Derek Ahrens is a new addition to Bettendorf’s special education department.
This is his second year as a full-time teacher. Previously, he worked as a substitute teacher and a para-educator for six years.
He decided to focus on special education because he enjoyed his first job in the field of education, where he was a para-educator at an alternative high school in Davenport.
Before his career in teaching and being a paraeducator, Ahrens was a bookseller at Barnes and Noble.
Ahrens worked at the Bettendorf Middle School as a paraeducator for a few years and became familiar with the how great the staff, administration, students, and general climate of the Bettendorf School District. When he got the opportunity to become a teacher for the district, he took it.
“I enjoy smaller classroom sizes, getting to know students well, and the non-traditional aspects of the special education setting...but, the paperwork is not fun,” said Ahrens. “I’m excited to help my students progress towards graduation and to make plans for what they want their lives to look like after high school is finished. I am also consistently excited for Chick Fil A Tuesdays”
Ahrens has enjoyed working at Bettendorf so far.
“Having worked at other schools, I can truly appreciate working in a school with a great learning environment like BHS,” said Ahrens.