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Meet Ms. Tara, the lead pre-kindergarten teacher at our Childtime location in Snellville, GA! She has worked with students through seventh grade, but fell in love with teaching pre-k! She has been with Childtime for three years, so read on to learn more about her time with us and why she’s such an important part of our team!
Why did you decide on teaching pre-kindergarteners?
Pre-kindergarten stood out for me. I just like being there at the inception of their learning experiences and seeing them evolve. I just fell in love with that stage. I’m preparing them for kindergarten and preparing them for life.
How is teaching little ones rewarding for you?
It’s fulfilling. It feels like this is what I’m supposed to do. To see them walk in and not know how to spell their name, or not know their A from their C, and then a semester later they’re writing sentences and reading simple sentences, and their eyes light up, that’s great. They’re just so confident.
What’s special about teaching pre-k students?
Knowing that this is the age where they can be positively programmed to be whatever they want and learn they can do whatever they want…it’s a feeling like nothing else. When a group of little ones can look up to you and trust you and what you’re saying.
Can you take us through a typical day in pre-k?
We start our day with breakfast. We have family style breakfast which is very important for children. After that, they move on to book time. Then we have circle time with our theme of the day. It’s February so we’re diving into Black History Month, and they’re learning all about African-American icons and their history and they just love it. After our core lesson we have a story time which they absolutely love. After story time they get music and activity time in. This can range from yoga to high flying energetic exercising to their favorite music. Then we have outdoor time where we run and play, then lunch. They have their nap and we wake up and get them moving. We have another story time, then a period where whatever it is we learned at circle time, we will demonstrate that. Right now, they’re writing their sentences. Then we have naps, a snack and say goodbye!
How do you ensure strong communication between yourself and parents?
Email is good for parents that work a lot and that I don’t get to see because we do have early drop off. This year, a lot of the parents are very active! We have lots of activities on our calendars for them. My door is a revolving one! Probably in the next 30 minutes we’ll be getting one of our room parents.
What’s a favorite accomplishment of yours since you’ve been at Childtime?
Our graduation! Our graduation has become pretty popular to the point it’s so packed, it’s standing room only. In addition to them graduating, my assistant and I have a short 15 minute program we show that is almost like that show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” We do our version, which is “Are You Smarter Than Our ‘Pre-K’ers?” It covers everything that we have learned through the entire year. We wow the entire audience!
Why is early education critical for kids today?
Self-esteem is so important, and when you’re put in a position when you can influence them and let them know they are great, that they are beautiful and they are smart, that they’re our little geniuses – that’s our catch phrase in our classroom – then they behave as such! You set your expectations, and children will rise to that. You set the bar and they will reach it, every time.