy and the Worcester Public Schools. In the fifteen years that I have been involved in education in this neighborhood I have seen firsthand the incredible work done through the Clark program and their tremendously prepared graduate students. Students in the Clark M.A.T. program get the best of both worlds: experience in real schools with real urban students and exposure to the research-based foundation of educational theory. Working fulltime in the schools, Clark M.A.T. students leave the program with more than a degree; they get genuine and true teaching experience that ensures their smooth transition to the teaching profession.—Ricci Hall, Principal, Claremont Academy

South High Community School strongly endorses Clark University's M.A.T. Program. The M.A.T.s make a positive impact on our professional community by their focused instruction for our students, the participation of our staff in the rounds process, and the strong academic conversation that is generated daily. South High relies on the M.A.T.s and Clark University to join with us as we make continual improvement in our practice.—Maureen Binienda, Principal, South High School

From Ankara University Faculty of Educational Science

I visited you when I was at Teachers College for a sabbatical stay…[and] participated in your round practice and I was impressed. Now I am back in Turkey…this term we are going to introduce [the] rounds model to our pre-service teachers in their teaching practice course.—Associate Professor and Vice Dean Dr. Fatma Bikmaz