MƒA MASTER TEACHER
Marsh Avenue School for Expeditionary Learning
# of years teaching
Two-time MƒA Master Teacher Jessica Cimini believes teaching takes a village, and for her, that village is MƒA. “If I try to do it alone, I sometimes think I will struggle to reach my full potential. I lean on the MƒA community for new ideas and support.” As Jessica reflects back on her very first year at MƒA, which coincided with her decision to switch schools, she credits the organization for helping her manage a difficult transition. “In the past, my PD experiences were run by people who were usually not in the classroom, so the opportunity to attend MƒA workshops run by classroom teachers has been invaluable. Everyone is here because they love what they do, and our work together is centered on creating the best possible learning experiences for our students.”
As a middle school science teacher, Jessica strives to have her students leave her classroom eager to learn more. “Science should be fun, engaging, and challenging. Being an excellent teacher doesn’t mean teaching students the most content – Google can do that. An excellent teacher guides students in how to think, helps them find wonder, and builds their confidence.” One of the best ways she gets her students to truly enjoy science is through engineering. From exploring circuits by creating light-up holiday cards to constructing DIY trebuchets, Jessica is a firm believer that “building makes excitement palpable.” That’s why it’s not only a focus in her classroom, but in a handful of the MƒA PLTs she co-leads including “Making with Meaning: Bridging Engineering Design with Content” and “Electric Art.”
Jessica earned a B.S. in Science Biology from Binghamton University, an M.S. in Environmental Conservation from New York University, and received her teaching certificate in Earth Science 7-12 and General Science from Queens College. She is a Fund for Teacher Fellow, a fellow in the New York State Master Teacher Program, and a Solar System Ambassador through the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Jessica has presented at various conferences, including the National Expeditionary Learning Conference and the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers Conference in NY/NJ.