Jennifer Schenk

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Jen Schenk

Schenk

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Wholeheartedly, I believe in every child in my classroom. Recognizing every student’s potential and setting individual goals is paramount to me as a teacher. I aspire to challenge my students and I enjoy watching them grow to their full promise. Through personalized instruction of daily differentiated reading and math groups, I strive to help them thrive and maximize their talents. As George Evans stated, “Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or in the same way.”

My classroom is based on facilitating learning and growth academically, socially, and emotionally. My students’ academic success is just as important to me as their social and emotional maturity. From the very beginning of the year, I attempt to nurture a sense of belonging, significance, and safety so that my students feel comfortable extending beyond their comfort zone and working on collaborative peer projects. I employ the Responsive Classroom approach with my students which consists of a set of practices and strategies that link and build academic and social-emotional competencies. For example, I begin each morning with a class meeting which combines social and academic interactions to set a positive tone for learning.

It is my belief that technology plays a valuable role in the classroom. Students need to be creative problem solvers, innovative and critical thinkers, and adaptive to change. Teachers need to adequately prepare students for a technology-dominated future. Technology can foster creativity and be used as a tool to help and support our students as they develop twenty-first century skills. In order for technological instruction to be successful, I have integrated technology into my daily teaching routine and used it to support the curricular goals.

I want to continue to improve student motivation and higher engagement in my classroom. One piece is through the seating options in the classroom. The majority of my science and social studies classes are in a collaboration format and we don’t use the desks. I work very hard not to just do things because it might be new or trendy. I research and analyze data, look at the ideal culture I want to create, and as Stephen Covey would say, keep kids as the end in mind with all decisions. There are short term health benefits to flexible seating such as the balls chairs in burning more calories each day, higher metabolism, better oxygen flow to the brain, improved core strength and appropriate posture. There are also studies on how certain positions such as laying on your stomach on say a carpet square or yoga mat can improve penmanship. Personally, I feel that one of the most important reasons we do this is not maybe as easy to measure on paper or with statistics, but make no mistake about it…you can feel it! Empowering students via Leadership opportunities, is something I strive for in my classroom. The student-choice benefit behind flexible seating is that it helps students become more self-aware of what types of seating and environment helps them learn best. And, of course they are empowered by the opportunity to have choices.

As an educator, I will continue to increase my knowledge about technology and new innovations in order to provide the most successful learning environment for my students. I will continue to encourage students to actively participate in their education through the use of technology in the classroom. When they leave my second grade classroom, my hope is for all students to have achieved academic, social, and emotional growth.

Please feel free to contact me anytime.
schenkj@usd230.org