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Jennifer Kavanaugh, Fifth Grade

Teacher

Jennifer Kavanaugh Bio

After doing the math (and dealing with my own disbelief) I realize that I have been teaching for 19 years.  I am so thankful that I have had such a wide variety of teaching roles during that time. 

I started out as an aide in a preschool in Chicago.  (I took that "day job" reluctantly, only to make money to support my acting carreer.  I soon realized that I found teaching to be more thrilling than being on the stage.  I was as shocked by that realization as my friends and family.)

I continued to work in preschools in Chicago, Nashville, and St.Louis, eventually moving out of the aide position, and into lead teacher.

In 2003, I found a wonderful job, working for an arts-integration organization, called Reading in Motion.  At Reading in Motion, I worked in classrooms throughout Chicago, teaching reading to struggling students through music, dance, and drama.  I also trained other teachers in the same curriculum and techniques, and was able to observe over 30 teachers in their classrooms. That was a tremendously valuable experience!

I eventually moved back to St. Louis to finish a Masters Degree in Teaching, and to complete the courses necessary for my teaching certification.  During that time, I took some fantastic courses, and sought out some of the most innovative and creative teachers in St. Louis, to observe. During that time, I was also able to work for the Repertory Theatre of St.Louis and Springboard, teaching playwriting in a variety of 5th grade classrooms throughout the city and county.

Four years ago, I was thrilled to become a part of the St. Margaret of Scotland teaching community!  This is my 4th year teaching 5th grade, and it has been fantastic.  I love being a part of the SMOS community, with its involved parents, kind children, and excellent staff.

In 2014, I was awarded the Master Teacher Summer Fellowship, by the Saint Louis Art Museum.  I spent the majority of my summer researching the effects of art on the brain and cognitive processes, and I developed workshops for teachers and students that focus on the authentic integration of art in general curriculum.  It was a dream come true for me.  A phenomenal summer of learning!!!

My passion is creating a vibrant and highly effective teaching practice by integrating music, drama, art, and dance in my lessons.  I find the classroom to be a really fun and exciting place, and I want my students to have the same excitement for learning.

In my free time, I write music and spend a lot of time reading about the brain and learning. Give me a great scholarly article on cognition and a cup of coffee, and I am a happy gal!