EMU student recognized as Outstanding Student Teacher of the Year in Michigan
YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University's Jonathan Marceau of Southfield was recently named Outstanding Student/Intern Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Association of Teacher Educators (MATE). The award is granted to student teachers who excel in their student teaching experience. Marceau received a plaque, certificate and $1,000.
"I am delighted that Mr. Marceau received this recognition. There are many deserving students and the fact that the top student was from EMU demonstrates the high quality of our program," said Jerry Robbins, dean of EMU's College of Education.
Marceau, who taught at Eberwhite Elementary School in Ann Arbor, was honored for a science lesson that was part of an overall look at the effects of oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He introduced his 20 fifth-graders to the food web that, he said, is similar to a food chain, but more complicated.
"We looked at how seals eat fish; wolves eat seals; and polar bears eat seals and wolves. If you pull one animal out of the web, the predator dies," said Marceau, who used different ways of communicating the concept of a food web to his students. "If you draw them into the lesson, they will want to learn."
At the end of the year after studying other effects of drilling, his students wrote letters to President George Bush asking him not to drill for oil in Alaska.
Marceau said he prefers to teach fifth-graders because they are still naïve to the world and really open and honest. They also have their own personalities and are more independent than younger students, he said.
"He's a very creative teacher with a wonderful sense of humor. I'm not surprised that he got the award," said Debi Wagner, principal of Eberwhite Elementary School. She said some children have different ways of learning and Marceau addressed their needs with various methods including music, drawing and physical activity.
Marceau received a bachelor's degree in natural science and certification in elementary education from EMU in April 2004.
"I don't know where life is taking me," said Marceau, who said he would like to teach in Ann Arbor, Chicago or Boston.
Other EMU students honored by MATE were semi-finalist Kelli Wills of Westland and six student teachers who received honorable mentions:
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.