Teacher Spotlight: Meet Jennifer Thibodeau, high school English teacher

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Jennifer ThibodeauMeet Jennifer Thibodeau, an English teacher at the high school!

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?

My favorite part about teaching is getting to know my students and developing relationships with them.  I love seeing them grow as writers, thinkers, and humans. They teach me something every day, and they make me laugh. When I look at them — all of their faces — whether online or in class — I feel hope for this tired old world.

Why do you believe in and support the work of the Minisink Valley School District and what it does for the community?

I support the work of all schools and how they are the solid bases of most communities.  Parents entrust us with the wellbeing of their children — physically and emotionally — that’s a big deal!  There are so many living breathing parts to a school, and all of these things come together to do good for students and their families in many ways.

How has this pandemic refocused the work you do every day?

I was always focused on writing as a way to grow as a thinker and as a person.  This year, most of my grades are writing assignments, especially creative ones that allow students to talk about things that are important to them.   This year, getting to know my students is more important than getting them to know…things that won’t matter in the long run of their lives.

What do you want to say directly to the community about the importance of your work? 

Well, honestly, I feel that my work isn’t that important to people in general.  What’s really important is health, family, so many other things.  The most important thing I can do is give my students a place to be creative and vent.  I read every word they write, and comment so that they feel valued and heard.  I also try to laugh with them every day because in these heavy times — we all need a bit of levity.