Teacher at Marshall High School
“My favorite thing about teaching is that every day is different,” says Radu Niculescu, a Math teacher at Marshall High School in Los Feliz. “It’s fun to wake up every day for something new, and it’s a great thing to work with kids.”
Mr. Niculescu, who is originally from Romania, worked as a Physics researcher and as a freelance reporter in Europe before moving to Los Angeles and deciding to become a teacher. After teaching at Belmont High School, where he helped to start the Multimedia Academy, he has spent the last five years teaching at Marshall High School.
Marshall’s Professional Learning Communities program provides an opportunity for teachers to work together in small groups to change and update curriculum. Mr. Niculescu appreciates this time to brainstorm with his peers because it furthers his professional development. Collaborating with and learning from other teachers, as well as receiving mentorship, helps to make him an even better teacher.
In addition to teaching Math, Mr. Niculescu teaches Leadership (advising the Associated Student Body), and coaches Girls Soccer. Through each type of class he teaches, he works “to model work habits for students, and to try to engage parents.”
Having a positive impact on students is a key motivator for Mr. Niculescu. Over the years he has taught at LAUSD, Mr. Niculescu has had several students who have shared how he has made a difference in their lives.
One student was a soccer player he had to tell she could no longer play on the team if her grades did not improve. She wanted to commit to her sport and worked on her grades as a result. She later became the first member of her family to graduate from high school, and thanked Mr. Niculescu for helping to push her to succeed.
One day Mr. Niculescu was out with friends at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, when a former student who had graduated years before came up to him and said, “I hated Math, but you inspired me. I now own a construction company and use math every day to balance the books.” Mr. Niculescu says it was incredibly rewarding to know that his former student is using the skills he taught him in his daily life and work.