Touching hearts and minds

Adjusted learning teacher Rachel Hanson helps provide special need students with the support they need to be successful.


Madison Wise

Rachel Hanson has taught special education for 14 years, though this is only her second year working at West Campus.

Emma Snyder, Staff Writer

Teachers impact their students every day and leave lasting imprints. Oftentimes teachers are in-turn inspired by their students. The same is true for Adjusted Learning Program teacher, Rachel Hanson. She works to provide her students not only with the education they require but the skills they need for a successful future. These same students inspire Hanson and her passion for helping them. 

Hanson has been teaching students with special needs for 14 years. This is her second year working with the Adjusted Learning Program here at MCHS, where she works to provide special need students with the assistance they need to be successful in school. 

I have always taught students with special needs,” said Hanson. “But I moved to MCHS because I live in town and wanted to contribute to my own community.” 

Working in special education has been something that Hanson has always been passionate about.  

“There was never anything else I wanted to do,” recalled Hanson. “I remember teaching my sister how to read when she was little and had some learning disabilities. That was incredibly fulfilling for me, and that has always been what I wanted to do.”

The adjusted learning program, Hanson teaches the students all her core classes while giving them the extra structure and support that they benefit from. However, Hanson doesn’t just teach her students academics, she also helps them work on social, emotional, vocational and life skills.

We provide support that leverages each students’ individual strengths and addresses their individual needs,” stated Hanson. 

Beyond teaching her students, Hanson helps them get involved in our school community. She supports their participation in activities like Special Olympics and Warrior Buddies, which is a program that pairs a student with special needs with students from the general education population that is interested in the program. 

When asked about what they liked about high school, Hanson’s students replied by talking about their classes, friends, and teachers. 

“I think that every day they teach me more than I could possibly teach them and I love that it’s a give and take relationship that way,” Hanson exclaimed. “They’re just amazing people and I feel like it’s a privilege to be able to get to know them on such an individual level and such a personal level in the classroom every day. It’s fun.”

Hanson makes a difference every day in the lives of her students. She takes time to make sure all of her students have the necessary tools and skills they need to be successful in their futures. For Hanson, teaching students with special needs isn’t just a job, it’s her passion.