Meet a Teacher: Jennifer Skillman
Jennifer Skillman is a kindergarten grade teacher at Hillview Elementary School. This is her fifth year teaching kindergarten. She used to teach High School Spanish in the St. Louis and Columbia areas, and elemtnary and middle school computers.
Q. Where/what did you study in school?
A. I traveled and transferred partially as a non-traditional student supporting my spouse’s career. I call College of the Ozarks my alma mater as I did three years there as a traditional student. I graduated from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.
Q. Why did you get into teaching?
A. I had some fantastic teachers especially Mrs. Patterson at TRHS that I wanted to be just like. I have always loved making a difference which means different things at different ages. I especially enjoy the littles. I may be exhausted at the end of the day, but I am usually their first experience with being away from home and with school so I want it to be a good experience.
Q. What’s your favorite part of teaching?
A. The sweet kids and their funny stories! Also seeing how much they progress in a year. Kindergarten really has the most changes and growth which makes me so proud.
Q. What’s the most challenging part?
A. The energy level of the kids vs mine! They have so much more energy than me! Also, home life makes a huge impact on the kids. If they are tired or hungry, it makes a huge difference in their ability to learn.
Q. What would you tell a student who is thinking about becoming a teacher?
A. Substitute teach before getting too far in a program to be sure teaching is for you. Also...that will help you to decide on a grade level as well. There are perks and downfalls to all age groups. Its just a good idea to figure out which is best for you before investing too much time and money for a degree that may not be a fit for you!