A woman, who has only been on the job at Rockford Christian Intermediate School for a year, leaves a big impact on her students.
Ms. Deb Rinaldi integrates her personal life into the classroom to help deliver lessons that her kids can use for a lifetime. That's why she took home our teacher of the week award.
Ms. Rinaldi is relatively new to Rockford Christian Intermediate School. This is her first year there and her first year teaching 5th grade. She says she's loved both experiences. "I love the conversations you can have with a fifth grader. They're very in tune to other people's feelings and caring about one another and helping one another, and this group is such a compassionate group of kids."
Ms. Rinaldi treats her kids like her own family. Since her own son is in Afghanistan, she has students become pen pals with men and women serving overseas as part of her classroom lessons. "The kids have written letters and we've done some graffiti posters back and forth with the soldiers and we sent over a care package that had to be all blue and gold items inside, so that was exciting."
Students also like Ms. Rinaldi's passion for reading. They love that she picks a different book, from a different genre, to read every morning in class. She's inspired some students to explore books they may not otherwise have given a chance. Ms. Rinaldi says she was shocked to learn she won our teacher of the week award, and says it's really the kids who deserve it. "They are the ones that bring the joy everyday and the smiles everyday. They're just great kids, and really they are deserving of that. They're the inspiration that helps me get through my day and do my job as well as I can do it."
If you know a teacher like Ms. Rinaldi, let us know about them! WREX/Rockford College Teacher of the Week nominations can be filled out on our Teacher of the Week page.