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Teacher Spotlight: Jennifer Lavelle

Teacher Spotlight: Jennifer Lavelle
Posted on 10/30/2015
jenWhat do you teach?
I am the Instructional Technology Specialist at Graham and Parks and the Morse School. I work with students and teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum.

How long have you been at G&P? 

Since August - I am brand new to the G&P community and happy to be here.

Where are you from?
I grew up in the Boston area, but I have lived in New York City for the past 3 years. I am excited to be back in Red Sox nation!

Teaching motto or favorite education quote?
I am a big fan of Dr. Seuss. He says of his work, "I like nonsense - it wakes up the brain cells." It is one of my favorite quotes because it reminds me that sometimes the silliest ideas are the most successful ones. In the field of Computer Science, we spend a lot of time discussing how to engineer solutions to some of the world's biggest challenges. We are guided by the design process - identify constraints, research the problem, imagine a solution, develop a plan, build a prototype, test and redesign. This process also guides much of my work with our teachers and students. This quote helps me remember that creativity is the key to innovation and we must make space for creativity in our everyday lives. Likewise, it is my job to teach students to not only identify, research, plan, etc. but also to imagine and create!

Describe your favorite technology teaching tool?
This one is easy - Scratch! Scratch is a computer programming language developed by the MIT Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten Group that teaches the foundations of computational thinking. Scratch is an interactive program that enables students to create their own media, art, games, stories, and more.   Students at G&P may have explored Scratch during the Hour of Code last year - a nationwide effort to bring more computer science into the curriculum. I love using Scratch as a tool for students to express their understanding and I look forward to seeing what our students create. For more on Scratch and the Hour of Code, check out scratch.mit.edu and code.org.

What do you love about G&P?
As a new teacher at Graham and Parks, I have been struck by the feeling of joy that permeates the building. Learning should be a joyful endeavor and it is clear that the teachers and students at G&P find the joy in the work that they do at school. Teachers are friendly, dedicated, and collaborative. Similarly, students are engaged, hard working, and curious. I am thrilled to be joining the G&P community and look forward to the year ahead!