My experience as a Fresno State MAT student has been both unique and enlightening. My journey began in the summer of 2008 when I was accepted into the program as part of cohort 3. After attending the orientation weekend, I was foolishly scared off after feeling overwhelmed. After many years of regret, I decided to finish what I had never really started by enrolling as a part of cohort 9. Late enrollment meant that I did not attend the orientation this time around. This has also led me to mockingly refer to myself as the empty box in the cohort 9 group photo (see slides above).
Like many of my fellow MAT students, this program has taught me a lot about myself as a teacher and about my teaching philosophies as well. In many ways I'm glad that I put off continuing my education because it has allowed for a greater depth of reflection on my teaching. I feel that I had become somewhat derailed from my beliefs and practices and the first semester of the MAT program really helped me find my way back to who I am and why I chose the teaching profession in the first place. The second semester allowed me to teach culturally diverse lessons in a common-core frame work while connecting to my students in a way that I hadn't experienced in years. The third semester has allowed me to create projects that represent my vision for the future and where I want my career to ultimately take me.
As I discuss in greater length in the Research page of this website, my focus throughout the MAT program has been the relationship between physical activity and academic success. Since my school has such a high population of English Language Learners (ELLs) I decided to choose ELL students as the focus of my studies. The multi-cultural nature and design of the MAT program truly helped me in both understanding and meeting the needs of my ELLs and many other special populations as well.
Overall I am very pleased with my choice to become a Fresno State Bulldog and I would recommend the MAT program to any working professional in the education field looking to continue their own education.