Education graduate helps future teachers prepare for successful careers

December 22, 2017

Jars of elementary teaching materials sit on a counter, including dice, large paper clips, and numbered and colored tiles.

For elementary school teacher Mike Maresca, MAT ’15, reaching students from diverse ethnic, economic and educational backgrounds is the most inspiring and challenging part of his job.

“These students seek the most from you, and need the most building up,” Maresca explained. “Quinnipiac is a leader in preparing teachers to do that.”

Maresca recalls the time he and his professors spent on classroom management, particularly on how to navigate language barriers and motivate students dealing with difficult situations at home. His field work and internships in New Haven, Connecticut helped him to face these challenges with confidence. The internships also helped to cover most of his tuition costs in his final year.

In addition to those experiences, Maresca credits faculty mentor Eric Conrad, adjunct professor of elementary science education, with helping him land his first full-time teaching job at Chapel Street School in Stratford, Connecticut, where Conrad serves as assistant principal.

“Eric has been one of the biggest influences in my career, and has always looked out for my best interests,” said Maresca.

While he now teaches fourth grade at Edward Devotion School, in Brookline, Massachusetts, Maresca still gives back to those who helped him so much. He participates in panels for incoming School of Education students and has been a guest lecturer for his former Quinnipiac professors, reminding future teachers of the importance of primary education.

“Elementary school is where these students form a lot of their opinions and perceptions of school,” Maresca said. “If their early experience is a good one, it will have a positive impact for the rest of their lives.”

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