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Japanese Tea Ceremony
Hello, and welcome to my eFolio! My name is Jennifer Litts. Though I had been a New Jersey resident all of my life, I pursued a Masters of Education in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction as a graduate student at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. I graduated in May 2009 and now hold a Virginia license to teach grades Pre-K through sixth with a 2009 Meritorious New Teacher Designation. I did my undergraduate studies at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ where I graduated in December 2006 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of the Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in Fine Metalworking & Jewelry-making. During my time at MSU, I served as a dormitory Resident Assistant, participated in a semester-long co-operative education position working in a kindergarten classroom for children with autism, and studied for a semester abroad at Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku (Kansai Region Foreign Language University) in Hirakata-shi, Japan where I studied Japanese language, anthropology, art, and ink brush painting.
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The Children's Institute

While studying at Montclair State University, I took a co-operative education position at The Children's Institute in Verona, NJ. This school is dedicated to educating children with special needs that are too severe to be served in the general public school setting. At The Children's Institute, I served as a one-to-one aide for a little boy with autism and other diagonsed developmental and learning disabilities. During a normal day with this student, I assisted him through all of his lessons, lunch, centers, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. I also assisted in instructing the other eight special needs children in the classroom.

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The Goddard School
After graduating, I began working at The Goddard School in NJ in January 2007. Initially, I worked with pre-toddlers ages 12 to 18 months as an assistant teacher and later was promoted to head teacher of the 12 to 18 month-old classroom in August 2007. Running a classroom for twelve pre-toddlers was a challenge that I adored and found great joy in my work. The experience also helped me to develop a deep understanding of the importance of giving children a schedule to which one adheres. Following a schedule allows students to have an expectation of what to anticipate, which is something I will bring with me into my future classroom setting.

During the fall of 2008, I began my classroom observations and working with my co-operating teacher, Mrs. Bonnie Wade, in
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Planting a tree on Arbor Day!
her kindergarten classroom at Rawls Byrd Elementary. Mrs. Wade is a veteran kindergarten teacher of over 30 years, and I learned a great deal about educating students as I completed my full-time student teaching position in her classroom. During my time at Rawls Byrd Elementary, the school-wide population was composed of 69% Caucasian, 19% African-American, 7% Hispanic, 2% Native American, 2% Asian, and less than 1% unspecified students. Of these students, 31% of the students were eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program. Within my own classroom, I had twelve boys and seven girls. Three students were African-American and two were Hispanic. One student spends most of his time in a dedicated classroom for students with special needs. There are several other students who are pulled out of the classroom for services such as speech therapy, reading intervention, and gifted and talented services. During my student teaching, one of my students was being assessed for special needs services because he displayed the characteristics of high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, and another child in the classroom was medicated to help treat his ADHD.
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Currently, I am teaching students from pre-school through junior high school in the city of Matsusaka, Japan in Mie Prefecture. My main placements are within two local junior high schools, Tonomachi Junior High and Kamada Junior High, which both have grades equivalent to seventh through ninth grades in America. I also make instructional visits to local kindergartens several times per month, and teach one day of instruction at Minato Elementary School every other week. The main focus of my instruction is English, but my role in the classroom is also to share my culture and to encourage cross-cultural understanding and acceptance of others. This is vital to the globalization of a country that has such a strong history of homogeneity. Within these Japanese classrooms, I have had the pleasure of doing team-teaching with a core group of ten Japanese teachers of English as well as other teachers in the early primary settings.

Working with children has always been a passion of mine, and I see my role as an elementary school teacher to be a very fitting outlet for my interests and abilities. I envision my classroom to be a place where students are highly engaged and learning through co-operative group efforts, authentic materials and information, inquiry activities, and guided learning. I plan on incorporating my artistic abilities into my teaching and wish to share my inter-cultural interest with my students. As I teach, I hope to help my students develop to their fullest potential and achieve all that they can as they move on in their educations and their lives.

Please feel free to look around this site and examine the different parts of my eFolio. Within it you will find information about such topics as my personal philosophy on teaching, knowledge of content areas, classroom management, and assessment skills. There is still items being developed, but this reflects my belief that education is never stagnant. More will be added, changed, and improved as I move through my career and personal development. I hope you will enjoy exploring my background. Thank you!