Jade HinnenEDWARDSVILLE - For second-grade teacher Jade Hinnen, teaching has power.

The Nelson Elementary teacher chose her career when she was in third grade and she experienced for herself how much a teacher can make a difference in the life of a child. This Teacher Appreciation Week, she’s celebrating the students who make up her “family” at school, and she’s more devoted than ever to helping them have a great experience in her classroom.

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“I knew I wanted to grow up and help give children the best childhood possible,” Hinnen explained. “I absolutely love having the privilege to teach the beautiful children in our community. Even during the hard parts of life, I know I have 200+ children at Nelson, who will lift me up with a big smile and ‘Hi, Ms. Hinnen!’ when I arrive at school.”

Hinnen loves working with her students to help them understand new concepts. She said the “icing on the cake” is when she overhears them explaining the idea to their peers, and she knows a lesson has really stuck.

Because Hinnen is such a strong teacher, she manages to create a family with her students every year. Though it can be “bittersweet” when they have to move on to the next grade level, she knows it means that she has prepared them to succeed.

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When she’s not at school, Hinnen can be found spending time with her two daughters, Emersyn and Lyla. She also runs The Cookie MOMster, a cookie business, from her home in Edwardsville. She enjoys baking and sharing the experience with her daughters, who she calls her “designated taste-testers.”

Hinnen loves every part of teaching, but she jokes that she has a particular fondness for dress-up days. She loves making her students laugh and watching them have fun during the school day. It’s part of her mission to help her students have the best childhoods they can, and she is definitely succeeding.

“Seriously, I love being able to show up to work dressed as a Disney princess or a 100-year-old lady and the kids think it’s the coolest thing ever!” she added. “Seeing them light up when I arrive in a goofy outfit is a feeling I’ll never forget.”

Thank you to Ms. Hinnen for your work as a teacher!

At RiverBender.com, we are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week from May 6 to May 10, 2024, by highlighting a Riverbend teacher every day. If you would like to nominate a teacher to be profiled, email sydney@riverbender.com with their name and email address.

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