Although she adores teaching, Kristi Jump said she never tried to encourage any of her five children to walk in her footsteps.

"(My husband) Jason and I just wanted them to follow wherever their passion led them," said Jump, who is starting her seventh year as the media specialist at Stevenson Elementary School and Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School.

Nevertheless, her daughter, Spencer, became a teacher and is starting her third year teaching second grade at J.W. Reason Elementary School in Hilliard after working two years in the South-Western City School District.

"I don't have kids myself, so I've always worried about parent-teacher conferences, not wanting to say the wrong thing and step on a parent's toes," she said. "I don't know how a new teacher does it if they don't have a parent who's a teacher."

Her mother has helped her in a number of ways, including something as simple as moving her classroom, Spencer Jump said.

But her four brothers may have had just as much to do with her becoming a teacher as her mother did.

"I got used to the general chaos around our house with four brothers," she said. "Being a girl, I got used to being the one who cleaned up after everybody and watching my younger brothers when my parents were away. That led to me becoming a baby-sitter and coaching little kids in sports.

"I always felt like I wanted to be a teacher," she said.

They may work in different districts (although both live in Grandview), but mother and daughter had the chance to collaborate when they led a session Aug. 9 during the Big Think Conference, held at Hilliard Bradley High School.

The conference, coordinated by the Grandview, Hilliard and South-Western school districts, offered two days of workshops on innovative teaching methods for both instructors and administrators.

The chance to work together was "awesome," Kristi Jump said.

"I think Spencer and I balance each other," she said. "Spencer is very adept technologically and knows how to put a presentation together. I could organize the content we were going to present."

The workshop the Jumps proposed and developed, "Creativity is Core," explored how teachers and students can learn to be more creative in the classroom.

"We're all focusing as teachers on the need to to teach to the Common Core standards," Spencer Jump said, "but if you don't have creativity with your kids and connect with them, you're not going to be fully able to teach to their standards effectively."

"Creativity, communication and connecting are all important parts of teaching," Kristi Jump said. "Each component is tied to the others."

Their workshop practiced what it taught by offering a number of interactive and hands-on activities for participants.

Teaching adults offered a change of pace from her regular job of teaching second-graders, Spencer Jump said.

"I love kids. I probably feel most comfortable around kids," she said. "I feel like I can be myself with them. I think some of that comes from having four brothers and all the people who would be coming and going out of our house."

Kristi Jump spent two years as a teacher before she stopped to have children and become a full-time mom.

"The two things I've most wanted to be was a mom and a teacher," she said. "If I wasn't a teacher, what would I be? The only answer is a mom."

After all her children were in school, Kristi Jump re-entered the profession, starting first as a substitute teacher in Grandview, then becoming a kindergarten teacher.

"I always kept my certificate updated and kept track of all the policy changes," she said. "I thought I would stay a kindergarten teacher for the rest of my life."

But when Debbie Farynowski retired as media specialist in 2010, then-Stevenson Principal Brian Bowser and Superintendent Ed O'Reilly asked Jump if she wanted to take her place.

"I decided to try it for one year and see what happened," she said.

She said she enjoys the variety of working with students in grades K-8.

"I don't have the chance to get to know the students as much as I'd like to, given my limited time and bouncing between two buildings," Kristi Jump said, "but I always try to make sure I learn something about every student. I want to be someone they feel they can turn to when they need help and support."

Attending Grandview schools from kindergarten to graduation has influenced her teaching, Spencer Jump said.

"It's a small district where you can really connect with your teachers," she said. "They follow how you're doing after you leave their class. I still have contact with a lot of teachers I had as a student.

Although she works in a much larger district and a school where many families come and go, Spencer Jump said she tries to bring the same level of care and concern to her classroom.

"I have some people who say I have an 'unrealistic ideal' of what school can be like for students," she said. "That may be, but I still try. I want my students to have all the benefits I got attending school in Grandview."

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