KRON4’s Teacher of the Week: Renea Magnani

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(KRON) KRON4 is proud to honor Renea Magnani as our Teacher of the Week for the week February 13, 2017.

Renea teaches 2nd and 3rd grade at Dunbar Elementary in the Sonoma Valley Unified.NOMINATE A TEACHER OF THE WEEK

The winning nomination:

Why are you nominating this educator?: Ms. Magnani is that special teacher that a child always remembers as the person who made them feel special. She makes every child feel important and valued, especially children with special needs who often feel left out or different. My oldest boy w/ learning disabilities, now 13, had her as his teacher in 3rd grade and he still to this day uses the special “tools” she taught him and contends she was his best teacher ever. My youngest son who was recently diagnosed with autism is currently in her class as a second grader and she is has been the key to his success. He is in a full inclusion class with typical learning students and she makes sure that the classroom meets his needs while at the same times doesn’t single him out. While he sometimes pulls himself away from the group she respects his need for space, but always finds a way to make sure he is part of the group and able to participate at a level that is comfortable for him. The beginning of the school year he would not go anywhere near the cafeteria because of the noise volume and crowds of children, now he goes in for short periods of time, he gets hot lunch sometimes and during assemblies he has given it a chance and was willing to stay for parts of it. This is a HUGE accomplishment for him and it is all because of her patient and caring work. Due to his autism he also struggles deeply with having a substitute teacher when Ms. Magnani has to be away and she has helped him learn it’s okay to have a “guest teacher” and has gone the extra mile to work with his IEP team to create a transition plan and “prep” him for when she is away. He needs to always know what time it is and what the schedule is and she has taken that need and helped him use that skill to be the timekeeper and implements that into his love for math. Making friends is something that is very hard for him and Ms. Magnani works hard with her class to help him slowly in his own way begin to develop friendship. He trusts her, he loves her and she is the absolute model of what special education inclusion should look like in a general education classroom. Renea Magnani teachers the children that everyone learns differently, everyone is special and unique and that being special and unique is a beautiful thing. She emphasizes each child’s special talents and qualities and makes sure that every child who comes through her classroom knows they are wonderful.

Ms. Magnani is a gift that I feel so lucky to have been given to my children not just once, but twice and right when they needed her most.

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