Jennifer Petit, a 3rd grade teacher at Heron Pond Elementary (NH), has been named the Open Up Resources Teacher of the Month for February 2023. Petit is being recognized for her outstanding work in her classroom and ongoing support of teachers across the country as a member of the Open Up Resources National Professional Learning Community.
Petit’s work with EL Education K–8 Language Arts makes her one of the most innovative teachers in the country. The EL Education K–8 Language Arts curriculum inspires a new way of teaching language arts by engaging students through compelling, real-world content to build equitable and inclusive learning opportunities.
Michelle Locke, a colleague in the Milford School District, nominated Petit for her leadership and success in using EL Education K–8 Language Arts. Locke shared, “Jenni is a transformative teacher and an exceptional colleague. She leads her Gr. 3 team in planning, differentiating, and execution of the EL Curriculum, sharing her ideas and creativity with all. Her students exhibit exceptional growth in their reading, writing, and communication skills each year.”
In her nomination, Locke described Petit as an asset to their community in New Hampshire. She explained, “The combined strength of Jenni's experience, creativity, and commitment to supporting ALL students and colleagues makes her an asset to our community. Jenni truly believes that every child can learn and be successful. She attended the HIVE Conference this summer and many of her group mates expressed their appreciation for her insights, experience, and energy!”
Petit shared about her first experiences in implementing the curriculum. She told us, “When I first began teaching 4th grade EL, I was surprised at the reading levels of the poetry chosen. I truly thought that my students would not be able to comprehend the material. Instead, I was shocked at how quickly they learned to analyze poetry and work through each element of a poem. By the end of the module, my students had written meaningful biographies of poets, and beautiful poetry that was published for future students to read and enjoy. They took so much pride in their writing, and it showed when they presented them during our Poetry Cafe day.”
Petit also shared, “I enjoy watching my students engage in discussions that both grow them as learners and citizens. I am always amazed at how deeply they discuss the topics they are learning about in class, and make connections to the world we live in today.”
Open Up Resources is a non-profit on a mission to increase equity in education by making excellent, top-rated curricula freely available to districts. You can learn more at www.openupresources.org.