My unique approach to working with schools is embodied by the red physio balls scattered throughout the school where I last worked as a principal.. When I began there as a classroom teacher, I received funding to purchase the balls to replace students’ chairs in order to help my fidgety fourth graders focus. It was one of my many experiments in helping to make school a place that everyone was excited to attend. My students had lots of energy and I thought this would be a great tool to help them self-regulate.
The idea didn’t really go as planned…It turns out, a roomful of squeaking balls can be even more distracting than fidgeting students! They’ve since transitioned to be helpful tools for children around the school who prefer a little movement with their learning.
The red balls remained around the school as a symbol that it was safe to play with new ideas, as I moved into the role of teacher coach and principal. Our students’ confidence in speaking up and trying new things was magnified by the freedom teachers felt to try out new ideas. The ripples of this freedom, helped by a democratic education ideal, extended beyond our school into the children’s families and communities. These balls represent professional risk taking, something that is extremely important to the health of a school that strives to be responsive to the community it serves.
Over the course of my career, I’ve worked as a teacher, coach, workshop leader, school consultant, director of curriculum, assistant principal and principal. I simultaneously hold the wellbeing of the whole school with the wellbeing of each child and adult as paramount. I’ve learned that in order for children to thrive in a school, the adults in the community need to be thriving as well.
My diverse career has enabled me to walk into vastly different environments and help educators, students, and families build on what they like about their school while shedding the unproductive. Organizations appreciate my:
► WHOLE CHILD INSIGHTS: Defining what a whole-child education looks like in their unique environment.
► DEVELOPMENTAL SENSITIVITY: Working with developmental stages instead of fighting them.
► FOCUS ON LITERACY: Helping teachers develop into literacy yodas with curricula to match.
► INSIGHTS FROM CLASSROOMS AND ACADEMIA: Collaborating, using research and real-world insights as a teacher, administrator, teacher-of-teachers, and consummate learner.
► HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS: Modeling and collaborating with all community members to foster honest, kind communications that helps students grow into honest and kind adults.
People have fantastic experiences in every organization. It’s hard to remember that though, when things feel tough and wrong. I help people use moments of wonderful as springboards to create even more, putting structures and processes in place to sustain the goodness.
Reach out to learn how we can co-create a school that supports everyone’s wellbeing!
Click here to contact Jenn and learn more about the services you can receive!