Hello! Jeremy Brunaccioni here, writing from my kindergarten classroom in Massachusetts. For more about the picture books I use to teach, follow my posts on the Scholastic blog, Kid Lit Kit.
I received my BA in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst while working as a member of the education staff for the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in Historic Deerfield. After a few years of working with students in museum settings, I returned to UMASS for a MA in Early Childhood Education.
With my teaching certificate in hand, I began working at the Gill Elementary School, During my years there, I taught kindergarten, 1st, and 3rd grade. I also worked as the special events coordinator and window display designer at an independent bookstore for a number of years. It was a great opportunity for me to network with teachers and authors alike. Meeting folks like Holly Hobbie, Jan Brett, Ed Emberley, David Costello, and Tom Brokaw was a thrill. For the past 4 years, I’ve been teaching in my present school.
As a classroom teacher I focus on making learning a fun and active experience for children. I try to help students develop a sense of self, as well as a sense of community. My teaching includes a combination of art appreciation, music, movement, drama, environmental studies, community service learning projects, and an appreciation of picture book design.
Kindergarten is truly one of the most challenging and rewarding grades to teach. It is such a balance of academics and self-care skills, combined with the need to make the whole experience one of fun and wonder. For many students, this is where it all starts; this is the beginning of their formal education. This year of “firsts” is where they fall under the spell of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, where they use the block area to build a city in a day, where they form friendships that will see them through to their high school graduations and beyond.
I want so much for my students. I want to foster in them the knowledge that they can grow up to become scientists, musicians, writers, doctors, archaeologists, and the list goes on. I want them to be empowered to realize that their actions can have a positive impact not just on their community, but the world. I want them to be able to develop the social skills they’ll need to become compassionate and passionate in all they do.