Since he was five years old, William Lewandowski dreamed of being a teacher. He always enjoyed school and felt at home in the classroom.
He graduated from MSU Moorhead with a degree in English writing (with an emphasis in creative writing) in 2019. A year later, he decided to return to MSUM to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher. Currently, he is working toward a bachelor of science in communication arts and literature education.
William graduated from Fargo North High School in 2014. He chose to attend MSUM because it’s close to home and well-known for its education program.
“The curriculum is robust, and our professors are knowledgeable in their fields,” says William.
Though he’s not currently involved in activities at MSUM, he previously was the head writing tutor at the Writing Support Center and an officer for SPECTRUM.
Community is one of the things William appreciates most about MSUM. He appreciates how close-knit and connected everyone is. In particular, he values the connections between professors and students.
MSUM instructors have significantly impacted his education journey. His current advisor, Dr. Elizabeth Kirchoff, has been extremely supportive. She takes the time to meet with him regularly and provide constructive feedback that he can apply to become a better teacher.
Dr. Lin Enger was his advisor when he was in the English writing program and is another professor who challenged him during his time at MSUM.
“The advisors I’ve had have been supportive of how my path should be,” says William. “They care more about what I need rather than what they want.”
One of the most valuable experiences for education majors is the opportunity to get in the classroom through student teaching or practicums. William has done practicums at the Red River Area Learning Center in Moorhead and Sheyenne High School in West Fargo. Before he graduates, he will complete more than 200 hours of observing and teaching in local classrooms.
One of the most vital lessons he’s learned is listening to students and letting them guide their own learning, allowing them to reach their goals in a way that works for them. He says it’s also important to have fun and find things to connect with students.
William encourages students interested in teaching to join Education Minnesota Student Program (EMSP). The program helps connect students with their education community through panels, social events and more.
There are plenty of things William has to look forward to about becoming a teacher. He is excited to graduate and get in the classroom to make his 20-year-long dream a reality.
“I’m looking forward to helping other people get to where they want to be in life,” says William. “If I can help at least some if not all my students get to where they want to be that’s my ultimate goal as a teacher.”
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