Camelot Teacher Profile: Vincent Green
Vincent Green has served as an English teacher at Camelot Academy in North Philadelphia for three years. After spending time on the West Coast after college he is happy to be back home and helping kids in his community.
What brought you to Camelot?
I was in California for about five years, but I’m from Philly originally. I was in the business world working in sales, but I had a motivation to do something different and something that would allow me to help kids out, so I came back home. A family friend told me about the school, and I thought seeing a young black male teaching would be influential for a lot of kids.
Are you able to connect with students better because you are from Philadelphia?
Definitely. I can especially connect with students from Germantown and the Northwest part of the City. I grew up in that area so I can relate to what they are talking about. It really helps in building a better rapport with them.
What’s your most memorable lesson?
During the poetry section, I incorporate a lot of hip hop music, cyphers, figurative language, and they really love that.
How do the Camelot norms contribute to student success?
Having too much freedom actually got them into the position they’re in right now. By asking them to follow strict discipline it gives them more focus. I think the norms give them a better idea of what to expect in life. When you go into an office situation you might be expected to wear a shirt and tie, those are norms. You can take the norms you learn here into the workforce. It helps get them ready for what to expect in the real world.
What do you like most about teaching at Camelot?
One of the main things I like is the level of engagement and the relationship you have with the kids. A kid might not speak to you in September, but all of a sudden he is your best friend in May. You are able to really learn about where they come from.Camelot gives these students a second option instead of not going to school and just doing nothing.
How do you adjust your teaching style to deal with students who come from such diverse backgrounds?
My teaching style has to be more engaging. I have to spend more time working with them one-on-one. In addition to talking with them about the lesson, I have to find out what’s personally going on with them today. A lot of these kids have so much other stuff going on in their lives when they are at school they can easily lose focus. When you are familiar with what is going on with them it’s easier to ease them into the school work.