My name is Jenna Shaw and I am a middle school language arts teacher working at Patterson Park Public Charter School in Baltimore, Maryland. I am passionate about changing the educational landscape through innovative teaching practices, local and global connections, and technology integration.
I had no idea I would become a teacher. It was not until college that I decided to explore the field of education. It began when I took a freshman sociology class and I had to volunteer at a local organization. I ended up in the state prison helping inmates with literacy skills. I was shocked at how rewarding this literacy program and outreach experience was for me. This volunteer work prompted me to change my major from English to secondary education. The educational coursework I participated in fueled my passion for urban education, especially after the literacy work I had done in the prison system. I was now aware of the struggles and disadvantages caused by low literacy rates, and I wanted to make a difference in the lives of young adults.
Two weeks after graduating college from University of Maryland, College Park, I started an alternative certification-teaching program through the Baltimore City Teaching Residency program. I completed an intensive one month training program, paired with graduate coursework, and was teaching six weeks later. Though the first couple months were challenging, I absolutely loved teaching and watching my students grow. I also realized how important my role as a caring, stable adult was to these students. Since that first year, I have pushed my students and myself by holding high standards, going beyond my daily responsibilities to ensure my students’ are successful in whatever it is they love to do, inside and outside of the classroom.
In addition to teaching, I spend a lot of time outside with my husband and our dog, Houston. We travel for fun and also to visit our extended family, which are located all along the East Coast. We especially love hiking and being at the beach. I would like to thank my husband for letting me steal his photography for my blog posts.