Jen Miller, M.Ed. I have been teaching since I was 21 years of age. After graduating from James Madison University, I returned to Falls Church where I had grown up, to teach in my community. At the time, I knew that I needed more tools in my book bag of knowledge to help each of my students reach his or her fullest potential. So, I returned to get a Masters Degree from George Mason University in Multicultural Education (ESOL) and from The University of Virginia in Reading. During my time in Falls Church, I was fortunate to be trained in a year long program through Ohio State called Literacy Collaborative under Fountas and Pinnell. Literacy is where my passion lies. I have taught Pre-K through 4th grade and no matter the age, reading and writing is what sparks creativity and conversation and change. At every age, it is exciting!
I had experienced a Reggio-inspired education first-hand when my daughters were in Junior Kindergarten and I read about their experiences in the daily blog post. I loved how and what my children learned and, when I moved to Kindergarten in 2016-2017, I vowed to bring it to the Bensley Kindergartners as well. When Pam Oken-Wright, my children's Junior Kindergarten teacher, newly retired from the classroom, offered to help out during the first days of school, I asked if she would also help me learn about teaching using the principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy. The collaboration grew and evolved into what is now a full-blown pilot program to benefit the children at Bensley Elementary School.