When Teresa Hunter’s grandchildren were born, she wanted a job that was more flexible so she could help to raise them. Her solution? Joining the Metro Schools team as a crossing guard.

For more than 10 years, Hunter has spent her mornings and afternoons directing traffic at Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center and West End Middle Prep. She greets students and makes sure they get to and from school safely.

“I just love kids,” Hunter said. “That’s why I do it. I like to see myself as a ‘mother hen’ getting her little chicks across the way to safety. I always try to have a smile on my face and a kind word on my tongue because I’m often the first person a kid sees when they’re coming into school and the last one they see on the way home.”

She added, “I never know what these kids are dealing with before they come or after they leave. I want them to feel, if even for a brief moment as they cross the street, that warm feeling you get when you know you are loved.”

Not only has she enjoyed the flexibility her job provides, it’s also given her the bonus an “extended family.”

“I consider all of these kids my grandkids. Seeing these babies every morning and every afternoon is the highlight of my day,” she said. “I was excited to get back to school because I missed them and I would like to think some of them missed me, too.”