ROCKFORD (WREX) – One special education resource teacher at Johnson Elementary School makes an impact on her students every day.
“I totally think she deserves teacher of the week,” 5th grader Jessie Acocks said. “She’s a fun teacher, she’s a nice teacher, she’s everything a teacher should be.”
Lynnette Nyren teaches special education to 4th and 5th graders in small groups. She said she pulls the special need students to her classroom for math, reading and writing.
Acocks said she uses games to teach division and other topics, which makes it much easier to learn.
“If something’s not fun you don’t want to pay attention,” Acocks said. “But when it is fun, you start paying more attention, but at the same time you’re learning.”
Nyren said she tries to focus on things that help the students engage, and to make the learning atmosphere more fun.
“I try to make learning fun, and I try to base a lot of their units and lessons on holidays and fun things that are going on, and I use technology because that’s what they enjoy the most,” she said.
Nyren said a lot of her job involves making sure the needs of all of her students are met. Some students are at different levels, and she has to engage every student and every level.
She has been a teacher for 13 years, but switched from regular education to special education three years in. She said one student inspired her to go back to school.
“I got to see how they really needed that extra help and that really pulled at my heart strings, so I went back to school to become special ed teacher to be able to help them,” Nyren said.
Principal Amber Miller said Nyren is especially dedicated to the school and her job, and she is always extremely well-prepared. She said a big difference between regular education and special education is the amount of time spent getting to know students.
“She really does that. She pulls in the personal information about the students, and talking to the families, and teachers, and just making sure that their learning is specific to their needs and what the students need,” Miller said.
And getting to know the students on a personal level makes the job worth it.
“My job is very rewarding. When you get the special cards that they make you, when you get the hugs at the end of the day, and when they say ‘you’re my favorite teacher,’ that’s the best part,” Nyren said.