Jennifer Zirbel believes in accepting her students as they are and adapting her approach to meet their needs. “Our classrooms are filled with students of diverse backgrounds, needs, and interests,” says Jennifer, “So to be able to meet each individual’s needs as well as that of the whole group is my biggest challenge as an educator.”
Jennifer has taught for nine years and currently teaches at Belgrade High School in Belgrade, Montana where she teaches U.S. History and AP U.S. History. One of her proudest achievements is being selected as a James Madison Foundation Fellow.
She has known she wanted to be a teacher since she was in the fourth grade, and one of her biggest influences was a counselor at her former high school. “She inspired me to feel empowered as a teacher to do what is best for students and to not complain but rather change what is not working.”
And her biggest inspiration from history? “I’m a big fan of George Washington. He was a strong and steadfast leader of both the military and the country,” Jennifer says. “He didn’t always have prior experience to guide him but he was practical and thoughtful. He brought in people with more experience to help him and in many ways was ahead of his time.”