FEA Teacher of the Month: Jennifer Spence

Jennifer Spence

Jennifer Spence

FLUSHING — The Flushing Education Association (FEA) has named Jennifer Spence as its Teacher of the Month for January. Spence teaches at Elms Elementary School. Below is an interview between the FEA and Spence:

FEA: Why did you become a teacher?

JS: Teaching was not my first choice. I was convinced I wanted to be a writer. I was leaning toward journalism or creative writing. As I started the writing path, I was enjoying it but kept feeling a tug at my heart to be involved with children in some way. Fast forward a few years, and I am very happy with my decision.

FEA: What motivates you to put in the blood, sweat and tears that education requires?

JS: If I am being painfully honest, motivation can be tough to find in our current situation. Teachers are being scrutinized for our decisions, ridiculed on social media and pushed to our mental and physical limits. My motivation is to change this narrative! I put a lot of my time, money, energy and effort into being a positive force in my students’ lives. I work hard to work with my families for academic and emotional solutions to help their children. I can only hope that I am leaving a positive imprint in many levels.

FEA: What role do teachers have in the community?

JS: Teachers have a very pivotal impact on the community. I like to think teachers create building blocks and a strong foundation for contributing citizens within a community. When teachers are respected and supported by all entities, teachers can change the world.

FEA: What is a moment you’d like to share from your profession?

JS: It was my second year of teaching, and I had a student that was really struggling in her personal life. I listened to her daily updates of her situation. We sometimes ate lunch together and would walk and talk at recess. She moved on after that year, as all students do, and eventually moved to Florida. Her mother reached out to me a few years ago via email and gave me a life update. Her daughter was thriving, and she wanted me to know it was because of my impact on her life. We were able to meet and catch up in person. It was a full circle moment I will never forget!