If a year ago you had told me that I would be living in North St. Louis teaching 7th grade Religion, I probably would have thought you were crazy. Joining the Lasallian Volunteers has completely changed my expectations of post-college life and I could not be happier. One of the most rewarding experiences I have had through my time at De La Salle Middle School at St. Matthew’s is teaching a Religion class. Through this class, I try to connect the readings in the New Testament to students’ lives. At first, it was challenge to get students to think deeply on the issues presented in the Bible but as the year has progressed, students have developed thoughtful and inspiring associations between Jesus’ story and their own.
One of the most powerful connections that one of my students created happened while we were discussing the Beatitudes. We were focusing on the Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” and one of my students eloquently tied this verse to life at De La Salle. She expressed that at DLS people come into school with different beliefs, backgrounds, faith but through the prayer and support of our school, students are able to find a deeper connection to God. This statement took me by surprise and really made me reflect on my experience at DLS. I realized in this moment that De La Salle Middle School is not a typical educational institute. This school goes above and beyond what is necessary to make sure that every student gets a quality education while also being nurtured by our caring staff. I have gone through really difficult, anxiety-filled days at De La Salle but I would not change my experience as a Lasallian Volunteer for anything. The great days when my students finally understand a difficult topic or make me laugh uncontrollably are the moments that I will remember the most. This school and the students that I have met have changed my life for the better. Now that I am getting close to the midyear mark of my 1st year, I am relishing in my decision of becoming an LV.
Megan McShane is a current first year LV serving at De La Salle Middle School at St. Matthew’s in St. Louis, Missouri and is a 2013 graduate of Manhattan College.