Jenna Weinstein, Kg.
For my 11th birthday, I asked my parents for an overhead projector. When I saw the gift that morning, wrapped in festive paper, it was only minutes before I had it set up in my pretend school. My beanie babies had a new way to see their daily spelling words and practice their multiplication tables. I would spend hours in my basement doing what I loved most: teaching.
I am blessed that 15 years later, I still have that same passion - that same hunger for learning that has kept me so fulfilled. Teaching kindergarten for the past two years, I have seen the littlest minds take on the biggest of tasks. I have witnessed life-long passions, like mine, being born through the doors of Room 122. For that, I feel truly blessed.
I have had the privilege of working at Indian Trail Elementary School since 2011. North Shore School District 112 is a diverse community that celebrates all students and their potential. Reciprocally, the community trusts and respects educators to do what is best for students.
STEMagination Station was created under that notion - when students and teachers can grow together, the most learning takes place. I hope my work with kindergarteners will plant the seed to STEM bright futures!
Lindsey petlak, 4th
On Route 125 (our classroom), we believe that learning is a journey....so keep on traveling! To create adventurous learning experiences, I implement year-long thematic instruction. We “travel” on “Route 125” as we learn throughout the year, and I serve as the tour guide. Everything from the welcome “road trip” packet I send out before school starts, to classroom management, décor, learning teams, and curriculum is centered around our “Crusin’ Through 4th Grade” theme.
Growing up in rural southern Illinois, I experienced an excellent education from caring teachers. This highly impacted my decision to become an educator. I graduated from University of Illinois with a degree in elementary education in 2002 and have taught in four school districts and grade levels from K-4. Since 2011 I have had the privilege to be a part of the Indian Trail Elementary team in North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park, Illinois. I am fortunate to work in a diverse community. Ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic diversities abound and make our classroom culturally rich.
I was honored with the Golden Apple Award for the 2002-2003 school year. Additionally, I served as a national consultant for ETA/Cuisenaire for nearly two years, training teachers, coaching in classrooms, working with students, and creating hands-on learning products across the nation. In 2012 I was named a Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction. I aim to serve every child with the highest educational experience possible.
Most importantly, I am grateful for the unrelenting support of my husband, Frank, whom I have been married to for nine wonderful years. As the spouse of a teacher, he endures annual classroom tear-down and set up, cleaning, classroom shopping, and the much-needed emotional support that comes with being a teacher. He, along with my dear toddler son, Grayson, keep me going strong every day. Becoming a mother has completely changed my perspective and has also enhanced my purpose as an educator. This experience as a Scholastic blogger is just another endeavor that my two “cruisin’ buddies” will be there to cheer me on throughout.
Get ready to cruise through blog posts about curriculum, class celebrations, balancing work and family, organization, creativity, and more. Buckle up….It’s going to be a wild ride!
Lindsey R. Petlak
4th Grade Teacher, Indian Trail Elementary