Let’s start at the beginning:
When I was in 6th grade, my mother became the director of a Mother’s Day Out. She eventually took that center to a full time, year round center. While that was not my experience, it did help shape me. It gave me a love for childcare and being with her at work, hearing her stories about licensing and minimum standards and stories about kids, employees, and parents gave me real insight into childcare. I spent most of my high school years babysitting and working in our church’s nursery. Senior year of high school, I worked part time as a teacher’s assistant at a full time childcare center. I spent many years of college working at a different church’s nursery and doing some nannying.
Fast forward to August, 2009. I graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Early Childhood-4th Grade and with a certification to teach in Texas. As it turns out, August is not really the best time to graduate if you want to teach in a public school…
Honestly, it worked out well because I love preschool and I don’t think I would have been as happy in older classes.
I went back to working licensed childcare as a teacher and, later, assistant director.
Here’s the highlights of my 10 years of childcare experience:
- About 6 years nannying, childcare during church services, etc.
- About 1 year in licensed childcare as an assistant teacher
- About 3 ½ years in licensed childcare as a lead teacher (about 20 months at W.E.E. School)
- About 1 ½ years in licensed childcare as assistant director (at W.E.E. School)
In September of 2012, I said goodbye to the center and job that I loved, Parkway Baptist W.E.E. School in College Station, TX, as we moved to West Texas. W.E.E. School is where I fell in love with the idea of leading trainings. Just a few years ago, I would not have considered standing in front of other adults and speaking. But in 2010, while I was still a lead teacher at W.E.E. School, I was given the task of creating and teaching my first training. I unexpectedly fell in love with analyzing what needed to be addressed, creating a training around it, and teaching other adults best practices for teaching preschoolers. A few months later, I became Co-Assistant Director at W.E.E. School and part of my job description was to discover where teachers struggled or needed to be encouraged (by spending time in the classrooms observing) and create trainings to teach twice a year on our bi-annual training days. While I loved many aspects of my job as assistant director, I truly enjoyed seeing teachers attend trainings I conducted and then implement changes in their classroom.
My husband and I moved to West Texas, where I started this business, substituted in the school district, and we began the process of becoming foster/adopt parents. Through that process, I met several people and had some great opportunities. I taught PreK at a public school, Carver Early Education Center in Odessa, for a year. It was a great experience and I learned a ton about the way childcare differs from public school, was able to attend a NAEYC conference, and was able to really think about best practices in Early Education. In November of that year, we got our first foster placement, a 9 day old baby boy. Needless to say, I have high standards for childcare but we found 7 centers I would consider putting him in. We were waitlisted at every one. By the time contract renewals came around, we were fairly certain we would be adopting our baby so I decided not to renew. That baby boy was in ECI, Early Childhood Intervention, to work on oral motor skills and torticollis and that was my introduction to ECI. I loved the mission and goals of ECI and they just happened to have an opening in our area for a part time person. And I was qualified for the position. So, I became an Early Intervention Specialist. And I have loved it! It allows me to work with children under 3 who need special services-from mild speech therapy needs to severe medical needs babies and every thing in between. An EIS’s job is to work with the whole child, to specialize in child development, and to help the parent implement strategies the therapists suggest in a way that works for the whole child through a service called SST-Specialized Skills Training. I’m also a Service Coordinator, which is fairly self-explanatory.
When we were able to finalize the adoption in May of 2016, we decided to move back closer to home. Currently, we live in Burleson County, Texas. I was able to move to our local ECI and continue in much the same way. I work two days a week and stay home with our toddler, C, the rest of the time. It’s the best of both worlds and I’m loving it. It also lends new ideas and points of view to my trainings.
So now, I would like to offer my services as a trainer to you! Please check out my portfolio page to see samples from trainings I’ve already created. These are trainings I can teach at your center! I can also create trainings from scratch if you would like to give me a topic or allow me to observe at your center to form my own opinion about what needs to be addressed. It is my intention that my childcare philosophy and training style shows through my portfolio and article pages, but please contact me if you have questions.