Genius Plaza is excited to announce the first #MondayMentor blog post, and this week, we are featuring Jennifer Bond or, as you all may know, @glitter_and_jams.
She has been teaching for more than a decade, 12 years to be exact. Before that, she was a guest teacher for two years while she finished her certification and a preschool teacher at a church where she taught 3 and 4-year-olds. It is safe to say, she feels very passionate about education and improving the knowledge intake of tomorrow’s leaders.
She teaches all subjects in a self-contained 2nd-grade classroom in Central Missouri.
As part of this Q and A, we asked her a few questions but feel free to reach out and join in on the conversation!
What is the story behind your handle, Glitter and Jams?
I chose Glitter and Jams because originally I was a Jamberry Nails Consultant and made a few Jamberry videos. I just figured I would keep the name because I love glitter and teaching is my jam! LOL!
What made you fall in love with teaching?
I love seeing the excitement and wonder in a child’s eyes as they are learning! It’s amazing to be such an integral part of a student’s growth!
How do you inspire the children in your classroom?
I always try to think outside the box to create lessons, activities, and games that will excite them to learn and do their best! We all need motivation, and this is one way I use to engage students!
Here are a few examples of recent activities she and her students have worked on, keeping things exciting, and the kids motivated.
How do you incorporate technology into your classroom?
I am blessed to be in a district that values technology use, so we have eight iPads in our classrooms and also Apple TV with a whiteboard. I use my Apple TV daily to project everything we are learning about, to play classroom games, to connect to other educators via Google, and also to show videos that enhance our lessons. The students also learn keyboarding skills on the Macbooks that the school provides and students become quite skilled in iPad usage as well. I teach my students basic iPad skills, such as taking pictures, doing safe searches for information, making videos, and airdropping to share with others!
What is your favorite ed-tech tool?
My favorite ed-tech tool is our iPads because after students have the basic skills learned, they can do so much on them, including collaborating with others via projects and games!
How are you going to use Genius Plaza’s platform and app for the upcoming school year?
I see myself using ALL aspects of Genius Plaza! My students would LOVE, and benefit from, interacting with Sparks to learn and review information and skills. I would enjoy collaborating with other educators across the globe and the amazing career opportunities that Genius Plaza provides!
What tips can you offer a teacher that’s struggling with digital literacy?
First, do NOT be intimidated by technology. It is a great tool to enhance learning. Most everything I have learned about digital literacy has been through independent research and trial and error. There are many tutorials on YouTube and other media that will guide you in technology usage. Also, don’t be afraid to ask colleagues how they did something! We can learn so much from each other. Take a leap and try something new! Don’t feel that you have to know everything immediately! Try one thing and become proficient at that and then move on to something new. Before long, you will have quite a toolbox full of technology tools that you’ve collected!
Also, what tips would you give other teachers to plan for the school year?
First of all, try not to stress! Make a list, prioritizing what needs to be done and when. Pace yourself. There’s no benefit from exhausting yourself before the year even begins. Think about your why! It will motivate everything you do, for and in your classroom! Your room does not have to be perfectly decorated to be a great learning environment. Think of everything from a student’s perspective and let that be your guide. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
If you’d like to connect with Mrs. Bond, follow her on Instagram @glitter_and_jams, subscribe to her YouTube channel GlitterandJams and follow her Facebook page GlitterandJams as well.