Alumni Feature: Jennifer Levesque
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Meet Jennifer Levesque, special education teacher at Westside Elementary School in Claremore, Oklahoma. Levesque graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2016 with a master's in special education.
You recently won Claremore District Teacher of the Year. What is your approach to
entering the classroom each day?
I try to meet my kids where they are, as they all have different needs. I have a team approach to everything I do because I can't do it all on my own. I work with a lot of great school psychologists, behaviorists, teachers and my administration. I try to work with the parents as much as possible, and just make it a team effort.
What helped you succeed at OSU?
I really valued the distance learning approach. When I attended OSU, I had two kids that were young, and I was also working. The professors were so great to reach out and work with me however I needed it to meet my individual situation.
What OSU experiences prepared you for your career?
Dr. Penny Cantley was one of my favorite professors for sure. I really enjoyed her classes. In Dr. Penny Cantley’s classes, learned a lot about behavior management in the classroom, and it helped me as a teacher. She was one of my favorite professors for sure. There was also a professor from Claremore, where I teach, who was also a professor at OSU. She had a class on different types of testing to diagnose dyslexia and kids with special needs, which was super helpful.
Advice to OSU students and future professionals.
Make connections with your students and with their parents but also you’re classmates and professors in the university. As the head of the special education department, a huge learning experience for me was really just making those connections with people that know more than I do. Don't be afraid to ask for help and don't assume that you know everything.