For TAF’s 2024 Varsity Luncheon: Courage to Act back in February, we highlighted TAF@Saghalie Humanities teacher and Martinez Fellow Jennifer Giuffre. What we didn’t get to highlight, however, was how her teaching inspires her students.

"You instruct less and put them [students] in the driver's seat. You might be the navigator, but they're the ones driving."

Ms. Giuffre on how she interprets and teaches the STEMbyTAF model

It takes courage for educators and schools to give that level of trust and control over to students.

Yet, according to Ms. Giuffre’s students, that creates a lot of mutual respect. They respect the way that she listens to them and centers their voices.

As a result, her classroom is a space of collaboration, and students feel a sense of equality.

Her room, set up more like a coffee shop than a traditional classroom, feels different. That comes from an intentional effort to make the room feel less institutional.

It’s not just her classroom that is unique; so are her projects.

An example you can see is the mural in the background of these videos. 

Ms. Giuffre took the curriculum she was given and, as she said, “put these on rims” to customize it to her students and the goal of collaboration.

Three of her classes worked together to make a mural that represents them as individuals and a collective. And, as Ms. G proudly shared, “they created this, I just helped them along to make sure the project was following the steps it needed to be following.”

Her students clearly appreciate that she talks to them rather than at them.

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6th-10th, 2024. Here at TAF we appreciate the many teachers implementing the STEMbyTAF model in their classrooms in pursuit of equitable education that centers student voice. It isn’t easy work to transform education one classroom at a time, but students see and feel the difference. 

❤️ TAF appreciates all of your hard work and so do your students. ❤️


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