Education professor does more than just teach

Story by Allison Boggan, Staff writer

Photo by Richard Thompson/The News

Lynn Gannon Patterson is an associate professor of elementary education in Murray State’s College of Education and Human Services. She teaches math methods for elementary teachers and classroom management classes.

Patterson is a National Board Certified Teacher and a 2002 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics teaching.

Previously, she taught first through sixth grades and was an elementary school principal in Tennessee, where she retired after 34 years in 2008. Patterson became a Teachers Retirement System member in 2008 and has taught at Murray State for the last decade.

Patterson is also the newest TRS trustee after winning the May members’ election.

“On this board we are in charge of the money, the legislature picks where the money goes, but we make sure it goes where it is supposed to go,” Patterson said. “I’m really impressed, so far, that the money they have is in good hands.”

In her free time, Patterson loves to take and instruct fitness classes. Twice a week at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday she teaches students and at 1 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday she leads faculty classes. All of her yoga sessions are open to all levels of yoga experience, so everyone is welcome to get involved.

“I’ve always liked fitness and I used to teach spin classes, but as I got older I  thought my body was kind of stiff and I just wasn’t able to move like I wanted to, so I started taking yoga,” Patterson said. “I really liked it, so after I got tenure I went to a teacher’s training to learn more about it and have been teaching yoga ever since,” Patterson said. 

Patterson loves all aspects of teaching and is thankful that she has been able to meet, teach and experience so many wonderful things throughout her long career.

“I love when I see my students get excited,” Patterson said. “I love learning from them, both my regular students and those in my yoga classes. In this time in my life I’m open to learning new things and sharing what I know with everyone.”

She has noticed in her classes that she tells a lot of stories and her students tend to stop and listen, which she finds really nice because it’s respectful, but also appreciates it because taking in the life and experiences of those around you helps to broaden your own life.

She also enjoys traveling and is very involved with Murray State’s Study Abroad program. Last May she went to Ireland and she will be traveling with another group to London next semester.

“My oldest son lives in Germany, so my husband and I go to visit him and his family,” Patterson said. “Whenever we go to Germany we travel to other nearby countries to try and see as much as we can. It’s hard to pick a favorite place that I’ve been, but I really loved Ireland and would love to go back someday.”

Patterson said she is thankful to have experienced so much in life, both personally and in her work.

“I’m just so blessed to have the great husband and children I have and to have been able to have had so many gigs in life,” Patterson said. “From teaching speech and hearing to having children to becoming a principal to coming up here to teach college; it’s all been so great.”


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