Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Jessie Griffin

When I was little, my sister would get mad at me for reading instead of playing with her.  In elementary school, the media specialist, Mrs. George, was my favorite teacher.  Everytime a new Babysitters Club book came out, I'd beg my mom to take me to the bookstore to buy it immediately.  I would say that it's pretty obvious that I love to read.  And I'll read anything. The usual suspects - books and magazines.  However, I also read blogs, news sites, articles I scroll across on Instragram, heck, I'll read the directions books front to back and then reference again as needed.  Oh, and I love to stare at a map.  My sister gives me a hard time about that too.  

Beyond my love of reading, what drew me to this profession is the premise that we humans have access to more information than we have ever had throughout history.  In the past, one of the biggest detriments to human advancement was a lack of access to information.  Now, it's at our fingertips.  If you really stop to think about it, it's mind blowing and maybe a little terrifying.  For our students, it's daunting and usually unmanagable.  What's real?  What's an authentic, reputable source?  What does the source stand to gain, if anything?  How do I find the answers (and questions) for which I'm searching?  My job is to help students wade through this tsunami of information and not drowned in it.  To help them find their footing and feel excited about what is out there for them to find, study, question, create.  

But reading.  It all comes back to reading.  Scientist are now discovering that READING FOR PLEASURE stimulates greater cognitive growth and academic benefits for kids than any other academic pursuit.  The research is finding that READING FOR PLEASURE leads to students performing better in math and science - not just English and social studies.  Most importantly, the research is indicating that READING FOR PLEASURE has an huge, positive impact on children building EMPATHY.  Kids (and adults) learn to understand and empathize with the emotions of other people by reading about characters, conflicts, and resolutions. They feel what the characters feel.  Through READING FOR PLEASURE our kids learn to care about and understand one another.  And isn't that what we need most of all?