Meet Ms. Catarina, lead teacher in our Early Preschool classroom at La Petite Academy in Fayetteville, AR! Read our Q&A below to learn more about this talented team member, including why she loves working with early preschoolers, what she feels are her biggest accomplishments, and what her favorite part of each day is!
Could you tell us some more about your background?
I always knew I wanted to work with kids, just because I love them. I graduated in 2016 with my bachelor’s degree in human development and family sciences. After that I started to pursue a master’s degree in social work, so I’m currently working on that. I had a couple internships and I worked with kids here and there my whole life.
What do you love about teaching early preschool students?
They’re funny and they’re really cute. They’re at that age where they can really talk to you. A lot of them, once they reach two-and-a-half, they can really carry on a conversation with you. I love that they have the “why?” questions.
What are some of their favorite learning activities to do in the classroom?
We do circle time activities with buckets where I’ll show them something in a bucket and they’ll tell me what it is. They tend to really love doing that activity with animals. We’ll sing a little song before and then I’ll introduce them to each animal and ask, “What animal is this?” We also ask questions like, “What does it eat?” They love it and that just makes my whole day.
Have you had any really funny moments in your classroom?
We were doing the bucket game one day and we were studying the letter “P,” so the students all have to make the sound of the letter “P” and then say the word of what’s in the bucket. So I pulled out what was supposed to be a plastic pillow, and one of the kids, without hesitating, said, “Cheese!” It was pretty funny.
What is your favorite part of the day?
The best part of my day is when I first show up. When I first show up all the kids line up and say, “Ms. Cat, Ms. Cat!” I go to each one of them and say, “Good morning, how was your day?” They are really loving. They’re a really good bunch.
Share your favorite accomplishment since you’ve been at La Petite.
There have been quite a few moments that are memorable for me. If I had to pick one, it would be that one of our students was pretty nonverbal when he began in our class. He wasn’t really talking a lot and he wasn’t sociable. Ever since I’ve been here working with him, he has started to use many more words, he lights up, and he wants to be more involved. He’s done really well!