Highlighting Hounds – Maria Lepak

On this week of Highlighting Hounds, we are featuring Maria Lepak ’24! Maria is a double major in Secondary Education and History and is currently completing her practicum experience at Oak Middle School. Throughout the spring semester, Maria has gained extensive experience in the classroom assisting in an 8th grade Civics class! Read the blog below to learn more about Maria’s practicum experience!

Maria Lepak ’24

 What does a typical day look like for you? What are your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities?

Monday through Friday, I take on full responsibility of three classes of 8th grade Civics. I oversee developing lesson plans and collaborating with my host teacher. I spend each day getting to know each student and built rapport with them. It has been such a rewarding experience!

Have you been involved in any major projects or accomplishments?

By the end of my experience, I will have a license in Secondary Education and History. While I am still working towards this accomplishment, receiving feedback from students, and trying new strategies has felt rewarding!

What are your career goals? How will this internship help you reach those goals?

After graduating, I hope to become a middle school history teacher. For a while, I was questioning if this was the right career for me and what age group I wanted to teach. My time at Oak has reassured me that this is my vocation, and that middle school is a unique and exciting time to teach students.

What are your key takeaways from your experience? What skills did you gain from this internship?

Since starting my student teaching at Oak in January, I have learned that it is okay to fail. I have had lessons that either don’t go well or students weren’t able to grasp the content. It allows me to practice self-reflection, perseverance, and pushes me to try again.

In this role, I have developed a strong work ethic and teamworking skills. Many middle school settings are team oriented. Each grade has a variety of teams. My team, which includes the core content teachers and special education/EL, is an excellent example of communication and collaboration to make sure each student’s needs are met. To continue, student teaching and teaching in general requires a strong work ethic. It is a consistent back and forth of what works and might not work for students and the ability to find the right materials for each group of students in front of you.

What do you like about your Practicum site?

I completed my pre-practicum at Oak last spring, and I felt that the values of the school, my host teacher, and the students were welcoming and understanding. It is a great fit for me!

How has your Assumption education has prepared you for this internship?

My education and history courses have assisted me significantly in this process. I can easily communicate with my professors, whether its content or practice related, for guidance and reassurance throughout this experience.

What advice would you give to a student who wants to participate in an internship?

Whether it is required for your major or not, an internship experience is beneficial for a variety of reasons. It gives you an opportunity to see and practice your potential career firsthand and is extremely rewarding.

If you are interested in being featured on Highlighting Hounds, email us at careerdevelopment@assumption.edu!

By Abby Sproles
Abby Sproles Graduate Assistant Career Advisor