By Sabrina Wei, Student, Windsor Secondary School
It's just after lunch. In Jennifer Schmit's grade 1-2 class, the children, with full bellies and nonstop chatter, hover desk to desk as silent reading books are taken out and reading buddies (older students) are chosen. With their older buddies, they find a spot in the class to read. The older children read out each page, the grade ones and twos intently listening; a calm hush falling over the classroom as they are enraptured in each story. Two boys are learning about snakes, and two girls are reading about the Adventures of Fashion Kitty. Huddled together in a little reading nook, three kids giggle as they read Elephant and Piggy together.
"I love teaching kids to read," says Jennifer Schmit, who has taught for 21 years, mainly at Blueridge Elementary School. "And I love their limitless and fresh energy; their enthusiasm."
Schmit has enjoyed working with kids since she was young. She volunteered with sparks and brownies, and read to younger kids at the library. Plus, her mom was a teacher. It was a natural fit for Schmit to also become a teacher... and her students are sure glad she did!
"Mrs. Schmit is a very nice teacher who's kind to all kids."
"Mrs. Schmit throws awesome parties and plans fun field trips." (Recently their class went to the Burnaby Heritage Museum.)
"Everything is fun in Mrs. Schmit's class!"
"I love all the arts and crafts Mrs. Schmit lets us do." A student says, threading gold and red beads onto a pipe cleaner to make a candy cane. They're making decorations to hang up on the tree.
"I like the books we read on the carpet. They're so funny and interesting."
In addition to teaching kids how to read, Schmit also enjoys reading herself. She likes historical fiction, especially from the WWI and WWII period. She has taught kids to love reading, a valuable skill in this world.