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Jen McDonough is a first-grade teacher and literacy coach at the Benjamin School in North Palm Beach, Florida. She has taught first grade and kindergarten for ten years and has been a part of literacy training for teachers for more than three years.
She received her bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University and her master's degree from Florida Atlantic University.
"Teaching found me," Jen says. "My goal was to work with kids because I knew that I connected well with them and they responded to me in a positive way. I studied speech pathology but had a hard time getting into graduate school, so I started teaching and haven't looked back."
Jen says that she especially loves the process of getting to know kids and watching them become amazing readers and writers. "The kids' enthusiasm for the world around them keeps me in awe of the natural world and curious. This is one of the only jobs I know where you go to work and someone is constantly telling you how special you are. It's a good place to be!"
Of working with Georgia Heard on their book A Place for Wonder (Stenhouse 2008), Jen says she feels lucky "to ride on the greatness of Georgia Heard. She taught me how to be patient, work hard, revise, and create deadlines so writing was actually completed. Georgia taught me that teachers have really good ideas and that anyone can write a book if they believe in what they have to say and are dedicated to getting it on paper."
Beyond the Book
If you’d like to book Jennifer for your school or district’s next PD, email firstname.lastname@example.org to consult with our PD Specialist or click the blue “Book This Author” icon.
- A Place for Wonder: Reading and Writing Nonfiction in the Primary Grades (Grades K–3)
- Engaging & Empowering Readers Through Partner Work (Grades K–3)
- If Not Worksheets, Then What? (Grades K–4)
- Reference Books as a Teaching Tool (Grades K–5)
- Revision: Even Our Youngest Writers Can Do It! (Grades K–3)
- Unlocking the How To’s & Many Rewards of Close Reading (Grades K–3)