My name is Jen Salta and you’ve found my professional development space! Welcome!
I am, first and foremost, a learner. My career path has provided titles like tutor, classroom teacher, consultant, curriculum developer, and trainer. On the personal side, I hold the positions of wife, mom, and family IT helpdesk support specialist.
I’m messy and human and a huge mistake maker who hopes to always make better mistakes tomorrow! I believe in the Oxford comma. Oh, and my hair really is magenta! You can find out more over at my 100 Things post!
What’s this Space All About Anyway?
NextJenEd is where I come to write about what I’ve read or seen or done or heard about. I probably should warn you that it will, at times, be messy and on the opinionated side. I may find that my initial thoughts change as I learn more or interact with those inside and outside of my learning network. I suppose that this is all a bit risky but, then again, what are we learning if we don’t take risks?
Context is Key: My Journey
Let me set the scene for this learning journey. I think I’ve been an educator from birth. There’s a bit of hyperbole in that statement, but it’s fairly realistic. I come from a family of educators and decided early on that I would walk that path. I was so focused, in fact, that I had one path in mind and I applied only to one college. It all worked out, but I think that I’ll guide my children to a wider view of their options.
My formal education is in education, specifically elementary education. My interests, in true K-6 fashion, were (and are) all over the place. So, my concentrations are in music, history, and biology. I think that list might have been longer if I’d have stayed more than four years. I think my parents are pleased with how it all turned out.
Professionally, I’ve worked as an elementary classroom teacher in both urban and rural settings. This was at a time when EdTech didn’t really exist and government programs were geared toward getting cabling into the schools for networking – never mind that there was no money for hardware and training. It was a while ago.
My experiences there led me into the consulting world working with schools who were implementing EdTech into their programs and classrooms. While I LOVED the classroom and the growth that it brought, I felt the pull to help others figure out the technical wave that was on its way. The learning in this role was exponential. Challenges and problem solving were the order of the day and listening to how others teach and learning how they learn stretched my synapses in ways that I would never have guessed when I took it on.
One of the things that I learned was that I LOVED the action and activity involved in content development and delivery. It’s a wonderful giant puzzle that has as many facets as there are students and teachers out there working. It’s endlessly fascinating and always in motion as new discoveries are made and new strategies. I’ve been developing and leading development efforts now for almost 20 years. (Whoa! That’s hard to believe! Where did the time go?)
What’s Next Jen?
My journey isn’t even close to being over. In fact, in many ways, it’s just beginning. The experiences I’ve had on the journey so far have only served to keep me looking and stretching and learning. My colleagues, the kids, and the teachers I meet with continue to generate an energy that puts me in the mind to adventure – and follow wherever the path leads.
I love what I do. I’m privileged to be part of the educational community. I’m ready to get my learn on!