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St. John School Teacher Profiles: Meet Ms. Jessica Nagle, K3B

Jess Nagle, St. John School K3B Teacher
Jessica Nagle, St. John School K3B Teacher

Can you tell us a little about your background and how long have you been a teacher at St. John School?
I grew up in South Boston and attended Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH where I studied Child Development with Early Childhood Education Certification. Last year was my first year at SJS as the K3B teaching assistant and I am thrilled to take on the role as lead teacher this year.

What attracted you to teaching?
Growing up I always loved playing “school” with my friends and sister and even had a tiny chalkboard that I used to “teach” lessons. It was one of my favorite toys! As I got older, I always loved working with children and decided as a teenager while working at a summer camp that teaching was the path I would like to take.

What is most rewarding about being a teacher?
When a child reaches that “ah ha!” moment, you can’t help but smile and be proud of him/her. Last year at SJS I was lucky enough to witness many of the students write their names for the first time. Seeing the excitement in their faces when they reach their “ah ha!” moments makes all of the hard work and repetition throughout the year worth it.

What is one thing you wish someone had told you before you started your first day of teaching?
Flexibility. Working with children of such a young age group, there is always going to be something that comes up and throws off the schedule. You may not get to every little detail written in the plan book for each day, and that’s okay.

What’s the newest, freshest approach you are bringing to your job as a St. John School teacher?
I hope to join in on the progress of a Professional Learning Community at SJS to promote teamwork between teachers to help not only the students grow, but also each other. I was first introduced to this model of teaching while interning in college and was able to see my teaching and collaboration skills expand, which led to successful students.

What is the hardest thing about being a teacher?
I find the hardest thing about being a teacher is grasping the interest of each student in every activity. There are always the two or three students who would rather sit back and let the time pass, rather than engage in learning. It is a challenge keeping everyone involved in learning, but it keeps everyday interesting!

What is something your students have taught you?
Patience truly is a virtue. Anytime I find my patience running thin, I remind myself how young the students are and that it is okay if they do not master something on the first try. Everything takes practice and patience, and when their ready, they’ll understand.

What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?
Growing up I was always found either on the beach or on a golf course during the warmer months and either skiing or basketball during the winter months. My family and I always took day trips to the beach and weekend trips skiing. Both traditions have stuck with me ever since and introduced me to a love of travel; I have been to Spain, Morocco, Paris, Bermuda, and various States and have many more places I would love to visit in the future.

What’s your favorite funny story about yourself?
When I was in kindergarten, I came home from school ecstatic one day and told my mom I would be learning Italian the next day. My mom couldn’t figure out why we would be learning the language so the next day she asked the teacher about it. Turns out we were learning how to tally during our math time, not learn Italian!

What was your favorite toy (or game) as a child, and why?
I always loved playing Pretty Pretty Princess. What little girl doesn’t enjoy playing a game that involves getting dressed up in jewelry and a tiara? My sister and I would even convince my younger boy cousin to play with us when he was over our house!