CARMICHAEL, CA - Every morning Richard Nystrom reads to fourth, fifth and sixth graders. He's a special education resource teacher and many of his students have learning disabilities.
Nystrom makes sure his students comprehend the story of the day. "It's challenging because we're dealing with children who may have trouble learning certain things. They're the hardest on themselves," Nystrom said. "Everybody has a different way of learning but there's no giving up. We always say we're going to find a way."
Nystrom began his teaching mission 37 years ago. He's spent the last 25 years at Garfield Elementary School in Carmichael.
"The reason I became a teacher was truly because of my mother," Nystrom explained. "My mom insisted that what we were given, we had to pay back."
Nystrom pays it back with each child he encounters. He said, "The children are great to be around. They're always willing to take what you give them and do their best."
His goal is to boost learning among his students so they can stay in their classrooms with the rest of their classmates and don't have to come see him.
In June, Nystrom plans to retire but he says he won't fade away.
"I'll come back and substitute. I know that. I'll always be a teacher because I can't stop," he laughed.
So students will continue to hear his lesson plan. "No one leaves here without learning. No one does," Nystrom said.
By Karen Massie, firstname.lastname@example.org