An Insider’s View of Student Teaching with Ms. Pepe


Jacqueline Schroder, Associate Editer

Student teacher Ms. Pepe has had an amazing time bringing history to life history at Wantagh High School, since January 25. She found students and staff extremely friendly and welcoming so she always felt comfortable.

Over the past few months Ms. Pepe has built a strong relationships. She formed a close relationship with all the teachers in the history department as well as some from other departments. Additionally, she feels she’s built a memorable relationship with all the students she taught in these few short months.

Ms. Pepe had a great time teaching all of her classes, but her most notable day was “my last day with Mr. Benner’s global 10th grade classes… but I knew I could still see them all since I had a second rotation, so it was bittersweet.”

Her interest in history began at a young age. “I always loved history… my Dad used to take my family to museums in the city,” she said. “I was always fascinated in what happened prior to this time in history.”

This was Ms. Pepe’s first experience teaching in a classroom and there are noticeable differences between being in a lecture-hall and actually teaching in a classroom. “In a lecture-hall, you are just with your professor being told about scenarios that could happen whilst teaching,” she says. “It’s so different when you’re in a classroom environment – it’s exciting, every day is different and you’re surrounded by multiple personalities.”

Ms. Pepe’s preferred method of teaching is ‘Student Center Learning.’ Student Center Learning allows students to be as independent as possible when learning new information; the focus of instruction is shifted from teachers to the students. “Students learning on their own provides a positive learning environment in the classroom,” she says. “It’s the best way to learn about your students and by relating to them it contributes to their learning.”

Her experiences teaching at Wantagh High School the past few months have all been through team-teaching which she enjoyed. “I think collaborative teaching is very beneficial to the students as it provides different perspectives on the same topic,” she says. Ms. Pepe wants to continue team-teaching. “I saw and admired how the teachers worked off each other; I could definitely picture myself doing that in the future,” she says.

She visualizes herself continuing to teach high school in the future as opposed to a different age group “High school is definitely my favorite group of kids to teach; especially because I remember what it was like being in high school and I’m able to relate to the students,” Ms. Pepe states.

Overall, Ms. Pepe had a really good experience teaching at Wantagh High school. “I would love to become a permanent teacher for the district in the future,” she says.