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Jennifer Kravitz: Understanding each child’s needs

Year: 2020 — Province: Northwest Territories
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

N. J. MacPherson School
Junior Kindergarten for children ages 4 and 5 years
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

In my experience any child heading into [Jennifer Kravitz's Junior Kindergarten] program comes out not only with the skills they need to tackle the challenges of school but the confidence to ask questions, make mistakes, and follow their own interests and passions.


Jennifer Kravitz encourages children to learn through creative, meaningful play. She nurtures their curiosity and sense of wonder, and creates a classroom where they feel calm and secure. Her approach is based on the latest teaching research; she has undertaken professional development in fields as varied as behavioural self-regulation, social thinking and LGBTQ+ issues.

Philosophy of care

With her caring, warm demeanour, Jennifer helps children learn and grow, even when they are having a hard day. Calling her students "my friends" and sitting on the floor with them. She asks for their input, then shapes her classroom instruction around their questions and needs.

Support of child development

  • Creates engaging learning centres in her classroom: water tables, smartboards, blocks, puzzles and other tools give children plenty of choices, including options to play together or separately.
  • Takes the lead from children: organized a multifaceted Pirate Day after the children decided to build a pirate ship from a huge cardboard box.
  • Fosters positive behaviour: serves on a committee that analyzes student behavioural data and plans campaigns in response; in one campaign, classes received a reward when the children used their hands appropriately (by pushing a swing or tidying up, for instance).
  • Gets to know each child well: when one of her former students was misbehaving on the school bus, she knew he was likely overwhelmed by noise; she suggested giving him headphones and books for the bus trip, which resolved the problem.

Involvement with parents, families and the community

  • Encourages parents to come to the school: has an open-door policy; organizes regular events for parents, such as sharing times (when children tell their parents what they've learned) and a Christmas concert; helped coordinate the school's Junior Kindergarten/Kindergarten open house.
  • Writes detailed report cards: ensures parents receive precise information about their child's successes, as well as steps they can follow to help their child improve in other areas.
  • Works closely with new parents: provides advice on child development and management to parents seeking extra guidance.
  • Welcomes other children to her classroom: facilitates a program that pairs older classes with younger classes; encourages older children to come play with her students when they need a break.

Get in touch!

N. J. MacPherson School
525 Range Lake Road
Yellowknife NT  X1A 3X1

Facebook: @yk1njm
Twitter: @njm_school

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