Where I’m From: Jordan Siedhoff, Clinton Elementary

This is the latest in a series of stories, “Where I’m From,” about LPS elementary school teachers who returned to teach at their old schools.

Jordan Siedhoff believes it’s important that her students see a teacher who grew up where they do, who went to the same elementary school, who played in the same parks, whose parents still live five blocks away. 

The Asian-American kindergarten teacher at Clinton Elementary School also believes it’s important that many of her students see a teacher who looks like them - “to be a mirror for them.”

“It is a responsibility and a privilege I do not take lightly,” said Siedhoff, whose students speak six different languages.

Siedhoff returned to Clinton two years ago after living in Kansas City for 10 years. She and her husband wanted their two young daughters to grow up close to family. When it came time to apply for a teaching job, the choice was easy.

“I applied at Clinton because of the fond memories I had here as a student,” she said. “I wanted to be able to create those same memories for other students.”

Her memories are vivid. There was the teacher who had rats as classroom pets, which inspired Siedhoff to ask her mom for some of her own. (She said yes.); the teacher who helped her win a national statistics competition; the teacher who let her and a few other students pick out fish for the classroom fish tank; the art mentor who worked with her every week; the school counselor who offered support during difficult times.

“Aside from the above and beyond experiences, I remember feeling heard,” she said. “I remember loving being at school and feeling seen and valued here.”

Published: October 6, 2020, Updated: October 7, 2020