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Teacher Feature: Jennie Lowther
B.S. in Secondary Education, English (May 2010), M.S. Teaching, Learning and Leadership (in progress)
Current School Site:
Will Rogers College Jr. High (Tulsa Public Schools)
Eighth grade, English language arts
Number of Years Teaching:
What do you love most about teaching?
I love helping my students make those personal connections, so they leave feeling more confident than when they came in. Putting words on paper and writing out thoughts is a huge hurdle for many of my students. I really love being able to support them through those struggles and celebrate their successes.
How did your time at OSU influence your teaching style?
My methods courses focused on the different types of learners and the importance of structuring lessons through the perspectives of students who learn differently from us. It’s easy to fall into the habit of creating lessons for the majority of our students or to look for the easiest way to present content. However, I still find myself trying to view lessons through the lens of a kinesthetic student or a more musical brain. I’ve tried a lot of strategies over the last few years and learned a lot about learning theories, but I always come back to the basic practice of just changing my perspective.
You are currently pursuing a master’s degree at OSU. What have you taken away from that experience so far?
I teach with more confidence. Some of that simply comes with experience. However, a lot of it comes from knowing the “why” behind effective teaching strategies and learning experiences. I don’t second guess myself as much, and I can see the positive effect that is having on my students.
You were awarded Teacher of the Year for 2018-2019 at your school. What did that honor mean to you?
I work with incredible educators whose advice and opinions consistently make me a better teacher. It was extremely humbling to find out they thought enough about my efforts and contributions to our amazing team to nominate me for the award.
What is the most important thing you would share with education policy makers on behalf of your students and your school if you had the chance to sit down with them?
Human learning cannot be reduced to numbers and statistics. My students’ growth and achievement is not quantifiable. I appreciate the need for data and have been able to learn a lot about ways to better support my students by looking at useful feedback and results. However, it’s very important for policy makers to spend time in our schools, that’s where the experts, the professionals in education, can be found.