When Cindy Dyche was in elementary school, her class visited a special education class with students who had severe handicaps. In that experience, her future was sealed. It wasn’t the disabilities that made an impression, it was the unconditional way the students loved and accepted everyone. Dyche knew then she wanted to work with those students.
Centennial Elementary named Dyche Teacher of the Year for 2018-2019. She is a third and fourth grade resource teacher with a focus on English language arts and math. She also offers support with science and social studies. She also taught students with severe-profound disabilities for four years.
Dyche has many students who stand out, who represent the epitome of why she continues to teach. There are big personalities, students who want desperately to learn and others who overcome shyness to flourish. As much as Dyche loves her students, she builds relationships with the parents as well.
Teaching special education provides Dyche with the flexibility to be creative.
“Teaching special education always allows me to be my silly, quirky self when I teach,” she said. “I have to teach a ‘standard’ or concept to students who are not academically close to the grade level they are in. To help them learn the concept, you have to really get out of the box and get creative.”
She comes back year after year for the students.
“If I don’t come back, who will be there to empower them? They need me and I need them,” she said. “I want the students to know their disabilities do not define them in any way. They can do whatever they want to be, they just have to believe they can with their minds and hearts.”
Dyche been teaching for 10 years. Nine of those have been at Centennial Elementary. She’s one of 16 site Teachers of the Year for Mustang Public Schools.