We had the good fortune of connecting with Jailyn Jenkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jailyn, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
During my time as an educator, there has always been a universal and implicit understanding that we work beyond our traditional duty day; however, it has been a paramount goal of mine to reverse that stigma and sustain balance. In the first five years of my career, I thought I had mastered a work-life balance, but then the pandemic hit…I was working remotely… and the “end-of-the-day” boundary quickly got blurred. I noticed all of my routines and priorities were shifting and everything suddenly became difficult. In noticing both the shift and struggles, I had to truly get in touch with myself (mind, body, and spirit) to appropriately adapt and thrive. With my personal and professional norms being rocked, I had a choice of either sinking into grief and chaos, or treading lightly into new waters, by exploring new approaches for my current season. Although I gave myself the grace to “feel”, I had to also use that as fuel for productive change. This was not an overnight, “quick fix” process. It took time, reflection, patience, and grace. With that being said, I want to encourage everyone reading this… balance is both attainable and sustainable! Just remember to shoot for progress, not perfection. As you enter different seasons of your life, some things may have a higher priority than others, and that’s okay! Life is rarely a linear progression, and we must ground ourselves in growth, so that we can thrive in whatever phase we are in. Sometimes our world has to be shaken up a little to enhance our appreciation or evaluation of goals and priorities. Regardless of what you face, just know that you’ll come out on the other side stronger, wiser, and an overall better human! KEEP PUSHING!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I knew I was called to the realm of education at the age of 4 and have passionately pursued it ever since. Initially, I wanted to be a teacher, but then that evolved into a desire to build and lead my own school. Fortunately, I have experienced every education setting, thus allowing me to synthesize best practices and continuously improve my instructional craft. Being a “kid at heart” has allowed me to approach both teaching and leading with students as the fundamental focus, which I identify as an attributing factor to my success. From obtaining my degrees and certifications to simply tackling the nuances of the education system, by no means was my journey “easy”. However, I grounded myself in the understanding that nothing worth having, comes easy. Through prayer, discipline, patience, and dedication, I have been able to grow immensely, while also pursuing my long-term goals. Trials and challenges are inevitable, but when you know your passion and purpose, very little -if anything- can get in the way. What I want the world to know about me and my story is that my core value is “be a good human” and my goal is to foster even better humans through quality, life-worthy education…so be prepared for positive catalysts in this realm.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since food and fun are my faux love languages, some of the best places/experiences are listed as follows: Food: Marty’s 47th Street Donuts, First Watch, Denver Biscuit Company, and Bad Ass Breakfast Burritos, Pho Haus, Welton Street Café, Tacos Selene, Genna Rae Wings and More, Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant, Tacos El Metate, Hungry Wolf, Smith & Cannon, and MyKings Ice Cream Fun: Black Girl Museum, City Park, Denver Art Museum, Defy Trampoline Park, Denver Botanic Gardens, Central Park, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Bluff Lake, and some pampering at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Within my story, I can succinctly give credit to my fundamental three: faith, family, and friends. In terms of this specific journey during the pandemic, one amazing human who deserves credit and recognition is Angelique Green. Not only is she a phenomenal human, but her leadership, mentorship, and genuine friendship has been pivotal in my success. If you ask around, everyone loves and admires her, but she truly embodies excellence, as she goes above and beyond in all aspects of her life!