BAY VILLAGE, Ohio — Hannah Dusek has wanted to be a teacher for as long as she could talk. But for the first-grade instructor at St. Raphael School, it means something a little different.
“Most people want to say that they became a teacher because of other teachers and I kind of did the opposite,” Dusek said. “I love the students and as a kid, I don’t know if I ever felt that love.”
A graduate of Xavier University in 2020, pandemic learning is all she has ever known during her young three-year career. But as students head back to the classroom this year, she’s excited to get back to the hands-on learning that drew her to the profession.
“I think back to school time is a time for a fresh new beginning for a lot of people, including them and including me,” Dusek said. “It’s a new class, new opportunities to learn and grow. I love this time of year.”
It comes as no surprise that when New 5 surprised Ms. Dusek in her classroom with a back-to-school gift card, her students were the first thing that came to mind.
“I do everything, every day, for them,” she said. “I’m here from sunup to sundown sometimes and I really try to put the best foot forward for them every single day.”
Ms. Dusek’s class provides a daily reminder of how to best live your life — a lesson that sticks with her in and out of the classroom.
“It’s a nice reminder that life doesn’t have to be taken seriously. It’s nice to have that kid perspective,” she said. “I come home with stories every single day about them, and I tell them that all the time. They inspire me to be a better person.”
Their love for learning is an inspiration and Ms. Dusek admires the work her students put in every day.
“I think it’s really difficult in life when you’re faced with a difficult challenge,” she said. “To move forward is sometimes hard. They do that every single day in this classroom and that’s incredible.”
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