Marceau is first from EMU to earn National Student Teacher of the Year
YPSILANTI – In its long and illustrious tradition of producing the best teachers, Eastern Michigan University alumni have won almost every major award possible, except one.
EMU’s Jonathan Marceau added a new plaque to the trophy case by being named the National Student Teacher of the Year, the first EMU alum to do so and only the second student teacher from Michigan.
The award is conferred by the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and Kappa Delta Pi (KDP). Marceau will receive a plaque and a monetary award Feb. 15 in Chicago at the ATE conference.
“The excitement of having a job and a classroom has been overwhelming, but this is an incredible honor!” said Marceau, a resident of Sterling Heights and a first-time teacher of 22 third-graders at West Utica Elementary School.
“We’ve had EMU alums who were National Teacher of the Year and National Superintendent of the Year, this is, however, the first time that someone from EMU has been National Student Teacher of the Year. He has brought great recognition to all of us (EMU and its College of Education) through his fine work,” said Jerry Robbins, former dean of EMU’s College of Education and professor of educational leadership.
“He had an outstanding essay that talked about the amount of pain that has become part of a child’s everyday life,” said Marilyn Nicholas, chair of the ATE/Kappa Delta Pi selection committee. “Children have a lot going on in their lives and young children need help. He (Marceau) wants to be a positive role model for students.”
Kappa Delta Pi is an international honor society in education. It is committed to recognizing excellence and fostering mutual cooperation, support and professional growth for educational professionals.
The Association of Teacher Educators is the only national, individual membership organization devoted solely to the improvement of teacher education.
Marceau was named Michigan’s Student Teacher of the Year last spring by the Michigan Association of Teacher Educators (MATE). Both the Michigan and national awards are granted to student teachers who excel in their student teaching experience.
He student taught at Eberwhite Elementary School in Ann Arbor and was honored for a science lesson that was part of an overall look at the effects of oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Natural 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.”
“Marceau has a really special quality in that he’s confident, yet humble,” said Marceau’s EMU student teacher supervisor, Tina Tolin, who has worked with student teachers for the last 18 years. “He’s an exceptional teacher.”
“Teaching impacts students in many different ways and empowers them to achieve,” said Marceau. “I look forward to each day in my classroom.”
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.
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