Master’s student Jennifer Lee felt a little nervous as she started a math lesson in the fourth grade classroom at Deep Run Elementary School in Howard County in late November. Her mentor teacher, Andrea Kozikowski, was out for the day and Lee would be leading the fourth grade class. But heading up the class on her own wasn’t the only atypical event of the day.
As Lee engaged her students in a discussion on mathematical properties, Howard County Public School System Superintendent Michael J. Martirano (M.Ed. '85, M.Ed. '92) stepped into the classroom.
“I was very surprised,” says Lee, who’s teaching at Deep Run Elementary School through COE’s Master’s of Education Certification (MCERT) program. “I knew that the superintendent was visiting our school and the 4th-grade pod, but I didn't think he would actually come into my classroom.”
Having honed her teaching skills through the MCERT program and under the mentorship of Kozikowski, Lee conducted the lesson with confidence and the students continued in discussion using mathematical terms during the superintendent’s visit.
Superintendent Martirano complimented Lee on a job well done, as did Lee’s UMD supervisor Kathleen Nagle.
“Jennifer Lee represented both the MCERT program, as well as Howard County Public Schools proudly,” Nagle says. “She implemented strong teaching practices that she has learned and observed throughout this semester from her mentor teacher, Andrea Kozikowski, and through her coursework from the University of Maryland.”
Lee started the program in May 2018, and says she is excited to jump into a teaching career when she graduates in May 2019.
“I have so many ideas that I have learned from this program that I want to implement into my own classroom,” Lee says. “I want to establish a positive and loving learning community in my classroom, where all my future students are valued and challenged. I am very passionate about working towards educational equity for all students, and I hope that it will be evident in my future classroom.”
COE’s MCERT program is an accelerated one-year graduate-level teaching program. MCERT interns work with certified teacher mentors in PreK-12 classrooms, and focus on a variety of content area specializations including art, language studies, and math and science.