The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

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The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Some Extra Time with New Learning Specialist Jen Hayman

Aidan Sarazen

News Editor


With the start of this school year, there will be a lot of new faces around the hallways of Latin. One of those bright, smiling faces will be Jen Hayman, Latin’s new Upper School Learning Specialist.

Ms. Hayman grew up in a small town outside of Boston called Wellesley. Attending high school in Wellesley, Ms. Hayman had a fun group of friends and a successful few years of field hockey. After high school, Ms. Hayman attended the College of Wooster, where she continued her field hockey triumphs. She was named captain of the team both her junior and senior years of college. Once out of college, she stayed involved with sports and began to work with student athletes at George Washington University. After an enjoyable seven years at George Washington University, Ms. Hayman transitioned to working with high schoolers. She felt that after working at a college, she would be able to help high schoolers better prepare for their next stage in life. Afterwards, she switched to Loyola high school in the Chicago area, where she worked for five years. Although she enjoyed her time there, Ms. Hayman wanted to be a part of a smaller, tighter community. Fortunately for Latin, the timing was perfect. Ms. Hayman wanted a small, close-knit community, and Latin needed a qualified, enthusiastic learning specialist. Both got exactly what they had hoped for.

Ms. Hayman says that her favorite part about working with students is “getting to know them and their families.” She also finds that watching her students find success is fulfilling. At Latin, Ms. Hayman has a unique role. Unlike other teachers, she won’t give typical classes, presentations, or lectures. Rather, she will provide students who need more time with their work “the opportunity to show their knowledge.” I asked Ms. Hayman about the qualifications for a student to receive extra time, because at Latin, along with other schools around the nation, there always seems to be confusion about who actually deserves the extended time. In Ms. Hayman’s experience, kids who earn extra time usually “have a history of a diagnosed learning difficulty.” However, this does not mean that only students who fall under that umbrella can use extra time at Latin. Anyone at Latin can get extra time for a specific class, so long as his or her teacher agrees that the kid is capable, but needs more time for his or her work. Ms. Hayman believes in this policy, because she is fully aware that “if a kid doesn’t know the answer, he or she isn’t going to get that answer through extra time.” It can only give kids the opportunity to show that they know their material. In terms of becoming suspicious of students who try to fake their way into getting extra time, Ms. Hayman believes that each student has a unique situation, so it would be unfair for her to accuse anyone. While Ms. Hayman is not affiliated with extended time for ACT and SAT tests, she says that the CollegeBoard is always more strict, as they often look through medical history from grade school.

Outside of a school setting, Ms. Hayman is even more interesting. During the 2005 and 2006 baseball seasons, she was a part-time ball girl for the Washington Nationals. The most exciting moment for her was when she caught a line drive hit by Andrew Jones. In addition to her teaching skills, Ms. Hayman is clearly quite the athlete. For Chicagoans, the only hitch in her profile is that she still has ties back to Boston, and will be part of the minority at Latin that roots for the Red Sox over the Cubs and White Sox. However, Latin community members can be certain that Ms. Hayman will be a positive influence at the school. During the first days of school, I encourage you to reach out and get to know Ms. Hayman, because she will be an outstanding addition to the Latin community.


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