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Jennifer Eerenberg

Jennifer Eerenberg, Boyd County

Where do you teach? Catlettsburg Elementary School

What subject(s)/grade(s) do you teach? Math Intervention K-5th

How many years have you taught? 19 in classroom, plus three years subbing

Why did you become a teacher? After having the opportunity to be a substitute teacher in my district and be a migrant tutor in my county, I realized how much I loved working with kids. I wanted to be a positive role model for our future generations. From helping them find their unique talents to developing strategies to be a successful student (and citizen), I decided that becoming a teacher is the best way to influence them. I LOVE running into former students and hearing how they are thriving!! Just as important, letting them know that I am always there for them while they are trying to figure out their role in life. Once my student, always my student…. this past year I was an honorary grandmother for one of my very first students!!

What has been the best part of teaching that you didn’t expect when entering the profession? When I was first started teaching, I knew I was an important influence for my students that school year. I never imagined the long-term student/teacher relationship I would build. As much as I wanted them to look fondly back to their elementary year with me, I now realized how important I could be to their future.

What is one thing you wish non-teachers knew about what you do? Academics are very important to me but I feel like that’s just a small part of what I do. As a teacher, I want to build a positive relationship with my students.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as a teacher? In more recent years, I understand how important it is to find the unique (sometimes hidden) talents of my students. I had a girl, who had moved from school to school. She had a rough home life and missed out on many opportunities that other students had. While observing her, I realized her mathematical intelligence. I spent the year developing her gift and was able to get her into an advanced math group. That’s when I truly realized it is my job to make sure there are no missed opportunities for my students. I want them to find out what makes them special and help them thrive!

Favorite thing to do when you aren’t teaching? My family loves to travel. From the mountains to the beach, we always find something historical along the way. If we aren’t on a long-distance adventure, you can find us on our farm!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Read minds!!! When trying to learn new students, I focus on what learning styles and which multiple intelligence seems to be dominant in each of my students. Observing how they respond to my instruction and what I see on paper, I hope to teach them the strategies that will work best for them. I always tell them they have to write down their steps since I cannot read their mind.