LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Manuela Jimenez

Position: Seventh Grade English Teacher
School: Central Jersey College Prep Charter School
School District: Central Jersey College Prep Charter School
City, State: Somerset, NJ

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Manuela Jiménez was nominated by an anonymous student.

Ms. Jiménez is an excellent teacher. She is dedicated and always eager to help her students, colleagues, and the overall school community.

"She uses creative ways to teach the class, and I have learned more in her class than in any other of my classes," said the student. "My peers say the same."

Ms. Jiménez's work ethic and daily words of wisdom bring joy to everyone's day. She greets everyone with a smile, day after day. She is adaptive and provides meaningful feedback for student improvement. Ms. Jiménez also reaches out to families and parents to make sure they are informed about how students are doing. She shares strategies for academic improvement. 

Whenever one of her students doesn't turn in an assignment, Ms. Jiménez says, "Find a way, don't find an excuse." Then, she offers remediation, provides writing outlines, and extends the due date. Her passion for literature, building a strong work ethic, and kindness is exemplified in her daily actions. She encourages her students by rewarding them for being great readers and annotating thoroughly on a weekly basis. She selects a student of the month as a way to showcase the importance of rewarding hard work. Ms. Jiménez gives her students stickers when she grades assignments with inspiring quotations. She also implements social-emotional learning by allowing students to reflect on how their week or day was, and she listens to them with empathy, promoting a supportive classroom environment.

Ms. Jiménez encourages students to reflect on their behavior and to work hard to achieve what they dream of. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she encouraged the students virtually and engaged them day after day. Ms. Jiménez made sure no student lost their motivation by communicating with parents and families to share both good feedback and helpful feedback for improvement. She uses project-based learning to engage students, shares inspiring quotations about the themes her students are reading about, and asks creative questions allowing students to relate to the material in meaningful ways, such as by making text-to-self and text-to-world connections.

Ms. Jiménez is fashionable in her daily professional clothing, and she encourages students to dress for success as a form of self-respect.  She also helps other teachers in the school by giving them feedback for improvement when they are struggling, including her in-class support teachers. She shares teaching advice and resources and encourages her colleagues to be better teachers. Ms. Jiménez empowers new teachers by giving them the opportunity to observe her teach and reflect on the teaching strategies. She also supports a positive school culture by monitoring students' extra curricular activities, tutoring them, using restoritative justice for behavior management, and leading by example.

"She is a life-changing teacher, a hard working woman, and an inspiration to us all," said the student.