About Jen

Jen Porter is an award-winning educator, coach, and author who promotes faith and interdependence.  Jen and her husband Jim live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with their oldest daughter (2 of 5), their youngest daughter (5 of 5), three jealous and paranoid rescue dogs, and a lot of fish. 

Jen began her teaching career in 2001 teaching language arts (grades 5-12), and then found her true calling teaching students with autism and related special needs in 2009 (grades K-8).  In 2011, she was honored with the Lion Newcomer Award from her school district, and in 2017, received the ARC of East Central Iowa Teacher of the Year Award.   

Her greatest honor as a teacher, however, was getting to know and learn from each incredibly unique student and family — as well as many educators and paraprofessionals with amazing heart and dedication.  

As a special needs mom and teacher, struggling to find time to breathe, Jen often said she wished she could just clone herself.  Jen created The Special Needs Spa (specialneedsspa.com) as an “easy button” for educators, caregivers, and service providers to say goodbye to the guilt–and renew their creativity, increase their impact, and rediscover their lives.  

Jen’s been an author from a young age, where her office was found on a branch of her grandma’s big backyard tree.  Now she prefers to write with the company of her dogs in her home office, on her back deck, or by her koi pond.

Jen also enjoys spending time exploring her many other interests, including reading, music, gardening, swimming, and crocheting…but her husband claims to have married her because she can’t get enough Star Trek.

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.  The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.”

– Lamentations 3:21-23 (NASB)

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