Glens Falls City School District recognizes national Teacher Appreciation Week by highlighting committed and enthusiastic teachers from every one of our schools each day of the week! Read on for an inside interview with Jenine Klippel—one of the most dynamic teachers around our district.
Recognizing our outstanding educators in GF Nation: Monday, 5.6.19
Jenine Klippel: 2nd Grade Teacher, Kensington Road School
1) What do you do to engage your students? What makes your teaching and learning environment unique?
I engage my students in learning by incorporating as many of their interests as I can. At the beginning of the year I survey my students on how they like to learn and also try to use those styles of teaching/learning as often as possible. When creating routines at the beginning of the year I make sure that my students are included in the process so they know where and how materials are to be used. This helps my teaching become unique because I tailor the style of my instruction to my students’ needs. I provide instruction in a variety of ways including whole group, small group and individual if needed. When my students know what is expected of them when I am working with a set group, I can focus my attention to the needs of those specific students. I can deliver the instruction that each individual requires. My classroom set-up allows for me to change the style of instruction as needed. When I change my teaching style my students are still able to go about their independent learning successfully and make the academic gains they need to make.
2) Why do you think it’s important to teach the way you do?
I think it is important to teach the way I teach because I am able to meet the individual needs of my students. I can expose my students to the curriculum and allow them to meet their own individual academic goals as well.
3) What do you feel is the most exciting thing about teaching?
I feel the most exciting thing about teaching is when I see the students get the concept that they have been working on. When students feel tasks are too hard or when they don’t understand they sometimes will shut down or give up. When the student understands what is being asked of them and then can explain their learning in their own words, you can see a change in their facial expression. That expression is contagious — you can’t but help to join in their celebration.
4) Describe your “best lesson ever.”
It is so hard to pick my best lesson ever. Every year I teach, a new lesson comes into the top. I feel that the best lessons are always based on how the students accepted the concepts and tasks and how they remembered the material. I would love to say that all of my “best” lessons have been academic; more often than not it was those teachable moments when students were able to understand a social situation or developed empathy for a classmate. Creating a caring classroom where all students (not just the students roster) feel accepted and want to join in our learning is when the best lessons occur. One lesson I really enjoyed with my students this year was learning about the different parts of the brain. The students were very engaged with different activities about the brain such as diagrams, songs/videos, and creating posters. With these activities the students were able to restate facts using the new vocabulary terms on how their brain works with different emotions. They are still using the correct terminology when we review it later in the year.
5) Tell us a little more about yourself.
I graduated from Mechanicville High School in 2007. I attended the College of St. Rose for both my bachelors and masters. I have been teaching since 2011 and joined Glens Falls in January 2017. I love teaching math!