After working in elementary schools in Vermont as a technology troubleshooter specialist, Greg Montgomery (M.A.’18 Computing in Education) decided that it was time to go back to school to get his master’s degree. He knew he wanted to get a degree from a larger, reputable institution: “I wanted to go somewhere good, where I felt like I would get a lot out of it and meet a lot of interesting people.” When he got to TC, his expectations were surpassed: “When I was younger, I never envisioned attending a school like this. That was very motivating — now that I’m here, I better be prepared to do well.”
Montgomery earned his master’s degree in Computing in Education remotely in 2018. Taking classes online allowed him to continue working full-time. Montgomery noted that time management was the most important thing in online classes. “It comes down to priorities, so I just made it a top priority. It was nice for me to be able to work at my own pace and figure out what I needed to do and when I needed to do it without physically having to be somewhere.” Montgomery added that working full-time while pursuing his studies had an advantage during job interviews for his current position. Being able to say he was in a master’s program demonstrated how serious and passionate he was about his work to potential employers.
Now, Montgomery is a technology integration specialist at two K-6 schools in Vermont. At one school, he teaches STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), where he is able to implement the project-based learning that he encountered at TC, something that the school didn’t do much of prior to his starting. “Being the small piece in that school to do project-based learning is a really good opportunity for me and my students, and other teachers are always very interested in what we’re doing.” At his other school, he focuses more on helping teachers integrate technology into their own classrooms and troubleshoots any issues where needed. In addition to this position, he teaches college courses.
His number one piece of advice for future students at Teachers College is to get to know your classmates and professors. “You’re going to be around so many talented people in your classes that just having conversations with them or finding out their backgrounds is really illuminating. So take advantage of that, and you can do it remotely as well. And try to form relationships with your professors; they can be really helpful with your work even after you leave.”