Staff Spotlight: Lynn Livingston

Picture1-e1467319274505Lynn Livingston has worked for Especially for Children – Eden Prairie since November of 1989, making her one of our longest-term teaching staff! Read more about Lynn below.

Tell us a bit about yourself…
I grew up in Bloomington and live in Chanhassen.  My mom and sister both live in Bloomington, so I spend a lot of time there. My dog Jhing-Jhing goes everywhere with me, including to meetings at church where I do a lot of volunteering. I have worked at Caribou Coffee for 20 years, and that has allowed me to have some fun interactions with adults while supporting my habit!

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with family, making things to sell at my church’s annual Holiday Bazaar and going to movies.

What is special about working with children?
There is nothing like walking into a room and hearing “Lynnie!” Kids are excited about most anything, and I love experiencing the world through their eyes. Even pop-culture events like the death of Prince have an impact on them. One of my kiddos told me that “the Prince died. The one that lived in the round house and I’m sad.” For a minute I thought something had happened to William, but then I remembered that he drives by Paisley Park every day and I knew what he meant. I just love their honesty, hugs and senses of humor.  It’s the best job!

What unique qualities or skills have you brought to EFC/the classroom over the years
Creativity is always helpful for those moments when you have to think on your feet.  I like to make up stories based on my dad’s life as a young boy; it’s fun to tell about “Little Bobby”.  I have a good sense of humor as well!

What is different about early childhood education since you started in the field? What is the same?
I started working after school in 1981 for another company, and this is all I’ve ever done.  I remember back then how simple the plans for the classroom were. Planning has become more involved, but I like that it keeps us on our toes. We can’t always just recycle the same ideas every year because they may not be the best for the new group.

IMG_9276 IMG_9277Why have you stayed with Especially for Children?
I appreciate the fact that we as teachers get to plan themes and activities that are our own ideas. I don’t have to work off of something that may not apply to my group. The creativity is vital to me not becoming a stale old teacher. There have been opportunities for growth like training other staff that I really enjoy as well. I like that we are a small hometown company with high ideals and expectations.

Do you have any special memories you would like to share?
Many years ago when we had a large school-age program we would take a yearly camping overnight trip. We would drive out to Cleary Lake in Savage on Thursday on a bus with a trailer behind and a few parents driving. We would unload our 15 or so tents and set them all up. We would swim in the lake, play group games and then cook a massive cookout supper of hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and s’mores. More parents would come out after work to spend the evening for the big group games and the night hike. We would get up the next morning, have breakfast, pack up and come back to school. The kids would be tired so we didn’t do a lot that day, but those were great memories. We still have kids that come back and talk about those trips. Spending that extra time with the kids was always a blast!