Considering how significant even a single semester’s coursework can be, it’s not surprising that many Hamilton students graduate feeling they need a break from formal education. Not so for Anthony Mathieu ’12, who was accepted into a graduate program at Boston Teacher Residency (BTR). Mathieu will spend a year as a resident in a Boston public school classroom in pursuit of a master’s degree in education.
According to its website, BTR “provides every Resident with the practical learning, hands-on experience and ongoing support essential to any successful career in teaching.” Residents attend classes at an intensive two-month summer institute and teach alongside an experienced mentor for an entire academic year. The Residents teach four days a week, and spend one full day and one evening per week attending seminars and completing masters-level coursework.
After realizing that he might be interested in a career in teaching, Mathieu consulted several of his high school teachers, all of whom referred him to BTR. He read a little bit about the program, decided that it fit the bill, and applied. It was after he applied that he realized that BTR provided one of the best pipelines into the Boston Public Schools. “By working within the institution of the Boston Public Schools, the residency provides its members with the best resources possible to provide their future students with the quality education they deserve,” he said.
A native of Boston, Mathieu liked the idea of being able to teach in the same community in which he grew up. That is part of the reason why BTR was such a perfect fit for him. “Earning my master's with BTR would enable me to be more prepared to teach in a Boston public school classroom than any other program available,” he said. He said his connection to the Boston Teacher Residency program was primarily fostered by the Posse Foundation and the Career Program within the Boston site.
Mathieu gives a large part of the credit for his interest in pursuing a career in education to Associate Professor of Women’s Studies Anne Lacsamana. After seeing Lacsamana teach, Mathieu realized what a difference an effective teacher can make in the lives of his or students. “Her dynamic and accessible style of teaching is something I hope to someday display to my own students,” Mathieu said of Lacsamana.
Mathieu feels well-prepared for the next stage in his life, as he already has a significant amount of experience working in education. He has spent the last three summers teaching at the Steppingstone Foundation, a Boston-based educational nonprofit. He has had experience teaching students in grades 4-8.
All graduates of the BTR master’s program agree to spend at least three years teaching in one of the Boston public schools, which Mathieu is already planning on doing. When he is finished with his three years, Mathieu is hoping to pursue a Ph.D. in women’s and gender studies, and would like to pursue a career in teaching at the grade school or college level after that.