New biology teacher shares thoughts on teaching at her alma mater

Mrs. McGuire smiling for new position

Mrs. McGuire smiling for new position

Mitchell Rowles, Staff Writer

Mrs. McGuire recently joined the Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School faculty in the Science Department. Here, she shares details about herself and what it’s like to come back to her high school as a teacher.

Q: How have you liked working at the Clearfield High School so far? 

Mrs. McGuire: “I’m really enjoying it. I started right after Thanksgiving break so since the holidays have passed, I’m really starting to settle in.”

Q: What has been your favorite part of working here?  

Mrs. McGuire: “I graduated from Clearfield in 2012 so it’s really fun to be teaching where I grew up. My favorite thing about working here is getting to work with the teachers who taught me.”

Q: What has been your greatest challenge you have faced thus far this year working here? 

Mrs. McGuire: “I have a much different teaching style than what my students were used to for the first half of the year so I’ve really been working with them on adjusting to these new expectations.”

Q: Where did you go to college?                                                                                

Mrs. McGuire: “I attended the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and earned my bachelor of science degree in 2016 and then attended West Chester University and earned my teaching certificate in 2018.”

Q: Is this your first teaching position or have you taught before? If so, where?

Mrs. McGuire: “I’ve taught before. I taught for a year and half in the West Chester Area School district, which is about 40 minutes west of Philadelphia. And then I taught for about 5 months at Moshannon Valley Junior/Senior High School.”

Q: Did you think that you’d end up doing what you’re doing now when you were younger? 

Mrs. McGuire: “A part of me has always wanted to be a teacher. When I went to college I had intentions of becoming a pharmacist but later realized that my heart was in education. Both of my parents are teachers so I think it’s just in my blood.”

Q: Why did you decide to major in this subject? 

Mrs. McGuire: “I’ve always really loved science and math so choosing to study biology was a really easy decision. After I earned my biology degree I worked with kids for a couple of years and soon decided that I wanted to work with kids AND science.”

Q: How do you help students in your day-to-day job? 

Mrs. McGuire: “If a student is struggling to learn new material, I will take the time to sit with them during class and work out the problem. I know that biology is not an easy subject so I’m pretty understanding when it comes to the time it takes students to fully grasp the material.”

Q: What drives you to stay motivated in your job? 

Mrs. McGuire: “Teachers often call them ‘a-ha’ moments. Nothing makes me feel better or reassures me more when I finally see a student understand a topic they’ve been struggling with. It’s like the light bulb clicks on and their face lights up with pride.”

Q: How do students impact the way you work? 

Mrs. McGuire: “As a teacher I’m often looking for cues that students either understand or don’t understand the material. I am very open to feedback from students. If students suggest that we should spend more time on a topic or needed an extension on an assignment, I try to take that into consideration. The classroom environment is based around THEM. The way I work is often impacted by the feedback that students give me, both verbally and nonverbally.”

Q: Who inspires you? 

Mrs. McGuire: “My daughter, my husband, and my parents.”

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

Mrs. McGuire: “I enjoy being outdoors, reading, exercising, and spending time with my family.”

Q: What advice would you give to students at the high school? 

Mrs. McGuire: “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always. To your peers, your teachers, and especially yourselves.”