Working with children in elementary school can be a very rewarding career, but it is important to remember that the younger they are, the more impressionable they can be and the bigger the impact you can have, especially when working with core concepts such as reading and language. Many teachers find that the classroom setting does not always help them reach kids in the most efficient way, and enjoy the opportunities they have to work one-on-one with their students in tutoring situations. Susana Hirsch-Pels talks about her lifetime career in education.

(Photo Courtesy of Susana Hirsch-Pels)

(Photo Courtesy of Susana Hirsch-Pels)

What do you have a degree in?

“I have a degree in liberal arts from Lake Forest College. My major was in French literature with an English literature minor, both helped me become a teacher. I also received further education in how to be a better educator from the University of Southern Illinois’ School of Education.”

What does your current job entail? 

“I taught bilingual elementary for 43 years. I am now retired and I tutor both in English and Spanish.”

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

“I loved to teach and I am glad I can still do it. I enjoy working directly with my students and helping them achieve.”

Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career? 

“Unless you really enjoy teaching, do not do it. It can be very rewarding but also very frustrating. If you love children then it is the best. Whatever the rules and regulations teach to impart knowledge and prepare students for life, not just to pass tests. There are also many different tools that you can use to help you plan for working with an entire class or just one specific student. I enjoy using to see what other teachers have used successfully when teaching certain subjects. As I tutor several different levels, I use it to acquire worksheets and help with planning.”

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at


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