BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- For Bloomfield teacher Jessica Barton, working at her very own elementary school has been the most rewarding experience.

A 2000 graduate of Bloomfield High School and the recipient of the 2016-2017 District Governor’s Teacher of the Year Award, Barton is blessed to have been teaching in her hometown for the past 13 years.

Her caring and collaborative co-workers are one of the main reasons she never wants to leave.

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“My favorite Bloomfield motto is ‘Tradition Never Graduates,’” the fifth grade Math teacher told TAPinto Bloomfield. “Our town is special because of the programming it offers our youth.  Alumni and faculty are constantly working together to provide enrichment, support and extra curricular activities. Bloomfield teachers are true collaborators.  I join my colleagues in bringing passion to the classroom each day.”

During her senior year at Fordham University, the Bloomfield native began filling out applications for teaching positions in a variety of districts, but made sure she placed Bloomfield at the top of the list.

“I wanted to give back to the community I grew up in,” she said.

Before she even graduated, Barton was offered a full-time position teaching elementary Math at the Carteret School.

“Once I started working there, I knew I'd stay in the district,” Barton said. “I was immediately attached to the students, families and staff.”  

After spending two years at Carteret, the educator transferred to Demarest School, the elementary school she attended as a child.

“I feel very lucky to teach at the school that I went to,” Barton told TAPinto Bloomfield. “The building feels like home and Demarest is such a special place. I often feel nostalgic and love sharing stories of the good old days with my students.”

What makes Barton such a loveable teacher is her creative method of teaching, in which she makes sure she has a special bond with each student.

“My daily goal is to connect with each child, whether it be a compliment, a shared laugh, inquiring about their athletic endeavors or supporting them academically,” Barton said. “In order to reach all of my students, I work hard at implementing engaging lessons that are differentiated for all types of learners.”

Barton appreciates her students just as much as they appreciate her, especially since fifth graders are her favorite age group to work with.

“They are just starting to view the world with maturity, yet still posses an element of innocence and wonder,” she said.  

The Math teacher also gets the opportunity to work alongside her former teachers, who were her biggest inspiration growing up.

“Collaborating with them has been a true joy,” Barton said. “It was them – along with my teachers at Bloomfield Middle School and Bloomfield High School – who inspired me to be an educator.”

Barton added that her method of teaching is something she acquired from her former teachers.

“I admired how smart and creative they were in developing lessons that seemed to be designed just for me,” she explained. “It was always apparent to me that I'd follow in their footsteps.”

Barton finds herself enjoying her job more and more each year. “It's an honor to be a part of the Bloomfield legacy,” Barton told TAPinto Bloomfield. “Every year gets better and better.”

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