Janine Dillon’s first graders are working on personal narratives.
“We’re learning to write that opening sentence to kind of grab the reader,” Dillon says. “And all those other elements that we have to have like the temporal words and the closing.”
Mrs. Dillon comes from a long, long line of educators.
“My father was an elementary teacher. Taught all the different grades and then he went into college and taught as an educator. My mother was a historian and then she went into Children’s Lit at the college level.”
Her 4 sisters also got into the teaching profession. Mrs. Dillon says some things have changed since she came to the classroom a few decades ago, especially the way people parent.”
“There’s more freedom for the kids and less, not structure, but demanding of them to do their schoolwork the best they can all the time. Schoolwork has to be done the right way at this level.”
One thing that hasn’t changed? The progress that her first graders make during their time with her.
“That’s all that this is about is seeing that growth that they have done. Even from the lowest reader realizing that they can read and not coming up and saying I can’t read.”
Jan Dillon. A teacher who has influenced generations and who has truly earned her upcoming retirement.
“I am a gardner by heart and so seeing the things that I have helped to grow is very fulfilling,” she says. “And this is just one of those gardens.”