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Summer 2009 Vol. 16. No. 4 Focus on Teacher Excellence

Theme articles

Pascal Marcelin

By the Notebook on May 18, 2009 11:00 AM
Photo: Todd Friedman

Then: 4th grade Literacy Intern, Alcorn Elementary School

Now: Media technology teacher, New Media Technology Charter School

Leaving Alcorn:  I really didn't like the subject matter that I was teaching. The program was too traditional. I was looking for a way to teach photography and graphic design. That was a little more difficult for me to do at Alcorn [because] the school was run by Edison so there was already a set curriculum.

Leaving the District: [At Alcorn] you couldn't really develop personal approaches to delivering the content. I think because it was a public school in the Philadelphia public school system, they were more concerned with passing the standardized tests. I think that limited them. I wanted to try a different experience.

The classroom: It's a desire to continue working with young people and see them grow and apply some of things that you have taught them. Working with young boys in a Black community, developing a relationship with them, it's good to see that sometimes they look up to you.

Best teaching moment: They're learning from you, but also in ways like how to carry themselves. I think they emulate what they see. If you're formal, then they'll be formal with you. I'm very informal in certain ways, but still very formal in other ways, so they still call me Mr. Marcelin. If they curse, another student will say, ‘Hey, Mr. Marcelin is here. Stop cursing.’

Future: I like technology, so I want to get more into it. I want to get a degree in technology, something along the lines of using technology in the classroom or learning how to make the most of all the technology that's out there and teaching kids about that.

Supports: [At Alcorn], if a child was being disruptive and [a teacher] wanted somebody to handle the situation, the school at that time [would] say, ‘There's only so much we can do. You have to learn how to deal with it.’ For new teachers, that's frustrating. I wanted to know that the administration is there to support you all of the time if you do have an issue.

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