“Honestly, I never thought I would end up becoming a teacher,” said Ms. Lauren Lesiczka, a first-year English teacher at Malden Catholic. “However, when I think back on my childhood, it all makes sense.
“I used to make worksheets and force my little brother to complete them. Then I would grade them and start all over again. Now the grading is much more strenuous,” said Lauren laughing.
Lauren, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and English Literature and a master’s degree in English Literature with a certificate in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, began her college career as an Environmental Science major.
“The first year [of college] was miserable,” recalls Lauren. “Luckily, I had taken an education course to fill a gen-ed requirement, and I absolutely loved it. After that year, I did a complete 180 and switched my focus. I met a teacher who had a profound impact on my education and beliefs,” said Lauren. “His way of thinking and teaching was so inspiring it made me want to become a teacher.”
With her first year completed, Lauren says she can’t see herself working anywhere else. “From day one, there wasn’t a single person who didn’t offer me their support,” said Lauren. “The level of camaraderie and support within this school is astounding.
“These people aren’t just coworkers, they’re friends who make work so much more enjoyable,” said Lauren.
However, it’s not just Lauren’s coworkers who make working at Malden Catholic stand apart from other institutions, it’s the students as well.
“The English classroom is a place where students learn how to think, build ideas, and channel their creativity,” said Lauren. “I think its important to teach using life lessons because it makes the subject matter more relevant to my students. I find it satisfying that doing this not only teaches them the subject, but also how to build up their own identity and beliefs.”
Two students who have benefitted from Lauren’s teaching style are freshmen Mike Gizzi and Jonathan Jolicoeur.
“My first impression on Ms. Lesiczka was that she was very well-organized and knew how to teach us in a way that we could understand,” said Mike. “She is completely different from any other English teacher I’ve had.
“I never really liked English class, but this year Ms. Lesiczka made English one of my favorite classes,” added Mike, who admits that last year he struggled with grammar and how to properly write an essay, but with Ms. Lesiczka’s help he now considers himself a stronger writer.
Like his classmate Mike, Jonathan has nothing but praise for Ms. Lesiczka.
“When I first met Ms. Lesiczka I thought she would be like my old teachers… mean and boring,” said Jon. “But as I got to know her, she proved the contrary. Ms. Lesiczka isn’t a teacher who just teaches her subject and leaves the classroom. If you’re going through school or family issues, she will sit and talk with you about it. She treats everyone with respect and kindness.”
While Mike and Jon both say Ms. Lesiczka is different from previous English teachers and an asset to Malden Catholic, Lauren feels she has gained the most from her hiring.
“Malden Catholic’s community is unlike any other school I’ve been in,” said Lauren. “I really feel like I’ve become part of a family. I also really appreciate the diligence in promoting spirituality and character growth. I feel as though the school’s mission is successful in that these boys turn out to be ambitious, respectful young men.”
“While the boys can be goofy at times, as many boys are, it is apparent that Malden Catholic students value respect and personal achievement,” said Lauren.
Looking back on a successful first year at MC, Lauren is excited for what her future here looks like, especially since next year she will be teaching in both divisions of the school. “I’ll be teaching English and a required leadership course at the School for Girls, and an English class in the School for Boys,” said Lauren, adding that she will also look to develop a book club and an outdoors club. “They’re both right up my alley,” said Lauren.
When asked what she is most looking forward to when the School for Girls opens, Lauren’s response was simple: “As far as I’m concerned, the School for Girls is already open!” said Lauren. “It’s been a lot of fun watching the progress of the school and working with Principal Lisa Cenca to help build such an authentic educational experience and environment.
“I cannot wait to see the outcome of all this hard work,” said Lauren, adding that she also can’t wait to write on the innovative classroom walls!
While she may have an hour-long drive back and forth to Exeter, NH every day, Lauren says the commute is worth it. She has a job she loves and doesn’t have to give up her lifestyle.
“Everyone jokes with me about fitting the stereotypical New Hampshire mold,” said Lauren, “but it’s true! I love being outdoors whether it’s hiking, camping, horseback riding, gardening, kayaking, or ATVing. I also spend time helping at a friend’s apple orchard in the summer. I grew up on farms and it seems to be something I can’t let go of!”
When she’s not teaching, or commuting to work, Lauren (as hard as it may be to believe) does enjoy reading. And if you’re ever looking for book recommendations, you now know who to ask because Lauren has plenty! “I’ll read anything,” said Lauren with a smile, before naming Sherman Alexie her favorite author.
“My job requires me to read a lot of Young Adult Literature books,” said Lauren, who named a few of her favorites as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, and Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys, among others.
As for her favorite genre, Lauren says it’s historical fiction. “That’s my favorite, but I’ll honestly read anything. Aren’t you glad you asked this question?” said Lauren with a laugh.
Her enthusiasm is infectious, and at the end of the day, there is no doubt that Lauren has wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to form students of academic excellence and strong character at Malden Catholic.
“I have to say, I’m very happy with the choices I’ve made, and I’m so glad I made the decision to apply to teach at Malden Catholic.”
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