Christine the Bean is a name I became known as by children and adults alike quite early in my teaching career. This happened because of a story I told the children that is too long to go into here. I am called Bean by many. My regular name is Christine Lonergan.
In August of 2013 I set out on a cross country journey “in search of school that can change the world.” I visited schools from California to New York and back again. I interviewed educators and students about what school is for..and what matters most to them about school. The vision quest continues and I share my journey and my reflections on this fledgling blog.
I hold an MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College and a Specialization Credential in Early Childhood Education. I attended the Klingenstein Institute at Columbia University Teachers College in New York City during the summer of 2007. The focus of these graduate studies was teacher leadership and shared leadership governance models as best practice for a spectrum of educational settings K-High School.
Early Childhood Programs and School Systems Consultant 2000 – Present (14 years)Greater Los Angeles Area
I work with educators to design and implement meaningful, relevant, integrated curriculum themes that respect the developmental areas, growth patterns and strengths of children in mixed age settings as well as in conventional classrooms. I assist differing constituencies within schools to develop systems that foster respectful and ongoing communication and collaborative decision making. Over the years I have spoken to classes for new teachers at UCLA, have spoken to parent groups on various topics, and have led a number of board retreats.
The Oaks School, Los Angeles CA September 1991 – June 2013 (21 years 10 months)
Created and developed a research based progressive and innovative early childhood-kindergarten program that incorporated anti-bias social justice curriculum in an active, ongoing way. Served as Faculty member on Board Of Directors and assisted in research to inform long range planning by the board. Served as school representative to CAIS and developed and coordinated Early Childhood workshops for professional development of independent school teachers across California. Served in an ongoing way as consultant to school parents and colleagues as an early childhood specialist and parenting issues consultant. Served as member of the Admissions Committee for twenty two years at the Oaks, primarily to assess children’s school readiness, and to collaboratively design an admissions process that would reflect a deep understanding of children and families, and to increase diversity within the school community. Founding member of the Oaks School Diversity Committee.
All Children Great and Small, Los Angeles CA 1979 – 1991 (12 years)
Co-founded a school that is governed by a faculty and parent board of directors. The school is dedicated to progressive governance, mixed age groups, and a research based progressive program for 3-5 year old people.
I am a published songwriter and member of ASCAP. I have performed on recordings as well as on stage as a singer. My song catalogue is filled mostly with songs written for and inspired by children, though there are a number of American roots songs as well. I am a strummer of the guitar.