Kiera Maguire ’08 thought she would pursue broadcast journalism, but after two years serving as a Lasallian Volunteer she realized that teaching was her passion. She's still teaching while also working towards her master's degree in education.
A communication major with a minor in education, Kiera Maguire ’08 initially thought she would go into broadcasting, but after taking an education class, she fell in love with and felt a connection to teaching. During her senior year, she was encouraged to become a Lasallian volunteer, and the former senior class president had a new aspiration. Maguire loves cities, so she was excited to learn of her placement at the San Miguel Schools, Gary Comer Campus, a private Catholic school that serves fifth through eighth grades on the west side of Chicago. There, she taught eighth-grade language arts and reading, helped out after school, and coached girls’ basketball.
The job wasn’t easy at first, especially because Maguire didn’t have student teaching experience.
“The school didn’t have any curriculum set up, the resources were limited, so it really challenged me professionally to create my own lessons and curriculum as a brand new teacher with little experience,” she says. “But I liked being thrown into it and having to figure it out. It wasn’t until the graduation of my first eighth-grade class, and the year came full circle, that I felt I definitely need to be here again for another year.”
After two years in Chicago, from August 2008 through July 2010, she applied for the Lasallian Association of College and University Presidents Scholarship for Lasallian Volunteers pursuing graduate study. She packed up and moved to California in August 2010 to attend Saint Mary’s College and started both of her master’s degrees in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) and the single subject English credential in secondary education, which she hopes to finish in December.
My experience as a LV has completely changed my life...If it was not for my time as a LV, I would have never become a teacher.
In addition to being a full-time student, she’s teaching at a private Catholic school, St. Isidore, in Danville, Calif., as a seventh-grade English instructional assistant.
When she graduates, Maguire would love to return to an eighth grade-classroom, as well as the New York or New Jersey area, and again help underprivileged students. With a TESOL degree, she’s also thinking about a future stint abroad teaching English, possibly in Thailand.
“My experience as a LV has completely changed my life,” she says. “I think about my time in Chicago at least once a day. I miss the community I worked in, my students, the families and the camaraderie we all shared. My experience in Chicago helped me develop both professionally and personally. If it was not for my time as a LV, I would have never become a teacher. Working with my students day in and day out was what ignited the flame. I now hold a burning desire for teaching underprivileged students because of the passion I found while teaching at San Miguel Gary Comer Campus.”