I’ve been working in early childhood for more than 20 years. This is my third year working for New St. Paul Head Start.
I had earned my Child Development Associate (CDA) years ago when I was working in Florida, but it had expired. I took the opportunity to be recertified when New St. Paul offered the CDA training program.
It turned out to be a big change for me. New St. Paul uses the HighScope curriculum and that was a challenge for me. Going through the CDA training helped me with learning the curriculum and the transition of working in a different state.
I was used to doing a different teaching style, but the atmosphere and support from New St. Paul has been great.
My biggest challenge was how to present the message board to the children. It’s an activity that helps children’s literacy and language skills, but I struggled with how to teach it. We use pictures to get the kids to use their imagination and tell us what they see. Teachers prompt discussion with the kids to get them to use, and learn, more words. If the kids don’t have the words, then how do I share the words with them and help them learn?
Early childhood has always been a passion of mine. One of my children struggles with reading comprehension. As a parent, I didn’t know where the break down was with my child’s learning. As a teacher, if I can give back to someone else’s child so they don’t struggle when they get older, I want to be that solid foundation.
I encourage parents to get their children involved in Head Start. Be consistent with bringing them. If the kids are here, the more knowledge they will have and they’ll be able to take that information and grow and grow and grow. It’s planting that seed of learning. That’s my thing, I want to help plant that seed.