"I NEVER imagined that I would be a teacher, nor did I plan on it. Education landed in my lap when I applied to TFA because I couldn't afford the GRE to apply for grad school. My time with TFA didn't last long and I soon switched to teaching at my old high school. That first year, I still played with the idea of going back to school to earn my master's in mental health counseling, but soon, I found out that I could NEVER leave teaching.

My position as a teacher included being a mentor, a therapist, a guide, and a trusted support person and because of this, I could watch while my students grow and mature. This is the most rewarding part of teaching: watching my students learn to be themselves, come to their own conclusions, overcome difficult obstacles, and grow as a result. The most difficult part is that I simply love too much. And I know that's cheesy, but hear me out: I care so deeply for my students and their success and it can be painful to watch students not see their value, their intelligence, or apply their knowledge. However, this is also my biggest strength as a teacher because heart-forward teaching is sorely lacking in the lives of many of our students. When a student knows that their teacher cares, that student will also care.

Education is the most difficult thing I have EVER done and also the MOST REWARDING. I never could dream that I would hold a job in which I left every day feeling completely fulfilled and have the privilege to inspire young people every day. I always am telling new teachers to SHOW and embrace their personalities (don't fall for the "don't smile until winter break" advice).

New teachers remember this: teaching is 90% showing up. In the end, it doesn't matter what content you taught or didn't teach, what matters is that you were a steadfast and loving individual that your students could trust during some of the toughest times in their lives." #MsDeanLovesYou

To learn more about Suzy and her journey as teacher:
Instagram: @msdeanlovesyou