Master of Arts in Teaching, 2014
School of Education
February 1, 2015
“My UCI education prepared me well for this opportunity.”
Jeff Normann earned his Teaching Credential in English and his Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from UC Irvine in 2014.
In November of 2014, Jeff began teaching ninth- and tenth-grade English at The Academy Charter High School in Santa Ana.
Created by the Orangewood Children’s Foundation primarily to serve foster students and students from underserved communities, the school features small class sizes, project-based learning, and a cross-discipline integration.
Mr. Normann describes his experience at The Academy Charter High School as follows:
The curriculum at The Academy is different from a traditional school. Each student has a laptop, and the majority of student work is project-based. The students design interior spaces, build bridges, create logos, compete in debates, and often present to peers and members of the community. Many of the students’ projects require components from multiple classes, so learning in one class is reinforced and drawn upon in others.
What impresses me most about this school is the ever-present feeling of community. The teachers, administration, staff, students, and parents all come together to form one overwhelmingly positive community. The teachers do not segregate themselves from the students at lunch. There are no bells, so classes start and end more naturally. The small student body ensures that everyone can get to know everyone.
My UCI education prepared me well for this opportunity. In particular, I rely heavily today on the disciplinary approaches I learned in my English methods and literacy classes. The technology and reflective practice skills emphasized in the program have also been a huge help. When I entered my teaching credential program, I hoped to eventually find myself in a school with a dedicated faculty that can push and support me to implement innovative curriculum to support the youth who really need it. UCI has helped me to acquire the necessary skills, and now I teach in just such as school.