US English Teacher Leaves the Classroom for the Commons

By Kyleigh Lewis

One of Oak Hall’s Upper School (US) teachers has left the classroom to join the Learning Commons team. English teacher Paul Mucci changed positions at the beginning of this school year to work as a Learning Specialist.

In his 33 years of teaching, Mucci is still somewhat new to Oak Hall, starting here three years ago. “The first year was eighth and ninth, then all ninth last year and now here in the learning center,” he said.

Mucci, originally got his degree in English so he could attend law school. However, after getting a job at the Boys Club (now known as the Boys & Girls Club), he realized how much he enjoyed working with children. “Instead of applying to law school, I applied to graduate school to get my degree in education because, I just liked working with kids,” Mucci noted.

Working with kids for so long has given Mucci an understanding of how rough times can affect people. While he taught, he grasped to the fact that teachers may not always know what is going on in the life of their students. Knowing that every child is unique and has their own struggles made it easier for him when students took out their aggression on him. “Sometimes if kids don’t perform well or [don’t] have the best attitude, it may not be because of my class, subject, or me. It could be caused by things like not getting enough sleep, being hungry or going through a break-up,” the veteran teacher said. “I really had to learn not to take things personally. That I’d understand there are other things going on and that has helped me deal with people.”

With Mucci changing his career to a learning specialist, he expressed that working in the Learning Commons has allowed him to continue helping students learn a particular subject or help find new study habits; so, he never stopped being a teacher. As to why he changed his career, he elaborated that he wanted to try something different and challenge himself while still doing what he loves.