ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Jessica Guild is helping her students prepare for life outside the classroom by teaching them real-world skills inside the classroom that they’ll use throughout their lives.

Guild has been a high school special education teacher at Phoenix Academy for 10 years now. She told 18 News she’s always had a passion for working with kids.

“I love my job,” Guild said. “Special Education has always had a special place in my heart. Every day I go to school to make learning fun and exciting.”

Because Phoenix Academy has a work study program, Guild said her students learn life skills like organization, cooking and customer service.

“They actually prepare meals and deliver them to teachers around the school,” Guild said. “It’s teaching them a lot of life skills that they’re going to need in the real world.”

For Guild, it’s so much more than teaching. It’s also about making her students feel valued and appreciated each and every day.

“I just want my students to want to come to school and really enjoy being there,” she said. “Just building relationships with the students and watching them girls learn new things is really the best part of my day.”