School days: Mrs. Jennifer Hansborough (Flowertown Elementary)
Jennifer Hansborough, 35, of Summerville, teaches kindergarten at Flowertown Elementary School.
She is also the grade chair/team leader for all the kindergarten teachers, their assistants and the child development team.
And a wife.
And a mother of three small children – Jackson, 8, Jillian, 6 and Jacob, 2.
And she's always smiling.
Growing up in Lancaster, SC and graduating from Clemson University, she says her mom, a pre-school teacher, was her role model.
“She always put us [her brother and her] first,” she smiles.
She came to the Lowcountry – Charleston – in 2000.
“I came with my roommate looking for a change,” she says. “I loved the beach and my parents had vacationed here.” She laughs because now that she is here she rarely gets to the beach.
“I love kids, coming from a big family, and I have always loved kindergarten age.”
Her first teaching job, however, was for Berkeley School District teaching the third grade…another wonderful age she says. “Then, in 2006, at Meet the Teacher night, they told me they were moving me to kindergarten!”
She has spent nine years of her 13 years teaching, in kindergarten.
“Kindergarten is the most rewarding,” she says, “they are little sponges. They are so young and so innocent and for many of them, it is their very first school experience. I can relate to that because I have little kids so I understand.”
Her favorite thing about teaching kindergarteners, she say, is seeing the glow on a little face when a child finally masters something.
Her least favorite?
“It can be frustrating that you don't get as much individual time with each student as you'd like to have.”
Juggling small children and a more than full time teaching job – she is at school from early morning to as late as 5 or 6 p.m. depending on her school-age children's after school activities – she says it has gotten easier by the third child. She is lucky to have both her children in Flowertown Elementary. Her littlest is starting preschool which, she says, will go a long way in preparing him for his first day in kindergarten.
One of the attractions of teaching, she says, is having the summer off to spend with her children. Her husband, Jeremy, is a supervisor with UPS and also works long hours.
How does she manage?
“I try to be as organized as possible!” she laughs. “We get into a routine and the children do as well and that helps.”
On the weekends she focuses on family time.
And outside of school?
She loves being a mom and making sure her kids are happy. She also likes to exercise and enjoys a quiet walk by herself.
Hansborough was a dancer in her younger years. “I danced my whole life,” she says, “and in college was on the Rally Cat Dance Team.” They performed at games and competitions, she says.
She was also a cheerleader in high school and took voice, piano and art lessons.
She says she doesn't travel much but does like to spend time with her family upstate.
She enjoys scrapbooking and when she has time will do some as well as crafting. “I am not a very good cook, though,” she laughs.
“I tend to be a perfectionist,” she admits, “but notes that she has a wonderful teaching assistant – Curren Fessler – who balances her.
She apologizes for her delightful classroom saying she isn't quite finished getting it ready. It looks warm and inviting.
Next week, it and she will welcome her new crop of little ones and their parents to their first year at school.