Jean Salley is a paraprofessional who enjoys the mountains and exploring the Wyoming Desert, who goes above and beyond to help reteach and reinforce knowledge into her students who have trouble understanding math concepts.
“I grew up in San Diego, California, but I found that I’m more of a mountain person than a Southern California person. There were so many people back in San Diego,” Salley said, “I used to take multiple days in the backcountry of Wyoming on a horse and just backpack by myself without a compass or anything.”
Salley has many goals; her main one is to be fun and amusing for her grandkids. She wants it to be spontaneous and entertaining as well.
“I want to stay available to my grandkids. We spend a lot of time together, and I hope to be a grandma that’s fun, and they really never know what to expect when they’re at Grandma’s house. That’s the fun part,” Salley said.
Salley has many reasons for becoming a teacher, many of which involve her own kids, as well as some personal revelations that her math teacher had helped her understand.
“I remember in high school, a teacher did not give up on me when I was learning calculus. And I finally got it and it was my big aha moment of ‘Oh my gosh,’” Salley said, “My parents are teachers, so I started my own preschool when I had small children. I was just modeling what I saw my mom do.”
Salley works with students who have a hard time understanding math concepts. She works with those students to help reinforce a better understanding of the concepts that these students struggle with.
“I’m 100% Math, I reteach and work with kids that are having a hard time understanding math. I am also Mrs.Kavanagh’s sidekick. She’s Rocket and I am Groot,” Salley said
Salley considers it a good day when she gets to see a student have a realization about a math concept that they once did not understand.
“A good day is when I’m able to reach and reteach a student and they understand something that they were having difficulty with. They look up and say, ‘oh I’ve got this, it’s easy,’ and that’s a really good day,” Salley said
Salley used to work for Palmer Ridge HIgh, but one of her colleagues moved over to Lewis-Palmer High School. They asked Sally to come with her, so she did.
“I was at Palmer Ridge and my friend who was a teacher there moved here and asked me to come with her. Well, I think we definitely were a good team. So I did, and I chose to stay,” Salley said
Salley uses technology, like her iPad, to help teach and let students gain a better understanding. This way of teaching is especially helpful in virtual learning.
“Well, when we’re doing remote learning, or if a student’s home, being able to use the iPad and have them see as I’m explaining step by step, is so much better than trying to describe and explain every step visually,” Salley said
Salley has won the Golden Apple award because of her work. This shows what an amazing paraprofessional she is and how much her work means.
“I received the Golden Apple, which was quite a surprise. It was very fun and it was great to receive,” Salley said.