Meet Travis Poteat, preschool team lead, safety captain and recipient of our company’s highly coveted Lisa Miskimins Mentorship Award! He currently teaches at our location on Pleasant Grove Blvd. in Roseville, CA and will celebrate his 10-year anniversary with us this fall. We recently spoke with Travis to learn more about him and why he loves working at Childtime!
Why did you choose a career in early childhood education?
I love kids. They are the future and we have to take care of them so they can take care of us! Every day is different and I don’t know what to expect. We have our schedule and routine, but you don’t know what they’re going to say and how you’re going to react. Sometimes they’re teaching you new things more than you’re teaching them!
What does your typical day look like?
I come in here and I do a little group activity where we sing songs and we have a snack. We’re really big on our science kits lately. Right now we’re mixing chemicals together like baking soda and vinegar, and we have a crystal tree growing in our classroom. The kids love it! Then we do our morning meeting, classroom news, and snack. Then we go outside and do some parachute games, bubbles and chalk. Then we come in and have lunch, take our nap and repeat a large group and small group activity in the afternoon. Then we say goodbye!
In your opinion, why is early education important for kids today?
They’re like sponges and they’re observing everything. It’s important to get that education started now because they’re so eager to learn.
How did you learn you were the recipient of our Lisa Miskimins Mentorship Award?
We knew that our Teresa, our district manager, was coming that day, so that was no big deal. But the staff was acting really weird. Then someone said Teresa’s boss – the divisional vice president – was coming. And then the director said that we needed everyone outside. So they go outside and Teresa comes in by me and I ask, “What’s going on?” and she said “You’ll see.” Then the door opened and I saw my wife. And I’m thinking, “What happened? Is my son sick? What’s going on here?” And then I saw my mom and realized something was going on. Teresa then awarded the Teacher of the Year award for one of our teachers and then she went into my award. It was done in front of the whole school, the students were all cheering. It was very special.
How do you encourage strong communication between yourself and the parents of your students?
I encourage touching base with them and if they have some concerns and want to talk about it, if they don’t want to talk in person, they can call or email me. In the very beginning of the year, I say that I have an open door policy. If you want to call, talk, or anything, just feel free.
What are some of your hobbies for when you’re not at work?
I enjoy reading. I take my son to the park and we go to the library where they have a little park there. I also work on stained glass. So I make all of our Christmas presents out of stained glass.
Can you share a memorable moment from your time at Childtime?
When we got NECPA accredited. We worked so hard to make our center look so great. Once we did and we got that approved, our boss took us out and did a whole celebration and we felt very much appreciated.
Why have you chosen to stay at Childtime for the past 10 years? What do you love so much about working here?
In the field, there is a big turnover, but in our center, we have so many people who have been here for so long. There are a lot of people who have been here for 10+ years. We’re a big family.