Education Program celebrates Class of ‘08

MAT Director Prof. Dirck Roosevelt speaks at graduation

Prof. Sharon Feiman-Nemser (left) and graduate Sarah Kanigsberg

WALHAM, Mass. – More than 120 parents, friends and colleagues came to Brandeis on July 25 to celebrate the graduation of 30 students who had completed the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. Nine of the graduates received their MAT degrees in Secondary Education, while 21 specialized in Elementary Education, with a concentration in either public or Jewish day schools. As part of the afternoon’s events, graduates also presented research they had conducted in their own classrooms over the previous six months.

“We are tremendously proud of these students,” said Professor Dirck Roosevelt, Director of the MAT program. “They have achieved remarkable transformations in the course of their studies.” Roosevelt added that for a good number of the students, “coming into the MAT involved putting aside a previous career path. It can be hard to return to school after you’ve shown success in another field and have had considerable life experience. All of this demonstrates a good deal of courage.”  

Most of the graduates have already secured jobs for the 2008-09 academic year, in Massachusetts school districts including Waltham, Boston, Framingham, Arlington, Melrose, Newton and Salem, or in Jewish day schools such as the Rashi and South Area Solomon Schechter schools. “Our graduates are being hired by a lot of good school districts, despite this year’s tough job market, and these schools in turn are lucky to have snapped up our students,” said Roosevelt. “Our hope is that the 2008 MAT graduates will make long term commitments to education because I know they can serve children and families well today, and can help drive educational improvements in the future.”

The Education Program will continue to help graduates as they move into classrooms of their own through a comprehensive induction year support plan that includes periodic group meetings to discuss issues and trends, in addition to individual on-site observation and advising.

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