Jan Doyle is passionate about education and how to incorporate learning into everyday experiences. She knows why education should also be fun!
Recently retired, she is ready to take her love of learning and teaching to the next level. Doyle planted the seeds for this next level three years ago when she created her television show “Classroom Connections 365: Partners in Learning” to expand her teaching beyond her schoolroom to reach more children. She was awarded first place for the Best General Talk Show in New England and New York 2010 by the Alliance for Community Media and the Un-Sung Hero Award from the PTA Council of West Haven. Her show is featured on Branford Community Television and on U-verse in twelve other towns throughout Connecticut. Additionally, she is a frequent guest on Channel 8’s Good Morning Connecticut.
Branford Patch recently caught up with Doyle at here in town.
Branford Patch: How long have you lived in Branford?
Jan Doyle: I’ve lived in Branford for 35 years and I just love it here. I never want to leave. I was a member of the RTM for four years and enjoyed serving our town. I am now part of the Branford Early Childhood Collaborative (BECC).
Branford Patch: Where did you teach and for how long?
Jan Doyle: I taught in West Haven for thirty-seven years. I retired this past June.
Branford Patch: What grades did you teach?
Jane Doyle: I taught 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th, and 11tj grades, and six years of literacy. I also taught photography at the college level.
Branford Patch: What made you so passionate about teaching?
Jan Doyle: I loved, loved, loved my first grade teacher! I grew up in Clinton and when the school year ended, I hid under the sink in the girl’s room so I would miss my bus and be able to spend the summer at school with her. She found me there and was I shocked to find out that she didn’t live at school and wouldn’t be there for the summer! Also, my Aunt Lilly was a teacher and I really looked up to her. She shared outdated textbooks with me and I would play school with my dolls.
Branford Patch: Now that you have retired, what is next?
Doyle: This year I am going to give myself the gift of time to pursue what I love. I would like to further develop “Classroom Connections 365” by giving workshops for parents, teachers, and ESL (English as a Second Language) parents. I would also like to speak about personal motivation, how to learn to see the opportunities in life, and I am working on a book about these concepts.
Branford Patch: How will you accomplish this?
Jan Doyle: I will do more with my website and blog and want to find sponsors so I can have a weekly television show on Saturday or Sunday on ABC affiliate WTNH Channel 8.
Branford Patch: Can you give us a few examples of your Classroom Connections projects?
Jan Doyle: Sure! Explore places in your hometown. Go to the and create a nature journal. Borrow books about animals and trees from the library and have fun finding them. Sketch what you see! Here’s another idea. Kids love collections. Take a look at Branford author Nancy Elizabeth Wallace’s wonderful book called Shells! Shells! Shells! then head to the beach to collect and categorize shells. You can do this by size, color, or by what kind of shells they are. For pre-school readiness, point out and explain road signs to your children as you drive around town. We have a wealth of enriching places right here in Branford.
Branford Patch: Is there anything else you might like to share with our readers?
Doyle: Yes! Unlike most people, I don’t need an alarm clock. My cat Kodak wakes me up every morning at 6 a.m. by pulling my hair. When this happens, I know it’s time to get up and feed her.
Visit Jan Doyle’s website at www.classroomconnections365.com and stay tuned. Jan’s enthusiasm is contagious and when she says, “I love learning!” she means it!