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Kindergarten Teacher Using Skills She’s Learning in Grad School in Her Classroom

Maria Blasioli is a kindergarten teacher at Aquinas Academy in Greensburg, Pa. She’s also about to graduate with her master’s in elementary/middle level education from Seton Hill. This is what she has to say about going back to school while teaching full-time:

Why did you choose Seton Hill for your bachelor's and master's?

I chose Seton Hill University for my bachelor's due to positive word-of-mouth about the Education Program.  Upon arriving at the school, I was presented with a plethora of opportunities. Without Seton Hill, I would not be where I am today - teaching, soon to be graduating with my Master of Art degree, and starting my Ph.D. this summer.  Near the end of my bachelor’s (in elementary education with special education) at Seton Hill, I knew that I did not want to leave, and wanted to further my education. I heard about the FastForward Program and knew this was the right fit for me.  I enrolled in the program and started graduate classes a few weeks later.

"The M.A. program at Seton Hill is amazing."

How do you balance a full teaching load and earning a graduate degree?

It is no easy task balancing teaching and earning my Master of Art degree. I try to finish my assignments and lesson plans during the week and leave my weekends open for time with friends and family - though that does not always work out. Time management is the biggest reason why I have been able to balance work and school.  

Do you use things you learned at Seton Hill in your current job?Maria Blasioli in her classroom

I have used a variety of teaching strategies, lessons, and approaches learned at SHU in the classroom.  For example, I am currently in an Elementary and Middle Level Social Studies grad class. I retaught a lesson to my kindergarten class that Dr. Harris (Dean of the School of Education and Applied Social Sciences) shared with us.  

Another example from my undergraduate degree comes from my Art, Music and Movement class.  For this class, we were asked to create a sing-along story to share with the students at Seton Hill’s Child Development Center.  I had the opportunity to share this book during my student teaching experience in kindergarten, and again in my own kindergarten classroom. When I told the students that I wrote and illustrated the story, the amazement in their faces is a memory I will never forget.  

Do you have anything you’d like to share about the M.A. Program with people who may be considering it?

The M.A. program at Seton Hill is amazing.  If you are considering the program, I would look over the course catalog and ensure the program is right for you, and even ask to shadow a class. The best way to know if something is the right fit for you, is to submerge yourself in it. The myriad benefits include small class sizes, outstanding professors, and hands-on learning experiences.