Experience & Activities
Jena Borah, M.S. Ed. (she/her) is a certified teacher with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and Master’s degree in reading instruction.
She spent the first 18 years of her career homeschooling her three children with the philosophy “Maintain the joy of childhood and the joy of learning.” That meant tapping into their natural curiosity and facilitating their passions, something she called interest-led learning, with a bent toward unschooling. Today, all three have college degrees and are successfully pursuing their careers.
In 2008, she started writing about their homeschool adventure at yarnsoftheheart.com and over the years contributed articles to other home education websites.
In 2011, facing an empty nest and not ready to retire, she started working on a Master’s degree to answer the question Why do some children breeze through reading and others struggle? She’s been there. She understands how painful this can be for the child as well as the parents.
After working a few years as a reading teacher in public schools, she is happy to be “home” again, using her skills and experience to help homeschoolers figure out why their children struggle with reading and offer practical ideas to guide their child in lifelong learning.
Online Teaching Policies for Jena Borah
For the one-hour Reading Evaluation, 24 hour notice is required to cancel and receive a refund. We can also reschedule.
For the reading groups, families will receive a full refund if they withdraw at least 3 days before the class begins. This will allow time for reorganizing groups and notifying participants, if necessary.
Families who withdraw after class begins will receive a prorated refund based on the time remaining in the class.
If the withdrawal is for schedule conflicts or a learner struggling with class content (that is either too easy or too hard), I am happy to work with families to try to find solutions.
(NOTE: Refunds made more than 30 days from purchase date will be docked a 10% administrative processing fee.)
I try my very best to avoid class cancellations. I often teach classes even if the minimum number of enrollees has not been met. However, I do reserve the right to cancel a class if the minimum enrollment is not met. I will do so 48 hours before class begins and issue full refunds.
In the event of an emergency that requires me to cancel a session, I will work with individual families to find a sufficient make-up strategy.
In the rare event of an emergency that requires me to cancel a substantial portion of the class, I will issue prorated refunds.
I recognize that learners have different comfort levels and experience with participating in online class environments. Students are welcome to participate in the way that works best for them and I am more than happy to work with families to find solutions.
Because our reading groups are diagnostic, what I see and hear from learners informs my instruction in the moment and in planning for their next reading group. Therefore, I highly recommend students have a quiet environment and leave their microphones and cameras on.
Homework is vital for learners in reading groups. It provides practice for them and information for me to individualize their instruction. Homework will be as fun and motivating as I can make it, and I encourage families to reach out to me if their student is struggling with it.
My policies also extend to the way I treat learners in the classroom. I believe that respect is the foundation of positive educational experiences, so I have the following policies in place to help ensure that my respect for learners is centered in my interactions.
I will call learners by their preferred name and use their preferred pronouns.
I will announce methods to get my attention during class. These can include using the “raise hand” button, sending me a private message, or creating alternative ways for a learner to participate.
I will do my best to accommodate requests for alterations that help make materials accessible.
I will be available for questions outside of class and answer those questions in a timely manner (generally within 24 hours).
I will give feedback in a constructive way that respects the efforts learners have made.
I will be understanding of learner differences and individual personalities and be as flexible as possible as I strike a balance between keeping the class productive for everyone and allowing room for everyone’s individual needs.
It is important to me that all students have a safe and enjoyable experience, so I have some behavioral guidelines to reach that goal. My general behavioral guidelines are as follows (and will also be announced directly to students in an age-appropriate way):
- Mute microphones if there is excessive background noise
- No mean-spirited comments in discussion boards (disagreements should be handled respectfully)
- Students must wear upper body and lower body clothing when on camera
- No flooding the chat with off-topic content
- No name calling, bullying, or unwanted private messaging
- No sharing contact information with other students without parent permission
- No disruptive behavior that distracts other learners (such as constantly changing background screen, changing screen name to something silly, making faces at the camera, etc.)
My top priority is that all learners get the best experience they can out of the class. This means that my response to behavioral concerns is to address the individual problem with the least amount of disruption to the student concerned as possible.
Here are some examples of ways that I may address behavioral issues in order from least to most invasive:
- Disable particular functions of the online classroom (for example, turn off private chat, manually mute microphones, turn off a video feed)
- Privately reach out to students to ask them to stop the behavior during class
- Reach out to students and their families to brainstorm a solution to a behavioral issue outside of class
- Require a parent/guardian to be present during live sessions in the event of repeat behavioral violations
- Remove a student from the class
In the very rare event that a student is removed from a class for behavioral concerns, a prorated refund will be given.
It is important to me that learners feel safe and supported in the classroom. It is also important that I have the ability to document and investigate any safety concerns. I record live sessions and store them for a period of 12 months. I do not share these recorded sessions publicly or with other learners in the class.
I may share recordings with individuals (such as parents/guardians of involved participants) involved in the discussion of any classroom incident if necessary for a safety issue or a third-party (such as a charter school) as required by their safety protocols.
Get in touch with Jena Borah