November 16, 2023

Savi Ryan ’22

Secondary Art MAT ’22
Current position: Milwaukie High School/Milwaukie Academy of the Arts

Savi Ryan, Secondary Art MAT '22 Savi Ryan, Secondary Art MAT ’22Why did you choose to earn your MAT from Lewis & Clark?

I was really excited about LC’s dedication to social justice and how to incorporate that into your teaching and that’s what ultimately lead to my decision to pursue my MAT there.

How prepared did you feel as a first year art teacher?

As far as curriculum and content area, I felt very prepared. I also received lots of information about teaching strategies that would benefit all my students, as well as information on how to accommodate students with specific needs and modify curriculum as needed. However, post online learning has resulted with a wide range of needs and behavioral concerns amongst most students. My classroom management my first year of teaching definitely needed some work, but I’m figuring it out as I go and feel supported by my coworkers when I need help.

I love being queer representation for my LGBTQIA2S+ students. I attended the school where I now work, and back then there weren’t really any outwardly queer, and proud, faculty/staff. But now I get to show up for my kids as my true authentic self. I wish I had that growing up. I also don’t take it for granted because I know that if I worked in a different part of the country, the option to be out and proud in the workplace may not be an option.

How do you incorporate social justice into your day to day classroom?

I show up for my students every day in the skin that I’m in and do my best to meet everyone’s needs and meet them wherever they are at. I am constantly thinking about how I can make my classroom a more equitable place for every student who I interact with, because historically, schools have been a very discriminating place. Especially for students of color, queer students, and low income students. I want to be an ally for my students while also teaching them to do the same for each other.

Did you receive support during the job application process from your program or faculty? What was that support like?

We had a lot of preparation for the job application and interview process at LC. Mostly in our seminar class and content area. We did mock interviews and resume writing workshops. I felt very prepared filling out my applications and going into my interviews.

Do you keep in touch with your cohort?

I have a couple close friends from the cohort who also work at the same school or in the same district as me!

What would you tell a prospective student who is considering applying to the MAT program and becoming an art teacher?

It is the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. But it’s a lot of hard work. The hard work also doesn’t stop after grad school. It continues. But we get stronger and honestly, getting to share art with my students is so amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better career.

Anything else you would like to share?

Take care of yourself, join your union, learn how to set boundaries, and have fun!