JET Boston’s First Licensed Teacher!
Tatiana is the first JET Boston participant to receive her bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) and earn teacher licensure. Tatiana joined JET in 2017 as a paraprofessional and was part of JET Boston Cohort 1. She already was well along in her undergraduate program at the time, but JET helped her access the Massachusetts Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation (PTP) Grant, which would pay for most of her course expenses in 2017-2018. Up until that time Tatiana had been paying out-of-pocket and with loans for course expenses because she had been unaware of the PTP grant. Tatiana also had the support of her fellow Cohort 1 paraprofessionals who were and are balancing full-time work, part-time studies and family responsibilities.
Tatiana graduated from Bay Path University in May 2018 a little less in debt and ready to tackle her Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) in Dance. Even though she has been teaching Dance as a paraprofessional at the Boston Academy for the Arts High School (BAA) for the past 7 years and was a trained professional ballerina before that, passing the Dance MTEL has been no easy feat. Her undergraduate studies did not have a Dance curriculum that would have provided the knowledge base for the Dance MTEL. Nevertheless Tatiana persevered and studied on her own over the summer and into the fall. She failed by just a few points in her first couple of tries, but never one to give up, she succeeded on her third try.
Tatiana has already honed her classroom teaching skills as a paraprofessional, and her professional dance capability is unquestionable. The principal at BAA has been waiting for this moment to be able to hire her as teacher of record, with all the pay and benefits it brings with it, and to retain Tatiana in a professional teaching position.