MAT Graduate Spotlight: Eric Gulotty

Eric Gulotty is an MAT student at the USC Rossier School of Education and is graduating this May 2015. Gulotty is currently living in Taipei, Taiwan and teaching world history, geography, government and politics and economics at the Hsinchu International School. Below, Gulotty shares his experiences in the USC Rossier program, why he decided to pursue a teaching career and what the future holds for him.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I always liked teaching. I used to teach Sunday School at my church, and guest lectured at my college while I worked in show business. We moved to Taiwan to take care of my wife’s father, and I took up full-time teaching. I taught ESL for six years. I decided to become a social studies teacher because I found that I loved studying history and economics whenever it came up as a subject for ESL.

Why did you choose USC Rossier?

I chose USC Rossier because they enabled me to get a credential. The international teaching market is competitive, and many schools require certification. I have to say that now that I am aware of other programs, I still would have chosen Rossier because it really reflects my teaching philosophy.

What about the MAT program did you find most valuable?

The professors are amazing! They are all dedicated educators who have a wealth of practical experience to share. I learned so much from every class.

What surprised you the most about the program?

I knew it would be hard, but it is a VERY rigorous program. I sometimes wonder if I would have been pushed as hard in a brick-and-mortar setting. It definitely prepared me for teaching, though.

How did your field experience prepare you for the classroom?

I was an experienced teacher, so my Guided Practice was really great because it allowed me to use what I was learning at USC immediately in the classroom. For candidates who have never had their own classroom, Guided Practice is a great opportunity to learn in a controlled setting.

What is next for you? What do you plan to do after graduation?

I have been very lucky. I was able to start teaching professionally literally the week after I finished my Guided Practice. The school that I did my Guided Practice at actually recommended me for the job — I will be teaching at the school next semester.

What would you tell someone who wants to pursue an MAT at USC?

If you feel that teaching might be your calling, the Rossier program prepares you incredibly well to become an effective teacher.

You learn the latest pedagogy and have access to some fabulous teachers who are all more than willing to help you succeed. The program also introduces teachers to the latest technology used in education and gives candidates the opportunity to learn how and when to use that technology effectively. I use what I learned at USC Rossier every day in my classroom.