CMS staff profile: Courtney Jenison

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Name: Courtney Jenison
Job title: Eighth-grade social studies and language teacher
Number of years in profession: This is my second year.

How did you get into this profession? I've wanted to be a teacher since I was about 5 years old. My kindergarten teacher told my mom that I liked to boss the other children around. ... I knew it would be a perfect fit. Then, when I was in eighth grade, I told my teacher, Ms. Reynolds, (Mrs. Townsend) that I could be a great teacher. She took that as a challenge. ... She now admits that I didn't do such a bad job that day!

What is the most challenging part of your job? Creating meaningful, challenging and engaging activities every day.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Finding out things like when one of my students told his dad that he (sort of) likes language class.

What is a teaching tool or method that is unique to you? One of my favorite teaching methods is when I am "deaf and mute" for the day. I come to class and spend the entire day quiet, using the overhead, notes and gestures to communicate with my students. If they want to ask me something, I am unable to communicate with them unless they write it down. It is amazing how many goals this can accomplish. For one, they are mostly silent on these days.

Briefly describe your most heartwarming teaching/student experience: When I was getting my degree, I worked in an alternative school and one day after teaching, a student who was in a gang came up and told me "Mrs. Jenison, you are going to be a great teacher."

What are your favorite activities when you are not at school? Traveling, spending time with my family and helping with YoungLife.

What is one thing about your profession that you wish the public at large understood? Eighth-grade students really are enjoyable to be around.

What do you like most about Craig Middle School? Teaching with and learning from the teachers I had when I was in eighth grade at Craig Middle School.

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