Greetings! My name is Matthew Wolfert, and I am an Elementary Education major (PreK- 8th grade) with minors in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Music. Although I grew up surrounded by fields of corn and soybeans in the city of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, I have decided to leave the country roads behind me and student teach in an urban setting. I will begin student teaching in Milwaukee, WI at the end of January with the UW System’s Institute of Urban Education (IUE)!
Besides being a lifelong learner, I am drawn to education because I am drawn to empowering youth. I believe that there is at least one thing everyone is good and passionate at doing- whether it’s making music, writing stories, performing dance, cooking, and so on. As an educator, I want to help my students discover their passions, and use that to support their growth. I want to build solid relationships with students, co-teachers, and people in my community as an educator and use my networks and connections to open possibilities for my students and school, in general. While researching the Institute for Urban Education, Milwaukee Public Schools, and reading about the city of Milwaukee’s demographics online, I really felt a connection. I feel like I can benefit many students’ and their families’ lives while teaching in MPS and vice versa.
Since my teaching licensure will involve all students ages birth through 8th grade, as well as ESL, I will have two placements while I student teach. I am so thankful for Sandy Ivers, who has worked hard to find me two placements that meet all my licensure requirements. Both of my placements are in the MPS school district. My first placement is in a 4th grade classroom at Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School. The school is located on the north side and has a mission of “providing the necessary skills for students to become thinking, productive, and responsible citizens.” Prior to student teaching, I observed and volunteered at a school near Gwen T. Jackson. The students and staff were very energetic and welcoming, and I was able to make great connections with everyone. This is one reason why I have applied to teach in Milwaukee, and I am excited to gain more experiences like the ones I have already had in an area I am familiar.
My second placement is at Escuela Vieau School. At Vieau, I will be teaching middle school ESL. Vieau is on the south side of Milwaukee and is a bilingual Spanish/English school. On Vieau’s website, I read “41% of the students are learning English as a second language.” I have not had experiences teaching in a bilingual school before, and I am very excited to see the impact I will make on students as an ESL teacher at Vieau. I have found out that the school is very rich in Mexican and Puerto Rican cultures and has great recognition for family and community involvement.
I am so excited to begin my student teaching experiences. I am thrilled to share my experiences with you, as well!
Lots of laughter,