Ellen has been the Lead Infant Teacher in our Gilbert, AZ location for 10 years, but has worked at Childtime for almost 22! Read on to learn more about this tenured teacher and how she finds working in early childhood education so rewarding.
What drew you into a career in early childhood education?
I had moved from out of state and I came to Arizona and was looking for a job. A friend of mine told me Childtime was looking for some part time help as a teacher’s aid. I started then and I stayed with it ever since.
Why did you stay with it?
Because I really liked it. And actually, I moved around the company a lot. I was a director, an assistant director, I did cooking, drove the bus – I had a lot of different positions here and I liked it. I really like the people that I work with and I really loved the kids and teaching them.
How do you explain our infant curriculum to parents?
Especially when they come in for a tour, we explain to them that the infant room is different than the other classrooms. It’s all individual, all the babies and young toddlers learn on an individual basis. We explain to them how we give them their individualized attention that they each need, between their feedings and their diapers, rocking them to sleep and actually playing with them one-on-one.
What does your typical day as an infant teacher look like?
I open the center in the morning and when my first baby comes in, I go into the infant room and then I start with my lesson plan. I find out from the parents what the baby needs – anything I need to know. Then it’s diapers, feeding, putting babies to bed, and then doing the activities and stories in between. It’s a pretty busy and active day!
Do you have a favorite accomplishment since you’ve been at Childtime?
When I hit my 20 years here, I think that was a major accomplishment to me. And then going up to 22! To hit 20 years and to have done so much and to have seen so many children succeed and thrive and grow, I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that. I’m pretty proud of that.
How is being involved in early education so rewarding, especially as an infant teacher?
When our infants move up in the school and then the day comes when they’re starting kindergarten, and we had them at maybe six or eight weeks old…to just see them through the years, it just makes you feel good that you were a part of where they are now. It’s really special. To see them that day is really special.