Former Teacher Guides Military Students

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Dean also taught for the Department of Defense Dependent school in Panama. She said that if you have the chance to travel, do it. "I loved it," she said.

Gabby Gomez, Reporter

Career Day hosted different people from a wide spectrum of careers and experiences such as former classroom educator Laura Dean who is an Education and Training specialist.

“I work for the US Air Force and oversee the education programs at nine different Air Force Bases across the Pacific,” Dean said.

On those bases, education offices provide college counseling, as well as college classes to military students and their families. They also provide military tuition assistance for active military students. Dean is also responsible for inspecting four different universities that teach at 42 military bases in the Pacific.

“I still help students pursue their goals,” she said, “but my current job is done from behind a computer.”

Dean writes reports, answers emails, and talks to different people from around the world, like Japan, Korea, Okinawa and Guam. She also travels to bases overseas to “conduct inspections” of the colleges.

Though she misses working one-on-one with students, she knows she’s still helping them. “I know they benefit from the work I do, because I am ensuring the colleges are providing quality courses and student support services.”

Before she was an Education and Training specialist, she was a fourth grade teacher. For Dean, teaching all the subjects was easy for her. However, she said the hardest part of being a teacher was not having much control over things, like not having extra classroom supplies and keeping students focused.

“When I worked in a school in South Florida as a brand new teacher, the hardest part was keeping the students engaged. Many of the students had difficult home lives, and had bigger problems than learning spelling words.”

Dean admits it’s a hard job. “Teaching is exhausting. You will work long hours.”

Before anyone enters teaching, she said to make sure that it’s for you, it’s important to acquire experience in a classroom. “Find out if you are a better fit for high school, middle, or elementary,” said Dean. “Find out if you fit in at all.”