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Meet Ms. Erika, the pre-kindergarten assistant teacher at our center in Marietta, GA! She has worked at La Petite Academy for three years and has a B.A. in early childhood education, along with years of experience teaching in public schools and child care centers. Read our Q&A to learn more about this fun and fabulous teacher!
Why did you choose a career in early childhood education?
I just love working with kids. My favorite thing about working with kids is seeing where they are in in the beginning and how they grow and develop throughout the school year. I like this age group because they are so excited about learning and anything you do is exciting and new to them. They have that hunger for knowledge.
Take us through a typical day in Pre-K!
Kids arrive around 7:30 a.m. They have breakfast and then we have morning circle time. We might read a story and then we have small group time. My lead teacher will have one group and I’ll have another, and we’re each doing a different learning activity with our group. We then rotate our groups. Then we have music time and center time and then we go outside for recess. When we come back in, we put cots down and they wash their hands. We do lunch and then they take their nap. After we wake up we review our day. Then we have a story, a snack, and at about that time the parents start picking up.
Why do you feel an early start to education is so beneficial?
It’s important just to expose children to so many words and different environments and to give them that head start for when they go to kindergarten. We have kids now who are only four years old and they can read. The earlier you can get a child into an early education program, the more advanced they’ll be when they start elementary school.
What accomplishment are you most proud of since you’ve been at La Petite Academy?
We once had a child come into our program who wasn’t able to write his name. I worked with him every day and practiced writing his name and when he finally wrote it, I could see the pride in his face. I think that is my favorite accomplishment.
Summer will be here before you know it. Can you talk a bit about your summer camp program?
We try to make it feel as much like a camp as we can. Most of the week, we’re doing field trips. We’ve gone to a puppet show, we go to a lot of museums in Atlanta, skating rinks – things like that. We have people come and do science experiments with the students through in-house field trips, and we do a lot of crafts. We just try to make it feel like summer. We also make it educational!
Overall, how would you describe the past three years that you’ve spent at La Petite Academy?
La Petite Academy really invests in the children’s education. They have it set up so that the kids are ready for elementary school. They expose them to a lot of letters and number and they are very family oriented. We try to keep the families as involved as possible at the school.
If your students could describe you in one word, what would it be?
I know it’s just a simple, easy word, but they’d probably say “fun!” I’m a fun teacher!