Guest Post: Jennie Fitzkee

I had the pleasure of being a guest on Pete Johnson’s fabulous blog, This post is truly the heart and soul of who I am. Thank you, Pete.


Jennie is an American blogger. She is a truly inspirational teacher of young children, with a real love of reading, books, and education.
She is not only the teacher I wish I had had, but the one we should all have had.

Here is her guest post.

How Reading-Aloud Made Me the Teacher and Person I Am Today.

My very first day of teaching preschool in Massachusetts, thirty-two years ago, was both career and life altering. Lindy, my co-teacher, asked me to read the picture books to children each day after our Morning Meeting. Sure (gulp)! I was new, scared, and unfamiliar with many children’s books. I had not been read to as a child, except for The Five Chinese Brothers from my grandmother. I still remember the page that opens sideways, with the brother who could stretch his legs. One book, and to this day I remember it…

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About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
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27 Responses to Guest Post: Jennie Fitzkee

  1. beetleypete says:

    My pleasure, Jennie. Nobody deserves it more. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. John Fioravanti says:

    Congrats, Jennie, you are truly an inspiration!

  3. petespringerauthor says:

    I was delighted to start my day by reading another outstanding post from you, Jennie. I’m betting that many people on your blog don’t know what a big deal it is to have Jim Trelease take the time to visit your classroom. I love setting up a restaurant for the kids so that your students could model ordering from a menu and be waiters and waitresses. When I taught upper elementary school, I had my students make menus a couple of years. They printed enticing pictures of food and used descriptive language to practice their language skills. We incorporated math by figuring out the cost of ordering a meal off each others’ menus.

    Thank you not only for being an excellent teacher of children but for being the kind of teacher who inspires your fellow educators.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Pete! Much appreciated!! Ah, you know of Jim Trelease and his best selling book. He is the guru of reading aloud. And yes, I doubt most of my blog readers know what a big deal that was when he came to my classroom. He was there for half a day, watching me read and teach. He was surprised when I turned off the lights to chapter read. I told him the story of the head of the English Department at Lawrence Academy in town – we both do the same thing! She teachers Senior English, and I teach preschool. The many years apart don’t matter at all. The restaurant and menus definitely make math and writing exciting for children. I’m glad you did that with your class. Thanks again for you comments and for reading my post. If I can inspire fellow educators, that’s as good as it gets. 🙂

  4. Ah those early memories from teaching. I will go check out the rest of the post!

  5. Darlene says:

    What an amazing post. As I said on Pete’s blog. the world needs more Jennies. You are truly a gem and those kids are so lucky to have you give them such a good start in life. xo

  6. Excellent post, Jennie.

  7. Ellen says:

    If I had never “met” you prior to reading this Guest Post from beetlelypete’s blog, I would immediately become a Jennie follower! This is the perfect introduction that encompasses both the teacher and the person. “True teachers rise to the top not by chance but through passion and purpose.” – Robert John Meehan. Jennie, you are the truest of the true and a gift to every child you touch! Thank-you for sharing!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you so much, Ellen! I told Pete that this post was the real me, spilling out my heart and soul. Pete knows me well. I’m glad you feel the same way about teaching, and the passion teachers pass along to children, especially by reading aloud. I will always champion for children. Love the Meehan quote! 🙂

  8. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, This is wonderful, and I will go to Pete Johnson’s site, and then I will post the full piece for you!

  9. A great share, Jennie. I couldn’t agree more with Pete that we all would have loved to be your student. Yay for wonderful teachers.

  10. Congratulations, Jennie! Fabulous presentation. Best wishes, Michael

  11. dgkaye says:

    I left comment at Pete’s blog Jennie. And happy to here you were in Jim Trelease’s book! You need your own books to leave a fantastic legacy of teaching. ❤

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