Fellow Q&A: WW Teaching Fellow Mofoluwake Laleye
WW Teaching Fellows come from many different backgrounds but are united by a single goal: to teach science, technology, engineering, and math (the STEM fields) in some of the nation’s highest-need schools. But what makes these Fellows tick? What inspired them to pursue a career in the classroom? In this WW Perspectives series, we hear from WW Teaching Fellows about what drew them to the program.
Mofoluwake Laleye’s work in Nigerian urban schools ignited her teaching career. Mofoluwake was a 2014 WW Indiana Teaching Fellow and is now an integrated chemistry and physics teacher at Marion Academy in Indianapolis, Indiana.
WW Perspectives: What drew you to teaching?
Mofoluwake Laleye: I started my teaching career when I was posted to one of the urban schools in Northern Nigeria for my National Youth Service. I became passionately involved by encouraging my students to develop skills that are needed to maximize their potentials.
WW Perspectives: Why did you choose the WW Teaching Fellowship?
Mofoluwake Laleye: On relocating to the United States, I realized that I needed a better foundation for me to perfectly fit into the educational system. The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship provided me this opportunity through their accelerated program and fellowship.
WW Perspectives: What do you think was the best preparation that you’ve received for the realities of the classroom?
Mofoluwake Laleye: The best preparation I received was the whole package of the program. The immediate full immersion into the classroom provided me with a hands-on learning experience and instilled the importance of establishing a classroom environment that is student-centered and goal-oriented right from the first day. Also, the privilege of working with master teachers and being able to observe and tap into their wealth of experience perfectly equipped me for the realities of the classroom and the importance of collaborating with others as we work together as a team.
WW Perspectives: What matters most to you about the students you work with?
Mofoluwake Laleye: The physical and mental wellbeing of my students as well as their academic achievements are very important to me. I strongly believe that teaching is my responsibility, while caring for my students’ wellbeing is my duty.
WW Perspectives: What’s the most rewarding part of the program so far for you?
Mofoluwake Laleye: The most rewarding part of the program was the simple notes and comments that students pass along about how I have positively affected them, as well as the joy of seeing them accomplishing what they thought was impossible.
WW Perspectives: What would you say to someone who’s considering becoming a WW Teaching Fellow?
Mofoluwake Laleye: If you are passionate about teaching, go for it! The program will provide you with every necessary tool for your success. I am a witness of a life-changing experience through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship.
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.