Mattea Weinberg BFA ’17 MAT ’18

One of the biggest changes occurred when applying for jobs. I took the opportunity to relocate. I was not expecting that it would bring me back to New York, my birth state, to teach in the school I grew up in.

Mattea Weinberg, a MECA graduate from the BFA and MAT Programs tells us a bit about her journey and how it feels as a new teacher in New York fresh out of MAT.

What are you doing for work now?
I am currently working at Brown School, a private school in upstate New York. It is actually the school I had attended from Pre-K all the way up to 8th. They now teach high school too! I currently teach 4th grade to high school.

Are there any current projects, students or lessons you are very excited about?
I am excited about all of my upcoming projects! I just finished a Where’s Waldo piece that includes everyone from 4th through high school and some teachers. This really allowed me to see strengths within my students and where they might need help! It was a great assessment! I am also really excited for my 5th graders because they are starting a Surrealism unit, my 7th graders are beginning individual maps and my 8th graders are beginning Kehinde Wiley inspired self-portraits. I have really been enjoying bringing contemporary artists into the classroom!

In what capacity has the MAT program prepared you most for this work?
MECAs MAT program really allowed me to experience the workload of a school teacher, managing multiple different grade levels at a time and being able to think of lessons on the spot!

MECA’s MAT program is: “the best thing you could do, if you want to pursue your dream of being a teacher. Within weeks you notice that anything is possible and that you can do it!”

Portland is: “my home. After living there for 6 years Portland has dug a hole deep within my heart. And I am excited to return for holidays and for summer vacation.”

In what ways has your life changed after graduation?
One of the biggest changes occurred when applying for jobs. I took the opportunity to relocate. I was not expecting that it would bring me back to New York, my birth state, to teach in the school I grew up in.

In what ways has it stayed the same?
A lot of my life is the same, I’m still very passionate about teaching, I draw weekly and I live with my cat. Nothing could be better!

Do you keep in touch with MAT folks?
I do keep in touch with some of my cohort, not as often as when we were in the Masters program together. A lot of us also follow each other on Instagram so we can see what everyone is doing! I also am living in the same town as another cohort member who is teaching at a neighbor school so we often exchange ideas!

Are you practicing art?
I am making art, not as often as daily anymore but I am making art whenever I have free time. Right now I am working on a theme for 9 days. I am also constantly creating in my classroom. I make all my signs before the projects with my students!

Why did you decide to get your MAT at MECA?
I decided to pursue the MAT at MECA for a couple of reasons. The first one being that I graduated from MECA with a BFA in Illustration and a minor in Public Engagement. Over every summer I also taught for the Continuing Studies division of MECA and I always loved being a TA. At MECA, you are constantly learning and improving yourself. So it just felt natural to get a Master of Arts in Teaching at the college I love so much!

Why should a prospective student choose MECA’s MAT?
The MAT professors know what they are doing. They have been in the field and are great leaders.

What advice do you have for prospective MAT students?
Remember yourself, why you are doing this and who you are as an individual.

What resources, tools, or organizations have you found helpful throughout your career thus far?
To be honest the other teachers within my school. One reason why I wanted to teach at a private school was that the teachers form a bond. You are a team and everyone is there to help out.

View Mattea’s fantastical illustrations on MECA’s portfolio page

Follow @mattea.w to see some incredible daily insect drawings on Instagram.