Meet Master Sergeant Matthew Knight, United States Marine Corps Reserves and Physical Education teacher at Indian Peaks Elementary School, Denver, Colorado. In his drive to become a classroom teacher, Matthew participated in the Troops to Teachers program. Matthew represents one of the thousands of the men and women who serve (or served) in the U.S. Armed Forces and want to again serve their country as a classroom teacher.
Troops to Teachers is a U.S. Department of Defense program that helps eligible military personnel begin a new career as teachers in public schools where their skills, knowledge and experience are most needed.1
Like other Service Members who become teachers, Mr. Knight brings passion, a commitment to helping kids, and experience to his school. For example, in one of his field experiences in TeacherReady he describes the Field Day that he facilitated:
My principal estimated that at its peak we had around 2,000 people at our Field Day. The most important thing for me was that the kids had a great time and my principal was very happy with everything. I am happy that the kids had an unforgettable last Field Day… My biggest regret was that we didn’t have a lot of time with the media to coordinate all of our activities. [The FOX station helicopter and reporters attended!] I would have liked to have had an opportunity to talk with them beforehand so that we could have kept more of the focus on the kids and not on the broadcast.
Teachers are the most important factor that affects student learning. Matthew’s resolve to keep “more of the focus on the kids” reminds us that great teachers are eager to help their students become engaged learners. These teachers are also the ones eager to improve their teaching skills and re-energize their will because they know this will help their students. These teachers are the ones who are making a difference in the lives of their students. Much like Mr. Knight is a hero to us through his service to our country, in his service as a teacher he is a hero to his students. Thank you, Matthew, and all of our troops who have chosen the teaching profession for your continued commitment to our country. Join us as we celebrate the service of current Service Members and Veterans this Memorial Day holiday.
Troops to Teachers helps active duty, career-seeking veterans, and retired military transition into teaching. Troops to Teachers mentors candidates and offers stipends of up to $5,000 to eligible participants for educational assistance to qualify for teaching jobs. Northwest Florida Veterans interested in teaching may contact Troops to Teachers at 850-452-1241 or visit http://troopstoteachers.net
For more information about earning a professional teaching certificate or license, contact TeacherReady at 850-898-3949 or visit or connect with current teacher candidates and alumni on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/teacherreadyprogram.
Become a teacher with the assistance of TeacherReady. TeacherReady offers individuals an opportunity to earn a professional teaching certificate from the State of Florida; it was developed by teachers for teachers and is a member of the NCATE/CAEP accredited Professional Education Unit at the University of West Florida.