My role here at CDS is a multi-layered one. On a day-to-day basis, I meet with teachers about their curriculum and our students, I meet with parents about their children, I meet with colleagues in and out of CDS to enhance the program, and most of all I spend time each day in classrooms. In a more general sense, I make sure the program is delivering on our promise of a personalized education of unparalleled excellence for every child. At a more strategic level, I am working to achieve the vision we set out of the school and the vision you have for your children. As diverse as my responsibilities are, I delight in the everyday challenges — and rewards — of providing your children with a premier preparatory experience unrivaled in St. Louis.
Prior to CDS, I taught Second Grade at Mary Institute St. Louis Country Day School for six years. During my tenure, I designed and implemented new curricular units including a year-long thread centered around a global study of community through direct interactions and experiences with classrooms around the world. Within my classroom, I introduced and utilized new technologies including Smartboard applications, Skype, flipped classroom, and video newscasts and podcasts. Throughout my career I worked towards providing a personalized education for all the students in my classroom. It was through this quest that I discovered Project Based Learning and brought it to MICDS. I helped roll out the approach across Second Grade and coached other grade-level teachers and staff on the process.
I was busy at MICDS outside of the classroom as well. I founded the school’s Nimble Minds Problem Solving Group; co-chaired the school’s Math Committee; and worked as a private tutor for MICDS students. From 2007-2013, I taught drama, science, video game design and Garageband at MICDS’s Pegasus summer camp.
Public School Experience
In addition to teaching at a top independent school, I have a broad range of teaching experience within public districts, as well. I served in both the Pattonville and Hazelwood school districts as a homeroom teacher for Kindergarten through Third Grade. In addition to typical responsibilities, I developed and taught a three-week course in which students used and reviewed items most commonly consumed by kids, culminating in a student-produced magazine; developed a podcast showcasing student writing; and was a nominee for Teacher of the Year.
While at both MICDS and the public schools, I served as an expert presenter at both national and international conferences on education. My topics have included using technology to create a community of learners, making global connections in the elementary classroom, and using Project Based Learning at the elementary level .
Finally, my degrees. I earned a bachelor of arts in elementary education and a master of arts in teaching. I also hold Missouri teaching certifications for grades Kindergarten through Ninth.
My love of teaching
What do all of these roles and experiences have in common? My love of teaching. My professional, long-term objective as an educator is to create an environment that puts students first — an environment that promotes a better world where problems are solved with words and new ideas are explored. I believe schools should feed a student’s passion and provide individualized education to each child. I value education of the whole child in order to create highly effective, well-rounded problem solvers who are successful, lifelong learners that work to make the world a better place. The best news? CDS is this school. And that is I why I love what I do here and why I am so thankful for your children and your support of our program.
MORE ABOUT JEFF'S EXPERTISE ...
PRESENTATIONS "Flipping the Elementary Classroom" at International Conference of Teachers Leading with Technology (ICTLT), Singapore, 2012 "Students as Teachers" at the National Forum for Character Education, San Francisco, 2011 "The New SAT: Students as Teachers" at Better Learning Communities Conference (BLC), Boston, 2011 "Project Based Learning in the Elementary Classroom" at International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE), Philadelphia, 2011 "Book Talks 2.0" at ISTE, Philadelphia, 2011 "Global Collaborations in the Elementary Classroom" at ISTE, Denver, 2010 "Project Based Learning in the Elementary Classroom" at Midwest Educators of Technology Conference (METC), St. Louis, 2013 "Project Based Learning in the Elementary Classroom" at METC, St. Louis, 2012 "Book Talks 2.0: Exploring Voicethread for Literature Circles" at METC, St. Louis, 2012 "Global Partnerships: Making, Using and Keeping Them" at METC, St. Louis, 2010
PUBLICATIONS The Amazing Web 2.0 Project, http://www.ictineducation.org/web2/, 2010 Language Arts Magazine, Volume 88, No. 1, September, 2010