The Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education program requires applicants to demonstrate previous experience with secondary school aged youth and educational settings. Spending time in educational settings with practicing teachers can provide perspective on the profession and the various roles and tasks required of classroom teachers. Experiences in the field can also help applicants to understand the needs and dynamics of today’s youth.
Experiences such as substitute teaching and para-professional services are considered acceptable options for this experience. Religious school teaching (e.g., Sunday school), camp counseling and coaching are not considered acceptable because they do not provide experience reflective of a public school educational setting.
Additionally, it is required that applicants shadow a teacher for a day in a public school setting**. Candidates in the MAT SE program will be certified in a public school setting and applicants need to understand what public school teaching looks like. It is expected that the teacher being shadowed meets the following criteria:
- is employed in a public secondary school (grades 6-12)
- is teaching in the content area in which the applicant is seeking certification
- is willing to engage in a frank conversation about teaching and the teaching profession
- is not a relation (i.e., dad, mom, aunt, older brother, etc.) or close friend
If you have any difficulty finding a teacher to visit, please contact a co-director who may put you in touch with the Office of Clinical Experiences to identify a cooperating teacher.
A list of questions is provided on the Teacher Contact Form to help you get started, but the interview is an opportunity to have a conversation with a practicing teacher to learn more about the profession.
**Ordinarily, applicants would be tasked with spending a day in the life of a teacher, including a day-long (7-9 hours) classroom visit. However, schools have been significantly disrupted due to the pandemic, and it can be difficult to navigate spending time in a classroom, whether virtually or in person. In lieu of a classroom visit, it is suggested that applicants have a phone conversation or use a video chat platform like Webex, Zoom or Google Meet with a teacher.