As a first-grade teacher at New Manchester Elementary School, Jennifer Lauri said being an educator is a career unlike any other.
“Each day is unpredictable and filled with new challenges. I love that no day is like another. I love that young children are like sponges and soak up knowledge and skills so impressively quick. Teaching young students is enjoyable because you can truly impact a child’s perspective on their education simply by being their leader and cheerleader. Education is a such a powerful, amazing thing.”
Mrs. Lauri said as a young student, she herself struggled with the every day expectations of a classroom, which is what made her want to change the dynamics of what students experience in her own classroom.
“I was a student with lots of energy and a lot to say. It was once I became an adult that I began to question if classrooms had to have the stereotypical environment or could be one of so much more. It has been a dream and goal of mine to be an advocate for the doers, movers, and communicators so that they can learn in a way that truly speaks to them.”
Without teamwork and collaboration, Mrs. Lauri said she believes the education system in West Virginia would not be as successful.
“Our success as a state in education cannot be credited to one individual, but to the hundreds of West Virginians whom genuinely love and want the best for the youth and future of this great state. It is the hard work and dedication of our leaders, educators, families, and stakeholders that make the education system successful. The people of West Virginia have heart and it’s because of this we remain a state and education system unlike any other.”
When thinking back on the past year, Mrs. Lauri said teaching during a global pandemic made her a stronger teacher and leader.
“This was a school year unlike any other, and in my opinion, a year that all mankind needed to pull together. After many days of teaching virtual or on a blended learning schedule, I found myself being a source of upliftment for not only my students, but their guardians as well,” Lauri said. “Whether it was just sending a simple message to cheer a parent on or setting up individual meetings for students who were in need, the extra effort put into this unique school year has not gone unseen. As educators, we do not do our jobs for the thanks and acknowledgements because many times there are none. However, a parent shared with me how difficult the pandemic has been for her family and that my support and assistance with virtual learning was beyond appreciative. It made me aware of how much impact we have on not only our students, but our community, guardians, and families as well.”
Born and raised in West Virginia, Mrs. Lauri has seven years teaching experience and has taught in both Hancock and Harrison counties. When she am not wearing her “teacher hat,” she can found spending time with her boyfriend, Todd, and their two bulldogs: Arnie and Geno.