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Fourth Grade Team

Jessica Arnold

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Bringing more than a decade of experience to Rossman, Jessica endeavors to cultivate a classroom environment where students feel comfortable expressing themselves creatively and taking the risks necessary for true learning to take place. “I love getting to know each student as a unique individual with their own prior knowledge, strengths, and areas of challenge,” she says. “I believe that everything students bring to the classroom is an important part of who they are and how they learn.”

Fourth grade holds a special place in Jessica’s heart, and she has devoted the majority of her career to this unique grade level. “It’s such a transitional year for students. I see so much change in students from the beginning of fourth grade to the end, and it is a joy to see the independence and confidence that develops throughout the year,” she says.

Jessica holds a Master of Education from the University of Washington, where she specialized in Language, Literacy and Culture. “I am especially passionate about literacy, and I think that reading and writing are incredibly powerful ways to learn about the world and also to reflect on our own lives,” she says. She is also fascinated by how the brain works and how people learn and develop throughout their lives. “It is a tremendous privilege to be an influence in children’s lives during these early years that play such an important part in shaping their world view and their understanding of themselves,” she reflects.

Jessica returned to her hometown of St. Louis in 2020 following 12 years of teaching fourth grade in the San Francisco Bay Area. An avid traveler, she has lived in a number of places — including China, where she taught high school English, and Prague, Czech Republic, where she studied abroad as an undergraduate. She has visited nearly 40 countries.

In addition to traveling and spending time with family and friends, this mom of two’s hobbies include camping, hiking, exploring new neighborhoods and restaurants, and enjoying live music.

 

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Taylor Berns

bio_miles.jpgBorn and raised in St. Louis, Taylor is a John Burroughs School alumna and an ardent Cardinals baseball and Blues hockey fan. Her passionate and enthusiastic spirit permeates the fourth grade classroom, where she loves sharing smiles and laughter with her students. She loves being part of the learning process and watching children embark on the path of discovery. Her students’ energy and curiosity motivate her to help them achieve their best.

Before earning a M.A.T in Elementary Education from Fontbonne University, Taylor received her B.A. in Classical and Medieval Studies from Bates College in Maine. She minored in Ancient Greek Literature and spent a semester in Athens studying Greek Civilization. 

Having spent her school days making lists of fascinating places she would one day like to visit, Taylor is now an avid traveler whose favorite trips include those to Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco and Belgium. She also enjoys spending time with family and her two pugs.

 

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