Master of Arts in Teaching, 2015
School of Education
February 1, 2015
“I was drawn to UCI’s MAT program for its commitment to inquiry-based learning and its respect for the unique perspectives that students bring into the classroom.”
“A zombie, two werewolf siblings, a Sea World employee, a mermaid, an explorer, a bank robber, and a girl named Molly all get into a taxicab.”
This was the basis of the script my 5th and 6th grade Summerbridge students had jointly written. While the script’s plot did not exactly fit on Freytag’s Pyramid, I was thrilled to see students counting each line to make sure everyone had equal speaking parts and incorporating their peers’ ideas into the show.
Summerbridge San Diego is a summer program for fifth-eighth graders where I worked two summers as a teacher of Language Arts, Leadership, and Theatre. For the talent show, my students wanted to put on a play but were frustrated looking through scripts that often had only one leading role. No one wanted to be a tree in the back during someone else’s monologue, so we decided to create an original show that would showcase everyone’s talents equitably. Everyone created his or her own characters and then during class we brainstormed how to link storylines together. When the school period would end, students groaned and begrudgingly left the classroom to go home. Facilitating collaboration and project-based learning at Summerbridge helped inspire me to go into teaching.
After my first summer with Summerbridge I added an Education Minor to my Theatre degree at UC San Diego and took classes that gave me fieldwork experience in 1st, 3rd, 5th and 8th grade classrooms.
When I researched teacher education programs, I was drawn to UCI’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program for its commitment to inquiry-based learning and its respect for the unique perspectives that students bring into the classroom.
I currently student teach in a kindergarten classroom and have witnessed students grow from their first day of school where some attempted to eat the math manipulatives into students having academic discourse about addition. I am excited to see what happens next.