With their degrees, Master of Arts in Teaching graduates can now apply for state teaching certification.
At this year’s Commencement, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will confer Master of Arts in Teaching degrees to 10 students: Claire Abelson ’20, MAT ’21, Gavin Flood ’20, MAT ’21, Sophie Kaufman ’20, MAT ’21, Sarah Linsner ’20, MAT ’21, Colleen McGowan ’20, MAT ’21, Hugh “Nick” Mckenny ’20, MAT ’21, Caitlin Murphy ’20, MAT ’21, Shannon Murphy ’20, MAT ’21, Sophie Ritter ’20, MAT ’21 and Brandi Taylor ’19, MAT ’21.
“It’s been such a joy to be part of the MAT students’ trajectory throughout their time here at HWS,” says Associate Professor of Education and Chair of the Department Mary Kelly, who worked with the cohort on their MAT projects this spring. “From starting out as eager college students wanting to make a difference, to now experienced new teachers with a range of tools, skills and insights, we have every confidence that they will have a powerful impact on the lives of young people after they graduate and leave HWS.”
The majority of this year’s MAT candidates have already accepted teaching jobs, including Taylor, who is the recipient of a 2021 U.S. Student Fulbright Award to Kenya.
Currently teaching English at Geneva High School, Taylor took a wide range of classes at HWS “that focus on different methods of teaching,” alongside teaching practicums in a range of environments. With that background, she explains, “I have come to believe that it is extremely important to understand that each student is unique and will need different support and resources.”
Other MAT graduates will begin teaching this fall at schools across the country, while others are weighing different offers.
Kelly says she is proud of this year’s cohort, “as well as all of our teacher education students who are graduating this year, particularly in this era when schooling has taken place in the midst of a pandemic. The students have demonstrated outstanding resilience and flexibility as they navigated student teaching during a complicated and ever-changing educational landscape.”
For the capstone of the MAT program, students developed collaborative projects to address issues related to this semester’s theme of teaching for equity with technology: Kaufman, McGowan and Caitlin Murphy created a website with resources for caregivers about remote instruction; Abelson and Ritter helped design accessibility features for an HWS theatre production; McKenny, Shannon Murphy and Taylor wrote chapters for a book they may like to publish on equity and technology, titled “Techquity: Using Personalized Learning to Foster Equity;” and Flood, Lisner and Mckenny created a podcast with local youth about their experiences with schooling during the pandemic. The students also created a great series called “Teacher Tech Talks” that was shared with undergraduates in the Teacher Education Program (TEP).
The Colleges’ MAT program is a fifth-year graduate program that builds on the successful undergraduate TEP. The MAT program is designed to be completed in one academic year, during which students continue their liberal arts studies at the same time they prepare for teacher certification.
View other Commencement 2021 events here.