Posted February 4, 2020- By Molly Rutter, SOE Graduate Assistant
“I would recommend this program to anyone who is looking to teach outside of Buffalo. I grew up in Western New York and had lived there my entire life. When I graduated, I was really interested in trying something new. Student teaching and moving to Houston has been an incredible adventure. This was a very effective avenue for me to secure a job right after graduation. Houston is an amazing city and I would highly recommend teaching for HISD.”
Matheis was hesitant when she first heard about the Houston student teaching program in a class with Dr. Christopher Shively, assistant professor in the Elementary Education, Literacy and Educational Leadership department. However, after doing a Skype call with some of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) representatives, it sounded incredibly inviting to her.
Her first step in finding out if the the program was right for her was to go down for a one week visit in November, 2017. “I decided to at least try the visit to see if I liked the city or the district,” she said. “After spending a week in Houston, I was really just blown away.”
During her one week visit, Matheis stayed with a host family, who showed her around the city and coordinated her visit with an elementary school.
“All week I spent the day in the classroom, experiencing a HISD school firsthand. In the evenings we would go see parts of the city. Houston is an incredibly large and diverse city. There is so much to do and see at every corner. There is a very strong sense of community here.”
Matheis completed her first round of student teaching in Lockport at George M. Southard Elementary in a second grade general education classroom. During this first placement she completed her edTPA and all other certification requirements.
Her second student teaching placement was in Houston, Texas at Red Elementary HISD. For this placement, she was in a self contained classroom for students on the autism spectrum.
During her student teaching experience in Houston, Matheis met with support staff from the district regularly and also connected with a supervisor from a nearby college. She also still attended Buffalo state seminars through Skype each week.
“HISD has a great student teaching program,” she said. “Everyone at Buffalo state and HISD was incredibly accommodating through setting up and completing my placement. I am so thankful for everything I learned from both of my placements.”
Near the end of her Houston student teaching placement, Matheis attended a job fair for the district where she had the opportunity to sit down with administrators from schools all over the city. Remarkably, the very first school she spoke to offered her a position as a special education teacher.
“At that point I had to decide if I really wanted to move to Houston,” she said. “The principal of the school invited me to come in to see the classroom and meet the students. After a very brief visit, I was sold. I accepted the position the very next day.”
While Matheis is very happy to be at her school in Houston, she recognizes that the most amazing part of any teaching job is the students.
“We are just finishing our third week of school, and already I’m amazed by the progress of my students. They surprise me every day and there is never a dull moment in our classroom. Working for such a large district also comes with with a wealth of resources. There are wonderful professional development opportunities for all HISD faculty and staff, and they have an amazing program to support first year teachers
Back to Top
Some content on this page is saved in PDF format. To view these files, download Adobe Acrobat Reader free. If you are having trouble reading a document, request an accessible copy of the PDF or Word Document.