Lower School

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Ann Jennings

Faculty Information
Location(s) Lower School
Title(s) Lower School Kindergarten Teacher
Contact Information
School Email
School Phone
(828) 274-0758   x380
Degree(s) B.A., Randolph College
M.A., Marymount Univeristy
Other Information

Ann Jennings is a kindergarten teacher in the Lower School and has been working at Carolina Day School since 2007. Anne's former school used the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, which is based on a hands-on, emergent curriculum. Anne attended a work-study program in the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy for training in this approach. She has lived in England and travelled in Europe and South America, which enables her to bring her travel experience -- and enthusiasm for travel -- into the classroom for her kindergarten study of the seven continents. Anne earned her Masters Degree in Human Resources, with a focus on Human Resource Training.

Get to know Ann Jennings:
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools? At CDS, I am using what I believe is the very best method for teaching reading and spelling: it’s the Orton-Gillingham approach, thanks to the extensive, hands-on, research-based training I received from CDS. I wish every child in America was taught to read and spell using the O-G approach.”
What do you like most about your job at CDS? I love the students!  They are bright, eager learners, and their families are very supportive. Also, my colleagues are fun to work with! The faculty are supportive of one another and have a can-do spirit about trying new initiatives. It’s meaningful to work with colleagues who really do have the best interest of each child as priority #1. I also appreciate how the school supports all the teachers being creative; we are always encouraged to think outside the box.”
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students to be courageous and curious, wonder about things that they don’t understand, try new things, and develop individual passions? With the small class sizes, teachers can be responsive to students’ needs and really spend time getting to know them. I tell my students that I love it when they say to me, “Mrs. Jennings, I don’t get it.” That shows that they are willing to ask for help, and it gives me the opportunity to teach something in a different way to increase students’ understanding.”
How would you describe your classroom? “A safe place for young students for whom going to school is still a new, daunting event. Here, they get all the hugs they want and need, and they get lots of reassurance that “you can do it!”  Here, their voices are heard. Our kindergarten team encourages their creativity and welcomes their questions.”
What books and authors inspire you? One of my all-time favorites is the poem, “Children,” by Kahlil Gibran in his book, The Prophet. As he points out, we adults are the bow being bent, and children are the arrows, flying into a world we adults cannot see.  I also am inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, which encourages a beautifully arranged classroom, natural materials, and learning through discovery.”
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? “Love the children and help them love learning!”

Which classroom projects/events are you known for? I have a pet mouse named Edison who loves to visit my students. He’s just a furry white puppet, but don’t tell him that. We have daily surveys on the white board for students to answer; then, we “analyze the data.”  Of course the best survey questions come from the students themselves. I’ve been known to join in the students’ game of tag at recess from time to time.”  
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “My family and friends!  We often visit our out-of-town relatives and they come to Asheville to visit us.”
Is there anything else we should know about you and your work? The greatest tribute I received was on a student’s note at the end of the year: “Thank you for teaching me how to read.”  Teaching kindergarten is such an honor!”    
What do you see at CDS that’s different from what you experienced as a child in school? Probably the greatest difference is in how we now use technology to enhance learning.  In kindergarten at CDS the technology is used in the classroom only for showing relevant YouTube and other online footage to supplement our studies; in higher grades, it’s I-pads, apps and a variety of computer software used by the students. Our students truly are “digital native,” so it’s important for our school to keep current on best practices for using technology for education.”

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