Jessica Weibler is no stranger to the AIMS Network. A long-time member and newly-appointed board member, Weibler believes strongly that access to fellow educators contributes to her success as a teacher.
“Just by having access to this network of amazing teachers across Illinois is a reason to be a part of AIMS. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been able to bounce ideas off of other teachers, steal the great things that I’ve seen, and just have someone who has similar experiences to talk to. There is nothing more powerful than being able to learn from each other.”
A sixth grade English Language Arts teacher at Kaneland Harter Middle School, Weibler focuses on building relationships with her students. Her classroom environment is boosted by her ability to build trust with her students and empower them to make the best decisions for their learning. Weibler is a reflective teacher who welcomes change.
“I love trying new strategies in the classroom – whether that means flexible seating, new technology, different ways to assess students or even a new instructional strategy. I think there are so many great ways to engage students in the learning process that we owe it to our students to be constantly reflecting on what we do and how we could do something better.”
Weibler became an AIMS member during her undergraduate coursework focused on middle-level education. She shares the AIMS philosophy that targeted programming and instruction geared to middle school learners is essential, a philosophy she puts into practice through her work on her school’s social emotional learning and leadership committees.
“There are just so many changes physically and emotionally at this age level that we have to work to ensure our methods are responsive to the needs of these learners. We also know this is a time when students want to take some risks, so by incorporating ‘risks’ purposefully into our instruction, we allow students to experiment in their learning while meeting their needs. Not only are we helping them learn what works and what doesn’t work for them personally to be successful in school, we are also helping to meet their social and emotional needs.”
A lifelong learner herself, Weibler embraces new ideas for reaching individual students. At a time when many districts are exploring opportunities for personalized learning at the middle school level, she sees exciting possibilities for her classroom.
“We know middle school students can be very focused on what’s going on in their own personal lives, so any opportunity we have to bring in their interests, learning styles, and individual personalities into the learning process will be beneficial. When we think about some other pillars of middle level philosophy, such as advisory or interdisciplinary learning, I’m excited to see how the adaption of personalized learning will affect these things. I think there will be powerful results when all these things collide.”
Weibler will be a featured presenter at the upcoming AIMS Network Institute at National Louis University on December 6th. Join us to learn about personalized learning from one of our top AIMS educators!