Jennifer Valentine is a National Board Certified third grade teacher at Liberty Gifted and Talented Elementary School in an urban district in Tucson, AZ. A Fulbright scholar, she studied in Southern Morocco for five weeks in the summer of 2010, and participated in field studies in Sonora, Mexico from 2008-2012. She has received multiple grants, most notably the 2003 Toyota TAPESTRY Large Grant through which she developed an integrated social studies, science, and reading project focused on Sonoran Desert riparian areas. This interest in combining science and writing was also the basis for her “Water in the Desert” lesson, for which she received the Great Moments in Social Studies Teaching Award from the Arizona Council for the Social Studies in 2012.
Jennifer designed her own college major, graduating with dual degrees in Environmental Issues & Attitudes and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1992. She earned her elementary education certification in 1998.
Jennifer has a genuine love of learning, creating new lessons with cross-curricular themes, developing intercultural competence and introducing new technological applications that enhance her students’ engagement with content and concepts. She is committed to bridging what she sees as an unfortunately persistent gap between “soft” humanities perspectives about nature and hard science by introducing real-world context and applications.
“While caring about children is essential, it is not enough to make any of us a great teacher,” she says. “I continually search for new professional and personal development opportunities for developing lessons that provide clear, consistent and convincing evidence of student learning.”