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Meet Ms. Renee, Lead Kindergarten Prep teacher at La Petite Academy in Orangeburg, NY. She has been with us for two years and has a degree in communications. Read out Q&A with Ms. Renee to learn more about her background, classroom and accomplishments!
Tell us more about your background prior to coming to La Petite!
I really started enjoying working with kids when I was young. I have a lot of cousins and I have two siblings, so I did a lot of babysitting growing up. I actually have a communications degree and I did take some child psychology. I worked as a resident assistant in college, as well.
Why did you choose a career in early education?
It’s really the enjoyment of watching children grow and learn. They are so smart and I think sometimes we underestimate their abilities. It’s really amazing to watch them grab a concept and ask questions about it and practice, especially in the k-prep class. They’re so proud of themselves, and watching that growth process I think is what makes this such a satisfying job.
How is our kindergarten-prep program beneficial to students about to enter kindergarten?
We start out the first half of the year working on their fine motor skills in order to strengthen the muscles in their hands to prepare them for writing. Then we spend the second half of the year working on those writing skills, learning the letters of the alphabet and the words that go along with them so when they get to kindergarten, they’re not surprised by any of it. We work on numbers and science, as well. Our focus is on setting those base skills, both academically and socially, and figuring out how to solve problems together so they’re really prepared to enter school.
Why is early education so important for little ones today?
I think the socialization part they get is really important. They learn how to share, how to express themselves, how to relate to other children. That socialization is very important and it just gives them a head start.
Can you share some fun hobbies you have?
I started playing ultimate Frisbee when I was in college – it’s kind of a mix between soccer and football, and you play with a Frisbee. It’s great. I’ve met incredible people playing it and it keeps me active. It’s probably my biggest hobby. That, and really any activities outdoors.
What is a memorable moment that you’ve had at La Petite?
We were working with a student who came to us a little younger, and she’s been working hard all year to learn to write her name. And we’re tracing and then copying and then all of a sudden one day, she just wrote it all by herself. And just seeing her excitement in it and knowing how long we’ve been working on it was really exciting.
If your students had to describe you in one word, what would it be?
Probably smiley. I’ve had a parent tell me that their child said that about me. I do smile a lot and I do bring a lot of energy to the class.
Overall, what has your La Petite experience been like?
I really enjoy my staff. We’re really a family here. I think that expands into the parents and children. They get that sense that we are here for them and enjoy what we’re doing. Because it’s such a loving family environment, it makes coming to work every day enjoyable.