LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A smile, dance, a deed. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference in the bond of a student and a teacher. Kim Coffman has dedicated her life to lifting up special needs children. And these small acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed.
After 22 years of teaching, and with joy in her heart during a pandemic, this Culler Middle School teacher gets a much-deserved award.
A mother and student from Culler nominated Coffman for the award. And Coffman’s special education coordinator at Culler, surprised her. She came to Sharilyn Bullock’s office, and there was 10/11 on Zoom!
The moment brought Coffman to tears.
We asked Coffman what it means to her to be touching students in this way.
“I’ve done this a really long time, and not everybody really knows what goes into our classroom. And, these kids mean the world to me. And knowing that I’ve done that for any family, is amazing," said Coffman.
Mandy Kuehn nominated Coffman for her work with her son Riley who’s autistic and non-verbal. Mandy wrote: “He (Riley) has an immune disorder, but can’t wear a mask. She (Coffman) has made sure to keep him socially distanced for safety but includes him on all activities, and he is thriving.”
Coffman said that Riley just lights up the whole room.
“He makes you smile, and he’s ornery and fun. He’s one of the best, and he makes my job worthwhile for sure."
Teaching during the pandemic has brought a new set of challenges for teachers. For example, Mrs. Coffman washes the masks for her students every night at her house.
“We use a lot of bleach. There’s a lot of cleaning,” said Coffman.
Bullock feels like it’s just those minimal things that a lot of people wouldn’t think of outside the box that Coffman does.
“I mean, I think it’s very innate for her. She just has a passion and a desire for students to go beyond their limits and to continue to learn,” said Bullock.
So, thank you, Mrs. Coffman, from 10/11 and on behalf of Doane University for everything you’re doing for Riley and the students at Culler Middle School.
Nominate a teacher for next month’s 10/11 Golden Apple Award here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPYmc4J1GNGr2B6lCSw4TLq8Y-Ams-tORtQTXfPm8lnSIXHw/viewform
Segment Sponsor: Doane University College of Education
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