November 16, 2023

Carly Stevenson ’22

Secondary Art MAT ’22
Current position: Stoller Middle School

Carly Stevenson, Secondary Art MAT '22 Carly Stevenson, Secondary Art MAT ’22 Why did you choose to earn your MAT from Lewis & Clark?

I received my BA in Art History from Lewis and Clark college and speaking to my undergraduate advisor about next steps the MAT program was suggested as a good option. I then worked for a couple years in before and after school care in Portland public schools and met many people who spoke highly of the Lewis & Clark teaching program and its good reputation in school districts in and around the Portland area.

How prepared did you feel as a first year art teacher?

There are some things you can only learn in the classroom as a full time teacher, but besides those I felt as prepared as I could have been. The MAT programs focus on supporting new teachers developing abilities to create culturally responsive, flexible and engaging lesson plans really helped me create lessons to meet the needs of my diverse students.

The best part about teaching K-12 students is being part of a community that values curiosity, creativity, and growth and getting to work everyday in service of that community. I have so much admiration for my fellow educators and my students who show up everyday to learn and grow together. It’s a really special thing.

How do you incorporate social justice into your day to day classroom?

Some ways in which social justice is incorporated into my classroom are through classroom community agreements meetings and culturally engaging assignments. At the beginning of the year all of my classes come together to write their own classroom community agreements, a list of things they will all agree to do to make our classroom a positive learning environment. I also also write my own agreement as their teacher and as the year progresses we hold periodic community meetings to check in on whether we are all living up to our agreements. I also include assignments that provide students to engage with their own cultures and the cultures of others through creating culturally expressive art and learning about the connections between art, history and culture.

Did you receive support during the job application process from your program or faculty? What was that support like?

Yes. As part of the MAT program I created a digital teaching portfolio which I was able to get feedback on from my instructors and fellow candidates. I was then able to use this portfolio while applying and interviewing for teaching positions. I also received support from Amy Turnbull, whose connections to art educators all over the state helped me find out about open positions and decide what positions would be right for me.

I look forward to one day mentoring a future Lewis & Clark art teacher!

Do you keep in touch with your cohort?

Yes! I am lucky enough to be coworkers with one member of my cohort and my whole cohort still keeps in touch via a shared discord page. Having those people to talk to and go to for support was a great thing to have my first year of teaching.

What would you tell a prospective student who is considering applying to the MAT program and becoming an art teacher?

Teaching kids how to make art is extremely fun and challenging in the best way. Becoming a teacher has truly changed my life. It is a hard job but is easily made worth it by the community and sense of purpose it provides.