Christian Elementary School | Third Grade Teacher’s Corner
Welcome to Eastmont School’s Third Grade Teacher’s Corner! Here is where you will find classroom and fieldtrip photos of our students and updates from our teachers. Our small class sizes and individualized attention gives our students a strong academic and spiritual foundation.
Jill Harrell – Welcome to my third grade classroom!
I’m so glad you are here. I am 100% committed to helping your third grade student succeed both in life, and in school. This is not just a job, it truly is my passion.
I was born near Washington DC, into a family of Canadian and US educators. I literally grew up in an elementary classroom. My mother, sister, aunts and uncles are all teachers…. so it was quite a shock to them when I decided in college to become an archaeologist! I received my undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Maryland in 1989, and then spent 13 years with the Forest Service as a heritage resource manager/archaeologist. I lived/worked all over the United States exploring the backcountry beauty in Colorado, Wyoming, Northern California, and Georgia, When a turn of events led me to a Pre-K teaching position in Boulder, Colorado, I realized that teaching was my gift. I seriously can’t wait to get up each day and come to “work”. It’s not really work when you love what you do! After spending time in first, second, third and fourth grade blends, this is my 9th year teaching 3rd grade.
I was not a traditional student growing up. I struggled to sit at a desk and just read/write all day. Because of this, I am very sensitive toward my students’ learning styles. We sing, we create, we debate, we live the concepts, and then….. the learning is exciting, palatable and real to my students.
My educational philosophy: Learning is fun! Students leave my classroom ready to embrace the world, ready to move on, and loving school. I believe learning is best when experienced first hand, so we take plenty of field trips into our community and relate concepts to real world problems and solutions. I believe it is equally important to learn how to problem solve, how to think critically, how to make new discoveries through mistakes, and to never give up.
Every year my students take on new adventures. For the last six years I have been building an Outdoor Learning Lab at Eastmont Community School, complete with raised garden beds, bird habitat, weather stations, archaeological dig, compost bins, hundreds grid, human sundial and more. The kids take what they learn in the curriculum and apply it in the real world (outside of our textbooks). For example, if they can measure the perimeter of our gardening beds correctly, then I know they have mastered the concept.
The 2010 class created the Bow Wow Dog Biscuit Co. (a service project to raise money for our local animal shelter) Using common core math skills such as measurement and fractions, the kids make dog biscuits each spring and sell them for donations to the Deschutes County Humane Society. I believe it is important to give back to our community.
In addition to my strong science background, I am a technology nut. I used my 2008 Master’s thesis to bring SMART boards to all the classrooms in our school. Whether we are creating movies, using our SMART board software (for just about everything!), exploring E-lab activities to reinforce classroom concepts, or video chatting with our heroes, I strive to make each day in my classroom purposeful and authentic.
In addition to teaching, I love running my sled dogs. For the past 2 years I’ve had the honor of being the Lead Teacher on the Trail for the Wyoming Stage Stop Race. I develop race curriculum and train other teachers around the nation to use this sled dog theme in their classroom. Sled dog racing inspires and engages students to do more than they think possible. Noone wants to miss a day a school when we are following a race. And it’s my sneaky way to meet state standards in math, language arts and science.
Learning is a lifelong adventure, and one that I am engaged in fully. I received my Masters in Teaching degree from George Fox University, and was named Central Oregon Teacher of the Week twice in 2008 and 2015. I was also nominated for Educator of the Year in April 2016.
Personally, I am a Mom to Jake, my 17-year-old son. Being a mom is the greatest gift God has blessed me with. Together Jake and I care for our Willow Tree Animal Sanctuary… 5 milking goats, 13 chickens, 4 dogs, 1 turtle, and an occasional snake. We rescue critters of all kinds, and we love to dog sled, hike, camp, sing, play guitar, garden, kayak, bicycle, and play outside in the beautiful Cascades. Jake and I are members of First Presbyterian Church.
Teaching third grade and the next generation is truly an honor. I am so blessed to be able to do what I love each day! I love this school with all my heart, and I promise to love your child too. Always.
My Hobbies: dog sledding, hiking, camping, homesteading, singing, playing guitar, gardening, kayaking ,bicycling, taking photographs, making movies and playing outside.