Name: Christine Parry
Position: 3rd Grade teacher at Central Elementary School
Hometown: Pittsburg, PA
Education: Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Marketing from Notre Dame, Master of Science in Education from University of Pennsylvania, Master of Arts in Reading from Northeastern Illinois University
Teaching Background: Parry worked in the Chicago Public School system from 2002 until this past June. During her time there, she worked as a dance instructor for, a fifth-grade teacher, a first-grade teacher, and a reading specialist and literacy coach.
What inspired you to become an educator?
“When I graduated from school, I started working in marketing in Chicago, downtown. I liked it, but, for me, I didn’t feel like I was doing something important every day. And I just felt like, if I’m going to go to work every day of my life, I need something that I feel is important every day. I had grown up teaching dance and teaching swim. So, I wasn’t in a classroom setting, but I had grown up teaching my whole life. It was something that that I really liked and other people would tell me I was good at, so I started substituting and I enjoyed that. And I was like, ‘If I can enjoy substituting, I can certainly enjoy this when it’s my own kids that I get to work with every day.' So then I went back to school again.”
What attracted you to District 39?
“I live in Northbrook, so I was familiar with all the communities that are up here. And my husband is from Wilmette. He went to Central School. And my two brothers-in-law also went to Central School. So, I kind of knew that Wilmette was such a strong community, and I knew the schools were great, and I knew there was a really high standard of excellence. That really fit with me and my background and the kinds of communities that I grew up in. So, I thought it would be a really great opportunity if I could get a job here, because there is just so much to offer people who work in the schools here.”
How would you describe your teaching technique?
“I try to really know each kid as an individual learner and do my best to figure out how that can be taught to kids as individuals. Not just as a whole class, because they’re all different and they all come to me knowing different things. So, trying to differentiate for all the different styles of learning and levels of learning that I have in front of me in my class.”
Do you have any special program that you plan on implementing or a notable, upcoming project?
“Coming up, as a whole third grade level, we’re differentiating for math, so the kids will get to switch [classrooms]. That’s new for third grade this year at this school. I might have my kids or I might have kids from other classrooms.”
How have you liked your time in District 39 so far?
“It’s been really great. There is so much support for new teachers. I was blown away by how knowledgeable everybody is. Not just the classroom teacher, but all of the teachers and staff that are not in the classroom. There is just an amazing amount of resources and materials available to these kids. They come to school so ready to learn and well prepared to learn. They have so much knowledge that they bring to the classroom already, so that just makes learning experiences so much richer because they have so much to build upon.”