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Jennifer Allen is a literacy specialist in Waterville, Maine. She has worked in education for the last twenty-five years. Jennifer started as a classroom teacher in the primary grades and has been working in this position as a literacy/specialist coach for the last sixteen years.
Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont in 1991. Once she landed a job in the classroom she pursued a graduate degree at the University of Maine in the area of literacy, which was completed in 1996.
In 2000 Jennifer left the classroom and started her journey as a literacy leader. Jennifer understands that coaches wear many hats and no one job description looks the same. Jen embraces a layered coaching framework in thinking about the various ways that coaches can support literacy and learning within a school.
Jennifer believes in teachers and believes that teachers know best what they need for support and professional development. She believes that literacy leadership should be responsive to the needs of a school community. She works to inspire and energize teachers while keeping students and their learning at the heart of her work. She believes in the importance of making meaning together and is always looking for opportunities to bring teachers and administrators together to the table for learning.
Designing professional development that meets the needs of teachers is a passion. She works to create experiences that meet the needs of teachers whether they are voluntary or mandatory, always working towards meaningful engagement and beyond compliance. The ultimate goal of professional development is to refine instructional practices that increase student achievement.
Jennifer’s work reaches beyond the walls of classrooms. Using her layered coaching framework as her guide, she works with administrators to ensure that the coaching layers implemented within the schools are aligned to school and district initiatives. She believes that the role of the coach is one that can build capacity within the school and is an integral role in sustaining and maintaining change initiatives.
Jennifer lives in Winthrop, Maine. When she is not working she can be found jogging, biking, or hiking. She also loves to relax, digging in the garden and cooking in the kitchen.