Rancho Cucamonga Academic Allstar

Natali Alvarado 

Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning
Graduating Class of 2020

Get to Know Natali

Work experience?

I currently work for the Chaffey Joint Union High School District as a Substitute Teacher. I hope to student teach here and eventually become a full time Math teacher for this district. Prior to being a substitute teacher, I was an AVID tutor for 4 years and a College Mentor for 3 years for CJUHSD. I have also worked as a Child Care Assistant for 5 years in the Etiwanda School District.
Who referred you? or have you referred anyone?
I was referred by my fellow co-worker Angelica Martinez. We were AVID tutors together at Montclair High School. Any person I meet who wants to go into teaching, I always refer them to this outstanding program !
Why & How you made that decision to pursue your program?
After graduating with my Math Degree from Cal State San Bernardino, I had a tough decision of choosing where I wanted to obtain my teaching credential. After looking at numerous programs, I knew I wanted to get my master's degree along side my credential. University of Redlands offered me a program had both. Not only was there a satellite campus close to my home, but they offered small class sizes with great staff. The timeline of this program was my ultimate deciding factor. I would be able to complete my teaching credential along with my Master's in Education within a year and a half, compared to the 2-3 year timeline at other schools. I truly believe that I made the best decision for my education by choosing the University of Redlands.
Experience in the Program?
I have loved every moment in the program! Walking into campus, we are always greeted by Denise, Tekia, and Margaret. I have had so many classes that challenged me to be a better educator. The observations required have been very useful as we had chances to see classrooms live. The professors are very knowledgable and extremely helpful. I have really enjoyed all the wisdom they have passed onto our class. Even as classes closed due COVID-19, the professors did everything in their power to make the transition to distance learning a smooth one. 
How you benefited from the program in your career?
Prior to this program, I was shy about public speaking, but after my numerous classes, I feel a lot more comfortable presenting to larger groups. I have also been able to make many connections at the local high schools when completing my observation hours. This has given me the opportunity to keep in contact with teachers and administrators. When completing my observations, I learned so many methods from various teachers that I plan on implementing in my future classroom.
Favorite moment?
My favorite moment of the program so far has been the ability to collaborate with my cohort of future teachers. As a class of secondary teachers, our cohort was very small, only 7 students. We have been able to grow very close to each other and constantly run ideas by each other. 
Favorite teacher?
My favorite teacher so has been a tie between Joseph Almasy and Anne            Castagnaro. Prof. Almasy was able to share real-life scenarios that we could encounter   as future teachers. He was very straight forward with our group and offered  us the feedback we needed.  Prof. Castagnaro is the most caring teacher I have ever met. She was able to ease the anxiety of our class and guide us along the way. She emphasized the importance of our mental health and even showed us yoga to help relieve our stress. I think my favorite part of her class was the Restorative Circles at the beginning of each class. During her class, I grew extremely close to my cohort and learned the importance of knowing your students.
                                                                                                                                  Natali Alvarado '20