Jordan Showalter teaches in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio.
I met Jordan when I started working at a private preschool in the Fall of 2007. I instantly thought she was incredibly funny and very talented. Her love for her students was apparent and could be witnessed simply by walking into her classroom or passing her in the halls. She moved a few years later, but thanks to social media I have been able to watch her become a wife, mother and newly hired teacher.
What age/grade/subject do you teach?
I teach Kindergarten! The best grade.
How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for a total of twelve years. I taught preschool for ten years, then I was a student teacher and a sub for one year, and now I’m nearing the end of my first year of teaching kindergarten.
What made you decide on becoming a teacher?
I was originally in college to be a musician and I got a part time job at the Child development center on campus. I had always loved working with young children, and one day I was reading a story to a large group of four year olds, when two other teachers came into the room and watched. We all realized that the students were completely focused on me while I was reading, and one of the teachers said “She’s good.” That was a defining moment for me as I realized that day that I had a talent for working with young kids.
What is your favorite subject/topic to teach?
I love teaching “writer’s workshop”. I make it very fun and teach a mini lesson at the beginning of our time, then the students get to go out and write in the classroom. I often play quiet music or put a “fireplace” video up on our screen while students write. I love it because writing gives students so much choice and I really get to “hear” and “see” them through their writing.
What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love the funny things students say, but the best part and is witnessing a student “get it” in real time.
What has been one of your biggest struggles inside of the classroom?
Modern teachers are constantly pulled in many different ways, and the extra stuff that isn’t directly teaching the kids, such as trainings, meetings, testing and data collection bog us down.
What are some of your greatest needs for your classroom?
I always need books and hands on materials. I want learning to be fun so I like to supply my students with a variety of books to encourage a love of reading, and materials for hands on learning such as puzzles, blocks, playdough etc.
With the current climate of what’s happening in our world, what is your school doing to continue to meet the needs of your students? Is this more or less of a workload for you?
My district is one to one with technology, meaning every student in the district has an ipad and we are leaders in our area in terms of technology so we were very prepared to begin distance learning online very quickly after our governor closed schools. With that being said, the kindergartners use much less technology than the other grades and those students and parents had never used school ipads at home. At the moment I am working more than I did before and I have scheduled hours for parents to contact me with questions. I’m sure as I get better at using the technology it will go faster for me! It has been a hard transition because I miss the personal day to day connection with my students. I know that my district is doing an amazing job though, and I’m so glad we had such a great plan in place!
How do you unwind at night?
I love to watch Netflix.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Before the coronavirus, my favorite things to do were shop and travel.
What helps you to push through when burn-out is beginning to set in?
I have to take a serious break from working overtime, working at home, and checking my school email after work hours. The break from work is so important if you start to feel burnt out.
What is a childhood memory of yours that you find motivates you to be the best teacher you can be?
I have a picture of myself when I was four years old playing teacher to my pound puppies. That memory reminds me that I have ALWAYS wanted to be a teacher and that my job is one that can change lives.
Had you not become a teacher, what could you see yourself doing instead?
150 percent would have been a children’s librarian. I actually had an internship in college where I worked in a local library and was in charge of preschool story time. I LOVED it!
What is your favorite Starbucks (or coffee shop of choice) drink?
Anything caramel! Caramel frapp or caramel macchiato.
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