My Teacher Rocks: Mullan Rd. special ed teacher 'the best'



Posted on June 3, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 3 at 1:05 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. – When Carlos Candelario came to Julie Jennings’ class at Mullan Road Elementary as a fourth grader two years ago, he didn’t know how to read, tell time or add or subtract. He had struggled in a traditional classroom in a smaller school district.

Today, after two years of individualized attention from Jennings, a designed instruction special education teacher, Carlos has learned to do all of that and more.

“She is a good teacher and she helps me do work,” Candelario said.

His mother, Tammy Mitchell, nominated Jennings for the KREM 2 “My Teacher Rocks” campaign. She said her son has gone from dreading school to enjoying it, and he has the confidence to speak in social situations now.

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“He’s able to talk to more kids and he doesn’t have that fear anymore to go out and talk to other kids that are not having the problems that he does have,” Mitchell said.

Jennings and a team of four assistants teach 13 students this year, each with a different ability level. The teachers write an individualized plan for each student.

“I appreciate being nominated. It was a big surprise,” Jennings said. “But it’s not really what I’ve done, it’s what he’s done and he’s worked really hard to achieve where he is.”

“She is the best teacher,” Candelario said.

This is Jennings’ 25th year in the classroom. Candelario moves on to middle school next year.