A Clover Park School District story.
Our CPSD Staff Spotlight this week features Hudtloff Middle School special education teacher Matthew Snyder.
This is Matthew’s third year at Hudtloff and eighth in Clover Park School District. Matthew worked in retail, customer service, theater and the U.S. Navy before deciding to follow his family’s footsteps by becoming an educator.
He spent two years as a life skills paraeducator at Lakes High School before earning his master’s degree and certification through Grand Canyon University. He is now a functional transition teacher at Hudtloff and feels like he has found his calling.
“I really love my class here,” he said. “I think the functional transition classes are the perfect fit for me as a SPED teacher because I can relate to these students and their families really well. I have work experience in fields they are likely to work in that I can use to inform their academics, and they’re just a fun group of kids who I’m excited to work with every day.”
Matthew teaches all subjects to his sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, and he focuses on teaching them skills that will be useful when they are adults. “Our goal is to transition our students out of school and into the workforce, so we’re always thinking about the things they’re going to need to enter the world as prepared as possible,” he said.
This year, Matthew was happy to have all of his students back in the classroom and has been moved by how much they have grown and progressed.
“When my students finish middle school, I want them prepared for the increased personal responsibility and independence in high school, and I really hope they learn how to advocate for themselves by letting others know what they need and pursuing the things they want to do because they’re all so talented.”