Jennifer Black

 

What inspired you to become an educator, and what keeps you inspired?

I was first inspired to be an educator in 7th grade when my teacher asked if I would be willing to help a recent refugee student learn to read.  I loved helping him make connections in reading English and felt so proud of his accomplishments.  I really knew then that I wanted to teach.

I stay inspired to teach because of those same connections I made in the 7th grade.  There is a genuine satisfaction that comes from knowing I am making a difference in children’s lives and therefore, the future.  I especially love the learning that comes from inclusion, both for the students and families as a whole.

 

If you could summarize your teaching philosophy, what would it be?

I believe that each child is an individual and should be taught in a way that addresses their unique learning style.  I also believe in classroom community where each unique child is treated respectfully and loved.  My students aren’t just with me for one year, they become an extended family that I treasure.

What skills do you feel are most important for your students to develop, to prepare them for life beyond Friends School?

I am so proud to teach at Friends School because of the foundation of inclusion that is taught.  I want every child that leaves Friends School to realize there are all kinds of people.  People can look different, learn different, act different and that’s not wrong...it’s just different...and it’s okay.  I also want all these learning styles to realize grit and determination is what will carry you further in life than anything else.

Tell us about your hobbies and philanthropic interests?

My hobbies include gardening, reading and art.  I also love to watch HGTV!

Philanthropically speaking, my family serves for Barren Heights.  This is a Christian Retreat that hosts weekend getaways for families affected by special needs.  The retreat is located on Barren River Lake and is fully accessible for everyone.  There is no cost for this weekend mini vacation because the camp is run by volunteers and funded through fundraising and grants.