Hi! My name is Mrs. Jennifer Nielsen and I am the 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts teacher at Catholic Academy of West Buffalo. This is my fourth year teaching English Language Arts at CAWB and I couldn't be more thrilled. I am originally from Brooklyn, New York, and I attended Canisius College for my undergraduate degree and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Adolescence Education with a concentration in English. After earning my bachelor's degree I subbed for a couple of years in Western New York and was I offered a wonderful and unique experience with Literacy AmeriCorps in Florida. I completed a full year of service where I worked with children ranging from grades K-5 to build reading and writing skill, while also completing over 1700 hours of service for Palm Beach County. During my year of service I was offered a position to teach 6th grade English Language Arts, which is when I fell in love with teaching middle school students. I worked in Florida teaching 6th grade ELA for 2 years and then I decided I missed Buffalo too much, which leads me to present day!
Every day I try to allow my passion for teaching ELA and middle school stream from my lessons and instruction. I grew up reading. I read every night before bed with my parents, and I was constantly reminded by them how important reading is. It’s so disheartening that so many children lose reading instruction once they leave school for the day. My philosophy is that reading is necessary for any individual to become literate in today’s world. Reading may start at school, but it’s instilled and reinforced at home. Home is where children witness that reading is essential, omnipresent, and enriches lives. I believe that reading is a lifelong skill that needs to be introduced and reinforced in a positive and enthusiastic way. I strongly believe that students become motivated to read when they notice that reading is fun and can be relevant to their lives. My philosophy is that reading is when you are so enthralled in a book that you lose track of time and everything around you; that’s when genuine reading occurs. My goal is to instruct my students to strengthen their reading skills and become strong readers who one day will also get spellbound by the books they read. Reading has enriched my life, and as a teacher I strive to pass along that passion for reading.
Along with my passion for reading, I also make sure that my 7th and 8th graders are high school ready and are equipped with the proper writing and grammar skills for them to be successful. I make sure that I reach those goals with my students through fun, engaging, and thoughtful activities that allow even the most reluctant students to gain and feel a sense of confidence. My job is to make sure that every student feels their own sense of confidence and are well prepared for the next adventure that is ahead.
Just remember that Walt Disney once said:"All our dreams are possible, if we have the courage to pursue them."