Jenn Tierney: 3rd Grade
Jenn Tierney: 3rd Grade

Hometown: Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

Degree(s): Bachelors in Political Science, The Catholic University of America; Masters in Elementary Education, Cabrini College

Contact: jtierney@episcopalacademy.org; Twitter: @TierneysClassEA


What is your favorite thing about teaching at EA?

I feel extremely supported at EA. I work amongst the most dedicated and professional educators who share my love of teaching. I have always felt that the parents work as a team with the teachers to ensure that we are always doing what is best for the child.

How has campus technology influenced the way you teach in your classroom?

It is hard to remember what it was like to teach without all of the technology that we have at EA today! I have everything that a teacher could need to use technology in the most thoughtful and efficient way. I find that I can tap into all of our resources seamlessly. The technology support at EA is first-rate. I believe the advances in technology have helped me become a much more effective and creative teacher.

What ways do you see students developing and advancing in your class through the school year?

Third grade is a transformative year. The children physically move "up" to the Upper Level of the Lower School building. They also are moving "up" in terms of maturity and ability to think on a higher level. Children in third grade are positive, energetic, enthusiastic, and a joy to teach. There is an easy-going curiosity combined with a love of a challenge! Every child is unique, of course, but I will say that every student I have ever taught in third grade has continued to develop into their best self over the course of this special lower school year.

Every year, you challenge your students to complete the International Research Project. Why is the goal? What do you hope they learn?

The International Research Project is an end of the year project that has evolved over the years. The third grade teachers have carefully crafted and built this project for the children to showcase their budding research skills, satisfy their natural curiosity, and allow the children to highlight their creativity and presentation skills. The children formulate questions, choose their own topics, they read for meaning and importance, they take notes and organize their information. Each student designs his own project, plans out his time and materials, and makes sure to complete all of his desired work by the International Festival. It is an incredible process and I am always in awe of what the children are able to accomplish, not only independently, but also how much they all help each other!

What brought you to EA?

I began my life as an EA student in Middle School on the Merion Campus and graduated in 1991. I love everything about Episcopal and I care so much about it. I feel fortunate to be able to spend each and every day in a place that is a part of my entire life. When I was ready to move back to Pennsylvania after teaching and living in New York City, teaching at EA was my goal. It was what I dreamed about and was so lucky to be accepted back into the community as a teacher. I will always be grateful to EA for giving me a chance to live out my dream.

What is your favorite thing about teaching at EA?

This is a very easy question for me to answer. My favorite thing about teaching at Episcopal are the students...each and every one of them! Above my desk I have every class photo since I began teaching at EA 11 years ago. I look at those photos every day and I have to pinch myself as I know I have been so blessed.

Every student has taught me something and has become a part of who I am today. I can look at every boy and girl and tell you how he or she has influenced me, guided me towards becoming a better teacher and a better person. I have learned patience and compassion. I have experienced incredible amounts of joy and overcome some challenges. I have learned the importance of being open to new experiences and also the need to flexibility. However, above all, the students I have had the pleasure to teach over the past 11 years have been shining examples of love. So, yes, my favorite thing about EA are the students; past, present, and future.