Twenty-one years ago, if you had asked me where I’d be now, I doubt I would have told you I’d be teaching language arts to gifted and talented (GT) students in Northbrook. My teaching career started in Loudoun County, Virginia, where I taught third and fourth graders in a regular classroom setting. During that time, I rejected my previous belief that gifted education is elitist in nature. In fact, the strategies and activities often reserved for GT students benefit everybody, not just a select identified few. I decided to pursue certification in gifted education with coursework from the University of Virginia.
Then it was out to Brighton, Michigan. I spent over five years teaching a second / third grade multi-age class in a magnet program for GT students. While in Michigan, I realized that to meet the academic needs of gifted students, I first have to meet their social and emotional needs. It’s easy to take for granted that GT kids know how to do everything well. But the truth is, they don’t. Everybody needs help in something. I’ve found that the most common needs are social skills, coping with frustration, and organizational skills.
On it was to Northbrook, where I spent eight years as a gifted coordinator for District 28. I spent my days working with incredibly talented and eager students in the areas of language arts and math, while also working to support their needs in the general classroom.
Now, as a Navigate teacher for District 30, I find that my years teaching both general and gifted education have given me valuable experience and perspective. I look forward to working with the children at Willowbrook and Wescott Schools in Language arts. One thing I hope you learn about me? I am passionate about reading. Passionate about writing. Passionate about teaching. And learning. And the very best part about it is that I get to share that passion with your children. We are going to have a great time this year!
Name: Lainie Levin
Birthday: July 5th
Hometown: St. Louis (Yes, I do root for both the Cards and the Blues. Rams are negotiable.)
College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Major: Elementary Education
Favorite Color: Yellow
Favorite Number: 5
Favorite Vowel: e (Weird, I know, but true!)
Favorite Foods: Crunchy Chee-tos, popcorn, and dark chocolate
Hobbies: Reading, chasing my children, writing and telling stories, working out, playing ice hockey, messing around with words and numbers
Quote: “Education isn’t about getting the right answers. It’s about asking the right questions.” -Mrs. Levin