Meet Carlos Stewart, MA-Teaching ‘18
From virtual tutoring to the classroom, Carlos Stewart, MA in Teaching '18, shares learning wherever he goes
Carlos Stewart, MA in Teaching '18, was working as a behavioral specialist at a middle school when several teachers at the school took note of his easy rapport and uplifting work style with students.
"They noticed how great I was at working with young people, and they said I'd be a great teacher," Stewart said. "I wasn't sure if it was my thing, but finally they convinced me to go back to school for a teaching license."
Hamline's Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) caught his eye—plus, it was just a short walk or bike trip from his home in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood.
"I went in knowing I wanted to be an elementary education teacher, so I wanted to cut out everything else and get right to it," Stewart recalled, but first he had to make it through the foundational courses: Learning about the broader education system, teachers' policies and procedures, and the research that underpins the latest teaching practices.
As he progressed, his classes "became more concentrated in the subjects that I wanted to teach," Stewart said. "I had the opportunity to watch some really amazing teachers work. I learned that teaching isn't a 'one size fits all' profession; you can be exactly who you are and bring that into the classroom."
Working with young people has been better than Stewart dreamed. He began his teaching career in Washington state but moved back to Minnesota after a few years, where he found himself once more in the Hamline community, teaching at Hamline Elementary.
It's so rewarding to hear how my encouragement for them as a kid was beneficial, and how they carried that forward throughout their life."
Stewart doesn't limit his teaching prowess to the classroom. In June 2022, he started a virtual tutoring business called Growing Minds to give elementary students one-on-one help with literacy and math skills. He was inspired in part by the switch to online learning made necessary by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I leaned into it—I saw that it might be a phenomenal opportunity to reach young people with this new approach," he explained. "I did a lot of research, developed my programs, and it's been absolutely phenomenal."
Stewart hopes that someday, Growing Minds will allow him to travel the world with his family while still helping students cultivate a love of learning.
Whether he's leading a classroom or helping one student untangle a math problem, one of Stewart's favorite parts of the job is reuniting with students he taught in elementary school. After working as a teacher for six years and in education for nearly 20, some of his first students are nearing 30 years old.
"They come back to you and tell you how big of an impact you made on their life, their young adulthood," Stewart said. "It's so rewarding to hear how my encouragement for them as a kid was beneficial, and how they carried that forward throughout their life."