Isabell Shields '15, Master of Arts in Teaching
Current Position: Emma Willard School, Troy, N.Y.
Instructor, Dept. of History and Social Science
Assistant Track and Field Coach
I grew up in Germany and lived there until 2009, when I moved to the U.S. with my American-born husband and our three children.
I had been a stay-at-home mom but as my children grew older I wanted to do something more. I have always been interested in history so I went back to school and received my B.A. As I was working on my degree I decided I wanted to get into teaching.
I looked at three MAT programs in the Albany area and decided pretty quickly on Union Graduate College (now Clarkson) for two reasons: the program’s outstanding reputation and high placement rate. The fact that I could complete the program in a year, made it a perfect fit.
The program is intensive and rigorous. I started classes in the summer and then in the fall, began a year-long social studies internship at Niskayuna High School. I received my MAT degree the following June.
When I learned there was a job opening at Emma Willard I was really excited. During the application process, which was very competitive, my professors reviewed my materials, helped me refine my interviewing skills and cheered me on every step of the way.
They were as excited as I was when I got the job!
Thanks to the MAT program and the faculty, everything aligned for me —I got an internship at a fantastic high school and I had a job even before the public schools posted their positions.
Back when I was getting my undergraduate degree I thought it would be a dream to teach at Emma Willard.
And I was right: it is a dream job. At Emma, you’re not just a teacher , you’re also a coach, a mentor, and a friend. It’s very demanding but very rewarding. It’s everything I thought it would be.