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Meet Jordan Binion

Jordan Binion is a second-grade teacher at Walt Disney elementary school and a member of Penn Harris Madison TA. This week for American Education Week, we are highlighting Jordan and her successes as an educator.

Q. What made you want to be an educator?

A. When I was younger, I had some amazing teachers that made me want to come to school. They encouraged my passion for learning and tailored my excitement into positive experiences. There are still things that I remember when I was in school. There were such big moments that I remember that I wanted to create those for other kids. On the flip side, the were also experiences that I had that were not as positive and I wanted to create opportunities for kids to have a positive experience when it comes to learning.

Q. How do you build relationships with your students’ parents?

It’s a little easier at this age, because parents want to be involved. I use ClassDojo and I try to share little moments in our classroom before I share not so great things. I try to make them feel a part of the community by sharing things that we are doing in the classroom.

Q. What are some things that you want your students to always remember about you?

A. I want them to remember that I gave them the opportunity to be their best selves. I gave them the chance to problem solve, to struggle, to come up with resources and figure out how to do things independently so that later when they encounter big problems – they’ll have the necessary tools in their toolbelt to do things on their own.

Q. What are some things that you enjoy doing when you’re not teaching?

A. I love being entertained. I love books, plays, movies…right now, I’ve been into reading because the things I have been reading are so much different than my everyday life. I’ve been reading books about magic and fairies. But, I also know sign language. So I attend deaf events in the area and I love spending time with family.

Q. What was your favorite book as a student?

A. My favorite book was Junie B. Jones. My favorite book that I remember being able to read independently were the little critter books. I remember sitting down with my mom and I flew through it. It’s more of a favorite memory than a favorite book.

Q. How do you think being a member of ISTA has helped your growth as an educator?

A. I have been a passive member until recently. I attended the Educators of Color Conference over the summer and it was eye-opening to know that there are so many people in my corner. There are so many people that I can use as resources, who have been where I am as an educator, as a woman and as a minority. The population here doesn’t necessarily reflect my past or my kiddos. So, it was nice to lean on all those teachers and get their perspectives on how they’ve dealt with both the positives and negatives of the profession. I know now that there are people that I can reach out to as I continue in my career.

Q. What’s your favorite lesson to go over with your kids?

A. Every year, we talk about landforms. I always try to tie the lesson into our weekly story. We do a lot of packets and have discussion about landforms through the week and at the end of the week, we build landforms out of graham crackers, kisses and frosting. It’s so cool to see them apply what they’ve learned into the creative activity. They love it so much!

Q. Was there a moment that confirmed that you made the right decision to be a teacher? 

A. Our school has culture night at the end of the year where families all over the world will host a booth around our building and teach us about the culture of where they’re from and the traditions they have. It’s so cool of them to want to include us and share with us. It makes me feel as if the parents feel the impact that we as teachers are making and it makes me feel apart of the family.