Matt Ruberto [mattruberto]
How have your past experiences prepared you for teaching? How did you become interested in education?
My past experiences have had a great influence on my passion for teaching. I've worked with students from the age of 6 to 18 in a hockey school setting. I've been playing hockey for the last 20 years and it has allowed me the opportunity to work with children from all kinds of different backgrounds. I was able to work with inner city kids from the Harlem which was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have a passion to make students better in all aspects of life. I've had the opportunity to live over seas and I think with my life experiences I am able to help students in many ways of life. I think I can provide students with some great feedback to help students, especially at the high school level. I say this because I went through the University process in regards to playing sports at the Varsity level. I would be able to help guide students into making some good decisions with this.
Who was your most influential teacher and why?
The most influential teacher in my life would definitely be Mr. Manasterky. Mr. Manastersky was my high school gym teacher. He was the most influential teacher in a variety of ways. Not only did he push me to the limit in gym class, but he was a great mentor in helping me decide where i wanted to attend University. I had some difficult decisions to make in regards to where i wanted to play hockey in the United States. He would sit down with me and weigh the pros and cons of each school i was looking at. Some would say that isn't a hard choice to make when school are offering a scholarship, but there were many different aspects to look at. He would look at the programs with me and weather or not it was a fit for what I wanted to take. In the end I chose a school in Buffalo New York, Canisius College and had a wonderful experience. It was also very exciting to have Mr. Manastersky come down to Buffalo on a few occasions to watch me play.
What is your philosophy on homework and grading?
My philosophy on home and grading is on a sliding scale. I think it is hard to give a philosophy on these topics without being able to view the class you are in. I think the main think to look at is being flexible with students. There man be many different reasons why homework doesn't get done. That being said, you have to understand where your students are coming from. Grading for me would also depend on my students and how hard I felt they were trying. If I saw that my students were trying there best then I would try my best to make sure the students do well.
Is it possible to teach creativity? how?
It is very possible to teach creativity. I think as we continue our education at Nipissing University we are seeing that being creative is a great way to get the most out of your students. SmartBoard technology is one great example of how teachers can get create in the class room. Fun engaging activities that allows students to have input in the learning process is a great way to keep in fresh. I think a great way to do this is by using cross curricular activities on a day to day basis. It's a great way to help students apply themselves in subjects like math and science. Providing students activities that they will potentially come across in real life helps engage them. For the most part teaching has to be fun. If you have stringent guidelines and no room for movement then your students will be bored and the teaching profession becomes monotonous.
What are some ways you have incorporated technology into the classroom.
I have incorporated technology in the class room in a few different way. The biggest one would have to be the use of the SmartBoard. I use the SmartBoard to teach a class in media literacy on Implied and Overt Messages. It was great to be able to show the students Ad's on the big screen and have them in front of me to discuss what they were thinking. It was great to show commercials from Super Bowls in previous years. It just really engaged the students and allowed for great discussions. I also used an iPad on a regular basis to just stimulate the students minds and it allows the visual learner the opportunity to really sink their teeth into the topic.
In light of new technologies, do we need to reinvent the school, its methods and objectives?
I don't think we need to reinvent the school, but it is important to understand that technology can be very helpful in helping students grasp some concepts. We have to understand that students learn in different ways and it's important to find out how we can engage all students. The world has become such a technology based place that sometimes the only real way to get students involved is by using technology in the class. I think the objective will stay the same but we now have many avenues to help students learn. It's a very great time for visual learners because we have so many different devices to keep all students interested.
If you could create the ideal school, what would it be like?
In my ideal school students would have large amount of technology. I would love for all my students to have the use of iPads. I think if students get to use something like the iPad it allows students to do work with a fun piece of equipment. My ideal school would also have brand new gym equipment and arena for the students to skate on. I think when you give students new equipment they are more likely to want to participate in gym class. It would also be a school where teachers worked together for the betterment of the students. I would love to have a principal that was involved heavily in the school but allowed the teachers the freedom to be creative. I would like a school with structure yet much room for new innovative lessons. In my ideal school we would excel in all aspects of education.
What do you think schools will be like in 20 years?
Schools I 20 years i feel will look very different. I don't think you are going to have students writing in notebooks anymore. The way technology is growing on a yearly basis it will be tough to not incorporate equipment such as lap tops and iPad's. I'm assuming that the use of the SmartBoard will be something that is utilized on a daily basis. I also think that we may not see private funding for Catholic schools anymore. I feel that Public schools will get the funding and the Catholic school will be in the private sector. I feel that religion in the class room could potentially hinder students learning in such area as science and literature. I think the media will continue to grow in the class room in regards to current event that student will look at more and more. With the use of technology come the power to allow students the resources to from some very creative opinions of topics like current event and politics. I look forward to seeing how these different technologies take over in the class room.
What are your professional goals? Where do you want to be in five years?
My professional goals are somewhat unclear right now. I would love to have a high school job in the Hamilton Wentworth District school board as soon as possible. But if thats not in the cards right away then i will explore my other options in the teaching and coaching world. I would entertain the possibility of heading back down to the New York City area and try and get a coaching/teaching job in the Westchester area. I have a passion for coaching at a high level and would love to see where something like that would take me. I also would potentially head back over seas and play hockey for a few more years and teach english while I do that. I think doing both would be fun and it would allow me to continue my hockey career. If I was to stay in the Hamilton area then I would love to be heavily involved in coaching at the high school I'm at. I think coaching at a local high school would be a great challenge and a lot of fun.
What qualities would you need to see in someone before advising him/her to go into teaching?
I qualities that i think are a must for anyone entering the teaching profession would be patients and flexibility. If you are short tempered then teaching might not be the right place for you. I think that you have to put yourself in the students shoes. You may have kids come from a terrible home life. When they get to school we have to try our best as teachers to look through the students eyes. The other big thing is being flexibly. You have to be able to bend for the students. But by know means does that mean being a pushover. You are an authoritative figure in these students lives and that has to remain a constant. That being said you have to allow the students the chance to succeed. If you know a student is having problems at home then you may have to evaluate how you assess them. Maybe it means helping them after class or during recess. We can't assume that all students will learn the same way. We have to think of creative ways to engage students who are struggling with the material. If you can show patients and flexibility then i think you teaching is a potentially good choice for someone.
north bay ontario Canada