My son, Adyn, started kindergarten this year after two years at New St. Paul Head Start’s St. John’s Center. He’s reading, writing his name and he knows his sounds, shapes and colors.
I volunteered in his classroom almost every day last year. I even won an award for being a parent volunteer. I’m a hands-on parent, so I was curious about what my child was doing and how he was learning in the classroom. After I became a volunteer, the kids started to recognize me, give me hugs, wanted to talk with me and called me by name. It encouraged me to want to stay and help.
Volunteering showed me that I was interested being an educator, and that had a natural talent for working with kids. I’ve always taken care of kids – my nieces and nephews and of course my own kids. I never put it together though until I got into the classroom.
One of the teachers encouraged me to enroll in New St. Paul’s six-month Child Development Associate (CDA) program. Now, I’m working as a temporary employee, and it’s amazing. I’m taking classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and when I complete the training, I’ll have the certification I need to be an assistant teacher in a Head Start classroom.
Of course, as a mom you know a lot, but educators are more structured in how they work with kids. The CDA program is going to teach me the best techniques to use in a classroom with different types of little learners.
I’m excited to see how much further this can take me. I was a parent volunteer and now I’m building a career.