Henrico’s Top Teachers – Jenny Brady

Jenny Brady’s career choice was never in question.

“I was one of those people who went into college knowing I wanted to be a teacher,” she said.

But while Brady knew she was destined to be an elementary school teacher, she was surprised to end up in a kindergarten classroom.

“I enjoyed third grade more in student teaching, but I got a kindergarten class in my first position, and that’s when I fell in love with it,” she said.

Nineteen years later – including the past 14 in Henrico – Brady is right at home in her Shady Grove Elementary classroom, where she’s spent the past decade.

Much has changed since her career began, including the extent to which technology plays a role, even in the daily routines of kindergartners.

“Academically, what I’m doing now looks a lot more than what first grade looked like in the 1990s,” Brady said. “[Kindergarten] has become much more academic.”

Brady regularly interacts with parents on her blog and uses iPads and laptops to help teach lessons to her students. She’s seen the difference that technology can make.

“Children who don’t have fantastic fine motor skills, or the best handwriting, when I put an iPad or computer in front of them, their skill level seems so much higher,” she said.

But Brady also uses a mix of traditional teaching methods and good old fashioned care to connect with students.

“Jenny Brady has dedicated herself to her students with a warm, nurturing teaching style that encourages the kids to learn in a positive way,” a nominator wrote. “It is evident that she spends hours outside the classroom, working tirelessly to come up with new and fun ways to keep our kids engaged.”

Brady particularly enjoys the close-knit feel of the diverse Shady Grove student body and the way the school community comes together to participate in international nights and other events, such as a PTA fundraiser for a book room at the school.

“It’s just a very warm place to be,” she said.

Ask parents of Brady’s students, and they’re likely to tell you that she plays a big role in that warmth.

“Being the parent of a kindergartner is a new experience, one that can often be an anxious one,” a nominator wrote. “Jenny Brady eases that anxiety on the first day of school and thereafter."
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September 2017
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Join the History Investigators as they discover the stories, secrets and treasures of local historic sites. Children ages 6-12, accompanied by an adult, will find objects hidden in plain sight, participate in history-based activities and go on a treasure hunt. Each investigator will receive a dossier to help in the quest. The free event will take place from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Dorey Recreation Center. Registration is required by calling 652-1426. Full text

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