Every month, the writers in Journalism get to do a Teacher Spotlight. This month, we are writing one about Ms. Maggiore in order to get to know her more! Ms. Maggiore currently teaches CCR and Math ll, and is the Assistant Principal. She’s actually from West Covina and went to Edgewood High School.
When people do their job, there are many things that can inspire a person. Or maybe they just do it for the money. But Ms. Maggiore doesn’t do it just for the money (if at all).
“I am always inspired by my students–those who persevere and overcome challenges, and those who always work hard no matter what,” says Ms. Maggiore. “They make me want to be better. I am also inspired by random acts of kindness, and the wonders of the natural world.”
When you’re younger, you get inspired by different things, like your parents or siblings. And as you grow older, the things that used to inspire you may change, stay the same, or grow into more inspirations.
“I’ve always been inspired by my little brother, Mike. He’s a great human being and is always kind, loving, thoughtful, and very hard working.”
When Ms. Maggiore was younger and as she got older, her inspirations stayed the same and grew.
“I had a few teachers who were very inspirational. One, in particular, taught me that there wasn’t anything I wasn’t capable of doing if I wanted it badly enough. I just had to work hard. That stayed with me my whole life.”
Growing up, people always ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?’, and usually you would say something like, “I want to be a doctor, or a scientist, or a lawyer,” but you usually always become something different as you get to know yourself more. It’s the same for Ms. Maggiore.
“I never imagined wanting to be a teacher. I first wanted to be a librarian because I loved to read and visit the library and I learned that there were people who got paid to hang out there all day. I thought that would be amazing!”
As she got older, Ms. Maggiore started to find herself more little by little.
“Later on when I was older I was in Girl Scouts and we went camping a lot. That’s when I started loving nature and being outside. Because of that, I studied Forestry in college and I worked for the U.S. Forest Service.”
Then when she didn’t expect it, she found what she wanted to do in her life.
“In between temporary/seasonal jobs, I started substitute teaching. At some point, I decided I really liked teaching…I had always loved working with kids…so I got a job. My first teaching assignment was 5th grade at California School.”
When you first start your career, you’re not always prepared. But you learn things and figure them out.
“One day I was coming into class from recess and there was a kid at the door. They were checking ‘membership cards.’ They handed them out and then students had to show them when they entered the classroom.”
Ms. Maggiore noticed how her students were creating something of their own. Be it a game, but it still created some sort of impact.
“At some point I realized that the kids who were kind of the class misfits and were sometimes left out of games were walking a little taller, smiling more…and I realized it was because they felt like they belonged. My kids had created a sense of community and belonging. So ever since then, I’ve realized how important it is to foster that sense of community in each classroom.”
Some people love their jobs while others don’t, and would frankly wish to do anything else. But Ms. Maggiore is one of those who loves her job.
“I love helping students find their passions…things that excite them, that they want to explore and learn more about. I love when students are struggling with something and then it clicks. And I love seeing what students do years after they’ve been in my class or at my school.”
Like everyone, Ms. Maggiore has made a couple of mistakes.
“I think one of my biggest mistakes was not applying myself in high school,” she says. “I learned that sometimes we have to do things we don’t love in order to get to do the things we DO love. I eventually figured that out and have gotten much better at working outside my preferences.”
Ms. Maggiore has had times when she could have chosen a different path from teaching. Although she didn’t, this is what she would have done if she did, and what she plans on doing in the future.
“If I did something other than teach, I would probably work for the Forest Service or Park Service as a Park Ranger. When I retire, though, I plan to work as a seasonal Park Ranger. I have been very fortunate to always have had support from my family and friends. I’ve had the fortune of doing all the things I’ve wanted to[sic], and I love where I am today.”
Ms. Maggiore loves what she does, and she hopes to inspire others and help her students to be the best they can be.
“The reason…is because I feel like I’m not working when I’m teaching. I get paid to do something that doesn’t feel like work. I never get up and don’t want to go to my job. I hope all of you have a ‘job’ like that someday.”