“Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” - Dr. Suess
This quote sums up Dallas Center-Grimes educator Jenny Rants’ teaching mentality. Rants teaches in a special education classroom for kids in kindergarten through second grade.
Rants has been teaching for twenty years, almost all of them in DC-G, except for her first four years as a teacher spent in Perry. She attended Morningside College in Sioux City where she double majored in Elementary and Special Education.
The summer after she graduated from Morningside, she moved to Des Moines where she pursued her Masters in Special Education at Drake. “I always knew I would do something with children, maybe not always teaching, but something helping little people,” Rants said. “I enjoy their humor, their perspective on life and school, and their unconditional love.”
As she continued through college, her experience in the education field convinced her that special education was where she was headed.
And if you ask her what her favorite part about the job is, she’ll respond with: “My little friends, of course! You have to smile when you are in my room. There are lots of laughs each and everyday.”
“There are so many (things students have said to her) that I often feel like I should have been writing a book all of these years,” Rants said. “For me, the most memorable is not always what they say but what we see on a daily basis in my room. I have students in my classroom for three years, so I get to take part in them growing up.”
Rants is not only thankful for her students and her teaching experience but also for her experiences at DC-G. “DC-G is an amazing district to teach in as well as a place to have your children grow up in,” Rants said, referencing her two daughters who are students in the district. “I have had the opportunity to teach a variety of children with a wide range of needs. It is truly a team effort from my principal to the associates that work in my classroom to the AEA staff that provide support throughout the year.”
She hopes to continue teaching her students and learning from them as her career progresses, but she also has other hopes.
“I try to live each and every day to the fullest and not focus so much on what is to come,” Rants said. “I hope that I am making a positive impact on my students and providing them a safe and loving learning environment when they are at school.”
Jenny Rants and her husband, Doug, live in Grimes with their two daughters, Sydney and Jillian. Sydney is a ninth grader at Meadows, and Jillian is a fifth grader at Dallas Center Elementary. Rants said her two girls are very involved in their school communities.