Students Who Teach, Teachers Who Learn


Photo By: Alex Rozbicki

Mr. Matthew Jackson, Student Teacher for Mr. John Gonzalez.

The learning never stops for  student teachers as they pursue their goals to become fully credentialed and obtain a job which has a thankless reputation and is one that students don’t always respect.

One such student teacher from California State University Channel Islands is Mr. Matthew Jackson, who is currently working under Mr. John Gonzalez, chemistry teacher, teaching Chemistry and AP Environmental Science.

Jackson started teaching Gonzalez’s classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays after March 17, where he then took over the classes full-time, grading papers, creating tests and doing everything a credentialed teacher does on a daily basis.

“I was always reading books about marine biology and the physical environment, the natural environment,” said Jackson. “I was really into science growing up as a kid.”

Before he made his decision to become a teacher, Jackson worked for the National Parks in the Santa Monica Mountains, focusing on habitat restoration. “I really enjoyed the aspect of having the students come out on field trips and telling them something and then having them come back to me with a bunch of questions,” said Jackson.

He made the decision to teach when the massive budget cuts in the education and military fields made obtaining jobs through federal agencies difficult. He also received suggestions from several of his friends to go into teaching because of the shortage of math and science teachers.

“It’s the opportunity to do something I love,” said Jackson.

With a goal of teaching Chemistry as well as Environmental Science, Jackson hopes to have a similar schedule to Gonzalez’s.

“As a student teacher, you’re learning, so there’s some challenges as you try to experiment with the new curriculum that you don’t have a lot of experience with,” said Gonzalez.

After his time at Cam High, Jackson will then be teaching middle school science. Jackson aims to be fully credentialed by next December, where he will then be able to teach in any California school where he can find a job.