I volunteer every day in my 4-year-old’s classroom at United Children and Family Head Start. I’m the top volunteer at my son’s school. I help with all kinds of activities – group time, music, art and playing in the house area. I love the kids, and they love me.
With all my volunteer time, United Children and Family encouraged me to go through the CDA (Child Development Associate) training program they’re offering to parents.
I wanted to be a pediatrician, but I had all my kids and got loaded down. So I earned my patient care technician certification. That doesn’t involve kids though, so I thought the CDA might be a better fit for me.
The CDA instruction is very important. Working in early childhood education is not all about playing. Kids learn through play, and teachers can influence that. I’ve learned about taking notes, how to do lesson plans, how to involve and listen to the kids. It’s really different from volunteering.
I don’t just volunteer in my son’s Head Start classroom. I also spend time in the infant and toddler rooms, and that’s where I want to work when I earn my CDA. When I first started going into the Early Head Start classrooms, I didn’t expect that they would be learning. But they are! They learn the words to songs. They can actually lead the music time. It seems like small things, but they’re learning so much.