LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Allyce Zimmer

Position: Language Arts Teacher
School: Outschool
School District: Outschool
City, State: Green Bay, WI

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Music that Describes Allyce

Allyce Zimmer was nominated by Shaila Abdullah, the parent of a student.

"Sometimes, a teacher’s impact on the children's lives they touch may not be visible to them outwardly, but behind the scenes, they are changing lives," said Abdullah. "I am the mother of a 7-year old little girl who is smart and funny. She was diagnosed with selective mutism last year. While she had no problem communicating with her peers, she struggled to converse with adults. My daughter had so much to offer, but in her regular classroom, she would contribute very little. I wished for a teacher who understood her challenges and wouldn't pass her off as just a shy kid."

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Ms. Abdullah scrambled to find resources to fit her daughter’s unique interests and needs, like other mothers across the globe. She stumbled upon Outschool by chance. Outschool is a robust e-learning platform that offers online classes in various subjects. It was as if a portal had opened up for her daughter.

"The first teacher we found there was Allyce Zimmer, a language arts teacher. The connection between her and my daughter was instantaneous," said Abdullah. "During the online classes, I could see my daughter starting to open up and talk to her with an excitement that I had never seen in her before. Ms. Allyce responded with equal enthusiasm, involving my daughter in lengthy class discussions, designing her classes around my daughter’s interests, and taking on and acting upon her suggestions during class. As my daughter took more and more classes with Ms. Allyce, speaking up and offering her thoughts became a natural rhythm for her. To my delight, I saw her express herself with a strong desire to communicate on her own with this gifted teacher."

"My daughter did not stop there. Ms Allyce’s classes offered her the confidence to take other classes with teachers she had not met before," said Abdullah. "I enrolled her in classes on science, math, engineering, building, coding, and art. She was able to have encounters with live animals, 'visit' different countries, and learn about various traditions, cultures, sights, crafts, and languages. The difficult period we are all living in became lighter and easier to endure."

"I finally wrote to Ms. Allyce to thank her for her valuable contribution in helping my daughter," said Abdullah. "It was then that she revealed to me that she, too, had selective mutism growing up, and that she could see herself in my daughter. She explained how writing stories helped her grow confident and propelled her toward teaching as a career to help other children. She went on to get her Master’s degree in cross-categorical special education."

"Now, in my daughter’s encounters with other adults, I see very little of the hesitation and shyness that I did before," said Abdullah. "None of this would have been possible if Ms. Allyce hadn't entered our lives as a ray of sunshine. I am greatly indebted to her for helping my daughter blossom and become a confident young person with lots to offer to the world."

Comments (8)

Ed Edwards Posted over a year ago

Allyce is one of the kindest intelligent person you will ever meet she deserves this award more than anyone else

Kourtney Feldhausen Posted over a year ago

Allyce has such a beautiful soul. Truly every person she comes in contact with feels valued, special and seen. Her smile is always there, contagious in so many ways. I am a better person and educator for knowing Allyce. The lives she has touched and will continue to impact are many!??

Heather Posted over a year ago

Allyce, you so deserve this! Your connection with students surpasses that of any other teacher. You are blessed with a skill and have a heart of pure gold. You deserve this 100x over. Sending love.

Tammy Posted over a year ago

Allyce truly cares about teaching and cares about everyone !! She has been enriching children’s lives for years . The children she teaches are surely lucky to have someone as inspiring as her

Carol Bahrke Posted over a year ago

Allyce is one of the most caring, hardworking, creative, thoughtful, bold, lifechanger educators I have had the pleasure to work with in 25 years of being a School Counselor. She HAS absolutely changed the lives of both youth and adults she encounters! Go Allyce!!

Jayme Shefchik Posted over a year ago

This is a beautiful story that captures Allyce’s heart! I had the privilege of co-teaching alongside her for years and learned from her daily. She always put her students’ needs first and did everything in her power to help them grow and meet their goals. There’s not a more dedicated teacher out there!

Anne Soenksen Posted over a year ago

What a beautiful story, about Abdullah! & I know Ms. Allyce to be an inspired/ and inspiring, gifted teacher. Knowing how important it is for her to really reach her students and make a difference for them is also inspiring to all who meet her. I know her to be a loving & devoted person freely giving of herself, to help others! Blessings!????

Julieshaw Posted over a year ago

Allyce works very hard t fo the best job and she does the best job. She is constantly thinking about what she can do for her students