From a very young age, it was instilled in Jill Suffel that education is of the utmost importance. Although she majored in mass communications at Villa Julie College, now Stevenson University, she soon went back to school for teaching. After seven years at Bedford Elementary School in Pikesville and a break from teaching to have twin boys, Suffel, 43, is now an Institute of Higher Education liaison at her alma mater, where she supervises student-interns who are working in schools. She takes great pride in shaping the next generation of educators.
Could you describe the work that you do?
I go into schools and I supervise the seniors and sophomores who are doing their internships. I observe them, give them feedback and help make suggestions based on what I observed.
How did you go from teaching to advising future teachers?
There were students from Stevenson who needed to be placed in the elementary school where I was teaching, and I always volunteered to have them because of my connection to Stevenson and also because I had so many wonderful experiences when I was a student-teacher. I really wanted to help [them] become the best teachers they can be. I got pregnant with twins and didn’t go back to teaching after that. I always wanted to help mentor teachers, and it fell into my lap at the right time. I’m about to start my 11th year.
Why is education and helping people important to you?
From an early age it was instilled in me that not many things mattered more than school and a good education, and when I was training to be a teacher I had some good mentors and had some not-so-good mentors. I took from those experiences and tried to be someone who would always add something positive into helping other people become teachers.
What advice could you give those who hope to become teachers?
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and it is the most rewarding profession. I still keep in touch with a lot of my students from when I was a teacher. There’s really nothing more rewarding than seeing your students grow into adults. You get back so much from what you give.