Originally, I wanted to be a high school principal and athletic director: that was my goal. In college, we had to work with all age groups, so I spent about 60-something hours in a preschool classroom. I thought at first, “I’m not going to like being in here with little kids.” But I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I expected. The children were amazing; every day was new and fresh.
I always share one story about my path to working in early childhood. I was in a preschool classroom and it was large group time. The teacher had all the children sitting in a circle. She brought this pineapple out, and the children see it and their eyes just light up. I’m sitting in the circle too, on the same level with the children, as she passes the pineapple around. The kids were touching the pineapple and talking about it. Then, the teacher cut the pineapple open and let the kids see inside. She let them smell it. Finally, she let them taste the pineapple at the end for mealtime. I realize now, later on, what she was doing—she was engaging all their senses in this activity.
I got back to my dorm and I started thinking about how I go grocery shopping all the time. It’s just a pineapple to me. And I thought, “What if I can go to work every day and help these little human beings learn about the world around them—about the small things that I often look past and take for granted? It made me rethink the possibilities of teaching.
The next day, I went to my guidance counselor and I changed my degree to early childhood education. Since that moment, I’ve never looked back. And when I came back to Detroit and started working in Head Start, my first day of being a teacher in my own classroom—I had a pineapple.”
Apply for Head Start jobs at http://www.detroitheadstart.com/job-posts/