Positively the Best
Hired as a long-term substitute teacher over a decade ago, Jennifer Hoffman is in her second year of teaching kindergarten. With experience in the Early Childhood Center (ECC), Pre-Kindergarten, and fourth grade, she brings incredible perspective and positivity to the classroom.
“I like working with children of all ages and I gained a lot of confidence in the ECC but always knew I wanted to work with kids who were a bit older,” says Hoffman. “I enjoy the project-based approach that is so prevalent with the younger learners, and I try to carry that approach over into my kindergarten classroom as much as possible by wrapping it around the curriculum any way I can.”
Jennifer first joined the Country Day community for a practicum placement when she was attending college at University of Cincinnati.
“One of my placements was with Mary Paden in the classroom I'm in right now. She was brilliant at giving the responsibility back to the children – it was their responsibility to learn, take care of their belongings, respect each other. That was different than any experience I had before.”
She also liked how the community interacted with and respected one another.
“When you walk down the halls, you see that people are happy you're here and smile at you and say hi no matter who you are. I tend to look for the best in situations, and I love an environment in which others do the same. There is so much encouragement and acceptance here; I love that about the culture of the school. You know all the kids’ names and most of them know your name. It feels like family.”
And in true Country Day fashion, Jennifer does have family connections in the school. Both of her daughters graduated from Country Day and her nephew is currently a fifth grader. Her daughter Kaylin is a collaborative teacher at the ECC and Jennifer’s mom is a substitute teacher for pre-primary.
Jennifer says it is the people that make such a difference in her day.
“It’s the kids in my classroom, but it’s also the kindergarten team and the other teachers and students. I love that we have the chance to interact with other grades across the campus. Also, you get to see your kids growing up down the hall and beyond that because we’re all here together. Some of first kids I worked with in the ECC are in eighth grade now. I get to watch them grow up. How cool is that?”
Outside of teaching, Jennifer likes hiking, camping, and crafting. She says her happy place is “anywhere with a beautiful view. And now that both of my kids are on their own, any time both of them are in the same place with me at the same time is my happy place.”
Happiness is a common theme with Jennifer, who seems to exude it without trying.
“I try to make something exciting happen in my classroom every day by thinking ‘What is something fun the students won’t be able to wait to tell their parents about when they go home at the end of the day?’ Seeing the joy on the kids’ faces every day – that's ultimately what it is all about when you sum it all up.”