Ally Lewandowski '16 Finds her Passion for Teaching

January 06, 2016

By Jaime Eyssen '16

For senior middle childhood education major Ally Lewandowski ’16 of Amherst, Ohio, her future career path in education has always been clear. In pursuit of her dreams to become an educator, Lewandowski found Mount Union to be the perfect fit. Specifically, she was attracted to the strength of the Department of Education.

“Mount Union was the one school that I looked at that offered me the chance to get a dual licensure in four years,” Lewandowski said.

In addition to the dual licensure program, Lewandowski was attracted to the fact that, at Mount Union, all education majors have the opportunity to begin classroom observation during their freshman year. Not only does this help students figure out if education is right for them, but it also helps them identify which grade level they want to specialize in. For Lewandowski, who originally wanted to teach early childhood education, getting experience in the classroom helped her discover a passion for teaching middle school students.
 
“I would have never realized I love teaching middle school if it wasn’t for my experience observing through the Department of Education,” she said.

Lewandowski values the opportunity to gain multiple teaching perspectives as another way to prepare herself for her future. Over the course of her time at Mount Union, Lewandowski has had the opportunity to observe 10 different teachers from area school districts, spend school breaks observing in her hometown and gain perspective and excitement for her future career from faculty and staff.

“All of my professors were teachers in a classroom first and then they came to Mount,” she said. “They have the life experience needed to teach you what you need to know to become an educator.”

Lewandowski values the close bonds that she has formed with her professors at Mount Union, professors who not only encourage success but are always willing to go above and beyond for students. She hopes to one day have a similar bond with students in her middle school classroom.

“I want to be the type of teacher that students can come to and feel comfortable talking with,” Lewandowski said. “Middle school students go through so many different things at that point in their lives. I want to be able to help my students not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well.”

The aspiring educator has also learned some very important lessons from working with her peers in the Department of Education. These lessons have further helped her form an idea of the type of educator she strives to become.

“After working with peers in the classroom or working in the field with younger students, you realize that you can’t just teach a lesson to one student,” Lewandowski said. “You have to take into account how diverse everybody is and really aim your lesson toward every student, not just one.”

In addition to her classroom experiences at Mount Union, Lewandowski is diverse in her involvement on campus as well. She stays busy as a member of the Student National Educators Association, a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, a big sister for the American Women’s Society, a participant on the intramural volleyball and basketball teams, a statistics tutor and a success mentor. Lewandowski also enjoys volunteering in the TANF Town simulation, a simulation offered through the Department of Education that focuses on showing education majors what it is like to be a student or family in poverty.

“The simulation gives you a perspective on how you can help them [students in poverty] in school and what you can do for them,” Lewandowski said. “It’s interesting to figure out what it is like for them.”

Every experience at Mount Union is a lesson, and Lewandowski has many under her belt. Whereas some college seniors may have mixed feelings about the day they walk across the stage at graduation, Lewandowski cannot be more excited to begin her future career, a passion she thanks Mount Union for inspiring.

“It’s bittersweet that you are graduating because you don’t want to leave Mount Union,” Lewandowski said. “But, I really can’t wait to be a teacher.”

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