I am excited to be starting my 30th year teaching preschool. I have been teaching at Crown Hill for 26 of the 30 years I have been with North Seattle ‘s cooperative preschool program. I received a K-12 teaching certificate and BA in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University. Before I taught cooperative preschool I started a private kindergarten at North Queen Anne Day Care and was a K-6 gifted teacher in the Shoreline School District.
I decided to stop teaching when I had Joel in 1982. We bought our house in Loyal Heights and I started an in-home daycare. I had my daycare until with Joel and Nick both were in school. For most of the time I had my daycare I took care of 6 other little boys. We had our own little preschool! We went everywhere together in our Ford Bronco. It was quite a sight to see us all getting out the vehicle.
I found out about the cooperative teaching job from my neighbor. She saw the ad in the Ballard News Tribune – a local weekly newspaper. The Parent Educator that hired me has been my friend and mentor the whole time I have taught preschool.
The college website gives this information about the preschool program. Started over 50 years ago, the NSC Cooperative Preschool Program offers a warm and gentle introduction to school and community life for young children and their families. Adults and children learn together, grow together, and actively build a community together. NSC’s Cooperative Preschools provide parent and early education for families with children from infancy to Pre-K. For children, co-op is a safe and nurturing place in which to explore and have fun. Social, emotional and intellectual skills are learned through cooperative and creative play. For parents, it’s a place to improve parenting skills, help shape their child’s first school environment, and form lasting friendships.
I have always enjoyed working with the children and I appreciate the support given to the families by each other. The parent education helps families as they interact with their child and as they develop relationships with other children and their families. It is a strong network that supports families during the preschool years and beyond. I just met with some of the moms from one of our classes – their little ones are starting high school and learning to drive! They still meet on a regular basis and have stayed connected as their children have moved through the school years. From another class a dad sent me a note to say they were all going camping to celebrate a birthday – this weekend – in the rain! But off they all went with the children that had all played together for the last 3 years during preschool and are still playing together as Kindergarteners.
Cooperative preschool is a time for learning and growing for both the child and the parent. It is a time to develop friendships that will last for years – for both the child and the parents.
As we start the new year we will continue to work together in the classroom as we build friendships – some that will last for years. I want this to be a year that builds a foundation for developing their love of learning. I want this year to be a time for both the children, and the adults, to learn, grow, explore and engage in a safe and secure setting.
Instead of the 3 R’s we will have the 5 R’s …
Reading – together as a family activity
Rhyming – talking, singing, using language throughout the day
Routines – keeping a child’s schedule consistent
Rewards – acknowledging your child’s achievements
Relationships – building strong, healthy relationships between children and trusted adults
I am looking forward to a great year together.