Emily Dickey teaches English and journalism. A teacher for more than eight years, Emily says the classroom is her home away from home.
"To say this is my dream job sounds corny, but I can't imagine myself anywhere else,” said Emily.
When Emily bears her heart and soul to her students, she says something amazing happens.
"I think that being a human being to them, and showing who you are helps them know that they can be who they are,” said Emily.
It's that kindness and vulnerability Emily’s students say makes her deserving of the
"She always finds a way to keep your attention, and she really relates to us as teenagers,” said one of Emily’s students, Lindsay Asnoke. “She's kind of a young spirit."
"She just has a love and care for her students that I’ve never seen in a teacher before,” said student Shaq Samith.
For Emily, the key to being a great teacher is reminding herself that every student has a story that is worth finding out about, whether they are worries, achievements or dreams for the future.
"She doesn't just make your school day better, but she makes your own life better,” said student Megan Hughes.
"She loves what she does, and she's passionate about it," said student Chandler Reed.
And because every teacher has them, what's one of Emily’s most important rules? Respect. It is a three-way street in her classroom: respect for the teacher, respect for the students, and respect for yourself.
"I think that's the biggest struggle as a teacher…sending them off and allowing them to go and hoping that they continue to believe in themselves the way that you've believed in them,” said Emily.
Emily will find out if she makes it to the top twelve for
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.