Peace Corps influences teachers passion, love of diversity

Reily Dominy

The Peace Corps focuses on building relationships and has core values that include sacrifice, commitment, passion, and a love for people which directly correlates to the teaching field. Freshman English teacher Cynthia Dominguez worked with the Peace Corp in Ukraine through the TESOL program from 2007-2009 before coming to Bryan High. The program helped Dominguez find her love of teaching English and she is thankful for the opportunities she has gained through teaching.

“I was already teaching before the Peace Corps for five years in El Paso, and was the speech and debate teacher,” Dominguez said. “When I did join the Peace Corps, I was teaching English as a trainer, and eventually came back with a passion for English and was how I shifted from teaching speech and debate to English.”

Along with teaching, Dominguez also has also found joy in traveling across the world.

 “I have learned so much more about myself and my identity since I started traveling,” Dominguez said. “I have been to over thirty different countries since I was in the peace corps,” Dominguez said. “I feel so blessed to have been able to go and see different countries and different cultures and learn new languages, try out new foods, and meet all sorts of amazing people.”

Dominguez loves teaching and provides a loving, welcoming environment to everyone who enters her classroom.

“My favorite part about being a teacher is helping my students learn as much as they can,” Dominguez said. “Not just about the English content, but about real-world issues too. It’s all about the kids for me, being here for the students in the best possible ways I can.”

Students enjoy Dominguez’s class and believe that she has helped them grow intellectually. 

“Mrs.Dominguez is a great teacher. She has taught me how to be a better writer and how to express myself,” freshman Elanor Abbott said. “She has helped me with more than just English by helping me understand real-world problems and other life lessons that have helped me become a better person.”

Dominguez does her best to keep her students’ minds stimulated so that they have a happy, enriching experience in her class.

“I really try to help my classes be engaged with lots of group work, Socratic seminars, and presentations,” Dominguez said. “Bringing art into the classroom is important to me for my visual learners, I just try to make it fun and connect everything we learn to the real world, not just trying to teach the STAAR test, but getting students ready for college.”

Not only does Dominguez prepare students for the real world, she knows all of her students and what is going on in their lives.

“I like that she talks to us a lot and tries to understand what’s wrong if we seem upset,” freshman Anyia Moreno said. “She always does a good job making her lessons understandable and fun for us, and always takes what we do outside of class into consideration, so we can all do our work with the least amount of stress possible.” 

Although Dominguez is happy with her job as a teacher, she has also considered other career paths.

“I really think that God wanted me to be a teacher and this is my calling,” Dominguez said. “At first I wanted to become a lawyer, and I actually tried to pursue law school, but I think I’m meant to be a teacher and God really wants me here.”

Dominguez inspires students to be the best versions of themselves and to fight for their dreams and aspirations. 

“I feel like I have really expanded my perspective on life and experiencing different cultures because it’s so important to see other countries outside of the United States and to experience the world.”