Dr. Jessica Bigham

Dr. Jessica Bigham

Investing in a career of education for almost 20 years, Dr. Jessica Bigham has worked to help students of all ages.


Dr. Jessica Bigham

Investing in a career of education for almost 20 years, Dr. Jessica Bigham has worked to help students of all ages fall in love with the wide and wonderful world of reading.  She began her career as a middle school English teacher, where she introduced books like The Giver and The Outsiders to students.  Watching how certain books could ignite a passion for reading and open new worlds of possibilities for even her less-than-enthusiastic students, Dr. Bigham became interested in ensuring that struggling readers be afforded the opportunity to become true, life-long readers.   As her teaching experience went on, she became particularly passionate about understanding how students learn to read.  To improve her understanding of reading instructional practices and methodologies, Dr. Bigham pursued an Educational Specialist’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lee University.  

Her next opportunities for research into the topic of reading, came as she transitioned to the role of an elementary school Instructional Facilitator, where she would closely monitor the reading progress of primary grades students.  Based on the data, she was motivated to understand why some students were learning to read and others were being left behind.   She began to study various types of curricula and remediation material and joined organizations to become familiar with strategies that help all students access effective reading instruction.

When Dr. Bigham pursued her doctorate degree, she maintained focus on reading instruction and interventions.  Her award-winning dissertation examined a district’s approach to implementing reading instructional practices at the elementary level.  It was during the research and writing process that Dr. Bigham discovered the vast division of thinking about how to best teach students to read and the quantity of research-based evidence that seemed to back both sides.  This is when she finally understood the historical significance of the great reading debate and its continual impact on education systems across America.

Dr. Bigham is currently in administration at a K-5 elementary school.  She was chosen to join a state-wide cohort of administrators through an initiative by the governor to support schools that have innovative leadership and a track record of success.  She has used these opportunities to aggressively attack the issue of learning loss due to the pandemic, especially in reading instruction. Dr. Bigham began to re-imagine what reading instruction can look through the lens of trauma-informed discipline policies and the use of restorative justice practices and social emotional learning.  

When she’s not reading, teaching, or researching, Dr. Bigham is a peer reviewer for literacy journals and enjoys time at her little farm with her husband and five children.  She loves coffee, miniature donkeys, and taking family trips to the beach.

To contact Dr. Bigham to consult or for professional development, email her at drjessicabigham@gmail.com.