Jessica White ’04
What do you teach at B’nai Shalom?
I co-teach Preschool 1/2 with Heather Lance. I also work in Kids’ Care.
Why do you teach?
I teach to make a difference. I teach to let every child feel the way I felt when I attended B’nai Shalom, that is: loved, supported, strong, enthusiastic and excited about life.
Why do you teach at B’nai Shalom?
I teach at B’nai Shalom because I want to inspire my students to grow and learn just as I was when I was a student here. I love incorporating Jewish culture and tradition into the classroom. I feel fortunate to now be part of the elite team of teachers at BSDS.
What do you want students to get from having known you?
I want children to remember me as the teacher who brought excitement, energy and creativity to the classroom. I was taught by some of the greatest teachers at B’nai Shalom including my fourth grade teacher, Susanne Settle. Mrs. Settle is an exciting, spunky teacher who brought learning to life for me (and continues to do so). I would love to be that teacher!
What is the most important life lesson students will learn in your class?
I want my students to know that they are learning through play. Toddlers have phenomenal growth from their first to second year of life. Play is an essential role in a toddler’s developmental growth.
What is the most important life lesson you have learned from your students?
I have learned that preschool children are concrete learners and that they learn best through play. Every day I am amazed at the children’s use of imaginative play.
How do you teach to the way a child learns?
In Preschool 1/2, Heather and I observe the children’s interactions with each other and pay close attention to what interests them. We plan our activities based on what sparks their creativity at that time. We sing songs, read books, paint, etc. We are constantly asking questions of the children to help their young minds grow and help them develop language.
What types of professional development have you completed in the past year?
I am currently working towards earning my degree in Early Childhood. I have a certification in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Development. I have attended several workshops including, A New Year, A New You; Bringing Out the Best; Watch, Listen and Learn; and Play Workshop.
In what ways do you collaborate with other teachers?
The preschool staff at this school is truly one of a kind. Our monthly meetings not only bring us closer, but give us a chance to gain knowledge from each other. The preschool teachers inspire me, support me and assist me through any difficult situation.