Gifted and Talented Education student: 'It's like figuring out a mental puzzle'

STUDENT PROFILE: Lynne Reynolds, Gifted And Talented Education Certificate Program

Why did Lynne Reynolds become a teacher?

“It’s simple,” she said, looking back on her 18 years as an elementary school teacher in Redondo Beach, CA, the past eight in 6th grade classrooms. “I wanted to take my summers off.”

Prior to becoming an educator, she was a computer programmer, “working 10-hour days that drove me crazy,” she said. “I wanted a much more creative outlet. I love teaching because tomorrow is always a new day in my class. I don’t miss the corporate world at all.”

In recent years, she’s taken several UC San Diego Extension courses from the Gifted and Talented Education Certificate program that emphasize teaching exceptional children.

“What I like about taking online courses is that they’re highly focused, straight to the point, with clear-cut objectives,” said Reynolds. “There’s no nonsense, just learning the subject.”

A business administration graduate of the University of La Verne, she also holds a master’s from Chapman University in Human Resources Management, along with her teaching credential.

Reynolds doesn’t claim to be overly stringent with her students, though her patience has limits.

“Some kids want to me to hold their hands and be like their mother,” she said, “and I’m not going to do that. I’m there to teach, not only their required subjects, but the value of life-long learning.”

Her favorite teaching subjects are math and science for their immutable certainty.

“It’s such a great moment when the kids realize that math problems follow an unvaried pattern,” she said. “Learn how to do one problem, the others become easier to solve. And once they get that ‘a-ha’ moment, it’s like figuring out a mental puzzle.”

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