Linda Kennedy

Subject: Professional Development
Grade Level: N/A

"I resolved that no one would leave my room with an unaddressed learning problem. I was looking for some addition to the classroom. I wasn't prepared for a room with mini trampolines, beanbags, and balance boards. But that's where I work today."

From her earliest years as a teacher, Linda Kennedy says she "wanted the ones who were behind, who struggled to belong, and who were puzzles to teach." In the spring of 1997, Kennedy resolved that no one would leave her room with an unaddressed learning problem if there was a possibility of finding the cause. That was Kennedy's first step in creating the White Oak Learning Development Lab, which helps analyze and address students' individual learning needs and builds their capacity to understand, to process, and to remember information. The Lab works to expand learning readiness, skills, and visual and auditory memory, and offers visual testing and therapy.

Kennedy credits the Lab for ever-increasing scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, and for a reduction in Special Education referrals and the number of discipline referrals to the principal. "The work we do in this lab has helped all teachers find better ways to teach children," said Kennedy. "Finding the correct programs for our students' needs, pulling them together, helping find ways to fund each, and assisting children to develop in all areas of their education is what I do today. I wouldn't trade places with anyone."

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