Matt Glasgow acknowledged being nervous as a student-teacher, especially on the four days that Temple University supervising teacher David Murphy sat in the back of the room taking notes.
A 2006 graduate of Father Judge High School, Glasgow returned to his alma mater earlier this year to fulfill his student-teacher requirement, the final step to earning a degree in education/English.
“Apparently I did pretty well because he gave me an ‘A’ and recommended me for Student-Teacher of the Year,” Glasgow said of Murphy.
In nominating Glasgow, Murphy cited his professional style, use of technology, the way he engaged the students in classroom discussion and the worksheets he developed.
The 23-year-old Glasgow not only was nominated for the award, but he prevailed among more than 300 graduating Temple education majors.
“It’s an honor to get something like that,” he said.
The award will look good on a resume, and the winner received a certificate, pen and highlighter on graduation day, May 12.
A Holme Circle resident, Glasgow is certified to teach seventh through 12th grades. He is looking for a teaching job and has applied to, among others, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He wouldn’t mind a return to his alma mater.
“I’d love to be back here, definitely,” he said.
A graduate of St. Jerome Elementary School, Glasgow completed a practicum at Gen. George G. Meade School and Benjamin Franklin High School.
The Franklin students, he noted, did not have the best attendance record and weren’t always on their best behavior, at least compared to his experience at Judge.
“I didn’t know how it was going to be at first,” he said of his return to Judge, “but the kids were nice and real easy to deal with. I really enjoyed it.”
At Judge, classes start at 7:40 a.m., and Glasgow worked each day from Jan. 20 to the end of April. He handled a class of up to 35 students for 45 minutes each.
The aspiring teacher received his assignment only a couple of days ahead of time.
“I went here, so that was good, I knew my way around,” he said.
Denise D’Aulerio teaches English I to five classes of freshmen in Room 224, the room where Glasgow was assigned.
“He did an amazing job this year,” she said. “He gradually took ownership of the class. The boys really took to him.”
Glasgow credits D’Aulerio for easing him into the classroom activities.
“She really guided me throughout,” he said. “She was excellent to work with.”
At Temple, the student-teachers were told that, while they can maintain friendly relationships with the students, they must also display authority.
As a way of introduction, he told the students to call him “Mr. G.” The students liked his presence in the classroom.
“He seemed to get through to us,” said Evan Corner.
The classes included poetry, writing, grammar, vocabulary and a study of the book The Odyssey.
“He taught me how to write,” said Kyle Price.
To make things a little more interesting, Glasgow had the students perform dramatic readings of The Odyssey and used Google Earth to track the characters’ movement.
He encouraged them to craft a poem by using everyday events in their lives. To receive their “exit ticket,” each student had to submit a written answer to a question on their way out the door.
Along the way, Glasgow developed a test that the students did not exactly ace. He admitted it was filled with some tough questions.
Still, the students said their teacher kept the smile on his face throughout his 14-week stint.
“He’s soft-spoken and did not get angry,” said Michael Taffe.
At the head of the class, Glasgow tried to get everyone involved.
“I’m more of an interactive teacher than lecture-based,” he said. “I never like to lecture for forty minutes. I bore myself if I talk too long, and (it) would bore the students. I like to ask them questions and do interactive things.”
The students liked the approach.
“I love Mr. G. He’s awesome,” said Joe Skodcinski.
Glasgow, who was on Judge’s lightweight four crew team that won the Catholic League championship race his senior year, had a fulfilling time as a student and was happy to help the young Crusaders through English I.
“I felt really lucky to come back here. I really enjoyed it,” he said. “The faculty and everyone were so nice. It’s a good community atmosphere.” ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org