By Andrea Lucia, CBS 11 News

FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – Shannon Robinson is a tough teacher, but her sixth grade students at Pioneer Heritage Middle School in Frisco seem to love her anyway.   “I didn’t like science as much, but she made it fantastic,” said student Jenna Fink.

“She’s such a great teacher,” said Jacob Langford.

This Friday, though, was her last day in the classroom before she leaves to pursue another dream.  “I love America. I love the country I live in.  And what better way to give back than to serve?” she explained.

A single mom, Ms. Robinson is leaving behind, not just her students, but her two teenage daughters to spend the next six months in basic training for the Army Reserves.

Robinson said she was looking for ways to support her family and the military has always interested her.  “They might say,’Wow, she’s really bold.  Why didn’t she get another job at Target or WalMart?’ I wanted to give back.  It’s all about giving back,”  said Robinson.

Her daughters say they are proud of their mother.  “Nothing’s gonna change. She’s here in my soul, in my heart.  She’s just gonna be far away,” said Destiny Adams, Robinsons’ oldest daughter.

Her students couldn’t let her go, though, without a goodbye.  Friday afternoon, as school ended, dozens of sixth graders gathered in the campus courtyard for a surprise party.

“‘Cause she’s awesome. ‘Cause she’s Ms. Robinson. That’s just it. She’s Ms. Robinson. She’s just awesome. Completely 100% awesome,” said Jacob Garrity.

Robinson dabbed away tears, as students lined up to hug her.  “I’ve never experience this kind of love from anyone except family.  These people are my family,” she said.

Robinson leaves for Fort Jackson, South Carolina on Monday.  If all goes as planned, she will back at school in September, in time to take on a new class of sixth graders.