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Educator Spotlight of the Month: April 2021


Image caption: April 2021 Spotlight: Jeri Sanford

Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana gives a spotlight to a local educator every month by publishing an in-depth interview about their JA experience.

JA: What grade do you teach & where?

JS: I teach 2nd Grade at John H. Castle Elementary.

JA: Are you a Junior Achievement Alum.  If so, tell us about your Junior Achievement experience when you were a student.

JS: I am not a JA alum, but both of my children have been taught JA throughout their school career and I love hearing their stories year after year about their JA volunteers.

JA: How long have you hosted Junior Achievement programs in your classroom?

JS: I have been hosting JA since 2001.  Each time I host, I enjoy the material, as well as the volunteer who teaches the lessons to my class.

JA: Why did you initially choose to have Junior Achievement programs in your classroom?

JS: JA does an amazing job hitting the community standards that we have in 2nd grade.  I also love that JA allows volunteers from other careers into the school to work with students.  The students love both the content they learn and the experience of learning from someone new.

JA: What do you enjoy most about having Junior Achievement programs taught to your students?

JS: I love the energy that comes with a new person teaching the students.  Students build relationships with their volunteer in the short time they are in the classroom.  The program does an excellent job in meeting our community standards.

JA: What reason would you give to another educator on why they should have Junior Achievement programs in their classroom?

JS: I would tell any teacher that is questioning whether or not to have JA in their classroom to definitely give it a shot.  The volunteers are well prepared and the program materials are fantastic!

JA: How do you feel JA relates to what you teach in the classroom?

JS: The JA curriculum is a perfect fit in our classroom.  In 2nd grade, it meets many of our state standards.

JA: What value doe you feel a JA volunteer provides you and your students?

JS: The value of having a community member in our classroom is unmeasurable.  Students not only learn the curriculum from the volunteer, but often times learn about a new career or profession.

JA: What is one of your favorite JA moments?

JS: One of my favorite JA moments was the time my JA volunteer taught the students about assembly production with a donut lesson and then brought donuts to the classroom for the children to enjoy.  It was a very sweet moment that the children talked about for weeks.

JA: In what ways has the pandemic changed how JA is being taught in your classroom?

JS: This will be the first year that I won't have a JA volunteer in my classroom.  I will be teaching the material to my class this year.  I feel the program is so wonderful and I am excited to teach the curriculum to my students.

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