Dr. Janet Pennewell

Started with TeacherReady:
March 6, 2016

Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction – University of West Florida
M.A. Teacher Education Program for Emotionally Handicapped – University of West Florida
B.A. Teacher Education Program for Mental Retardation – University of West Florida
A.A. Early Childhood Education, Pensacola Junior College

Bio and Teacher Training:
I had the privilege of teaching in the classroom for thirty years. I taught in a school for students with moderate to severe disabilities, a kindergarten class for students with mild to moderate disabilities in an elementary school, and a general education first grade class. When I taught the kindergarten class, I partnered with a general education kindergarten class to integrate the two classes for academic and non-academic activities. While teaching first grade, I also partnered with a teacher of a self-contained special education class and integrated the two classes for these activities. I spent my last five years mentoring and evaluating first year teachers for the school district. I loved every minute of my teaching career. One year, when I taught the kindergarten special education class, I had a student in my class with autism who was very quiet. He needed a lot of encouragement to participate in any activity. At the end of the school year my class and the general education kindergarten class were together on the playground.  This student with autism ran up to me with a hoola-hoop and said, “Watch this!” He swung the hoola-hoop proudly. I clapped and said, “Great job!” He smiled and ran to join other students who also had hoola-hoops. His play with other students was still mostly side by side rather than interactive. However, as I watched him, I began to think about how much progress he had made. I pondered over the level of courage and perseverance it must take for him to make such gains. In that moment, I realized I had the opportunity each day to stand in the presence of greatness. These students gave their all.