PIQUA — Every morning, first grader Presley Arzola is the first to arrive at Jennifer Moore’s class, and uses her spare time to set up chairs. At 8:30 a.m., the rest of Moore’s students join the class. Moore asks for homework from yesterday, with students lining up at the SMART board to touch their name for attendance, indicating if they are buying their lunch today or packed.
This is the start of Moore’s day, every day; and she would not have it any other way.
“I love teaching,” Moore said. “I’ve grown up with teachers my whole life. I watched my parents and would go to school with them, and I loved what I saw. It made me want to pursue (teaching) as a career.”
Moore reflected on going to school with her mother, who was a behavior specialist with students. She was inspired by the constant effort she put into her students to help them grow.
“(My mother) was making a positive contribution to the world … and that’s why I’m here now,” Moore said.
Moore is a first grade teacher for Piqua City Schools at Washington Primary. This is her second year teaching at the district and was one of the first teachers to instruct at the new buildings and experienced the transition from the former High Street Primary building to Washington Primary.
“I love it, it’s beautiful,” Moore said about the new building. “Everything is very nice.” She laughed and said her favorite is the air conditioning.
Moore started teaching in 2001 at Milton-Union Exempted Village Schools and taught kindergarten and second grade. She eventually moved to Fort Myers, Fla. and was director of education at Sylvan Learning Center. Moore moved back to Ohio as a substitute teacher and started as a full-time first grade teacher at PCS last year.
Although she is still learning names, Moore loves her job at PCS.
“I love the district,” she said. “I think it’s great, I really love my team … the administration is wonderful, they’ve really made the transition into the new building wonderful … I’m having a good time.”
Moore had Superintendent Rick Hanes as a chemistry teacher when she went to Tipp City High School, and he remembered Moore when she signed on with the district.
Moore enjoys the classes her students take with the Miami County Park District, her favorite being a nature quest activity that involves learning and discovery that her students love.
“They love it,” she said. “They’re out discovering the world around them. That’s a great project that we do in the spring with first graders.”
With 23 students in her class, her students are currently learning about number bonds, a part of the common core curriculum, and learning Orton-Gillingham phonics. Some of their spelling words are “am,” “at,” and “sat.”
In her spare time, Moore enjoys watching movies with her kids, spending time with her family, reading, and traveling. She sails every year with her family in their sailing boat located in Baltimore.
Reach Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.