Interview questions and answers
1. How did you get to this point in your life?
Nearly twenty years ago I was one of the only ‘stay at home moms’ in my neighborhood. I began to be asked by friends and neighbors to watch their children, so after my third child was born I had my home licensed as a large family day care. I qualified for the larger capacity license because of the many years of volunteer experience working in my children’s classrooms and teaching Sunday school. While working as a home daycare provider I decided I wanted to someday be able to teach preschool or have a childcare center outside my home. I researched the requirements and discovered that I had a long road ahead of me. The first step was to get an education. I enrolled in adult education and earned my High School Diploma at 31 years old. My 3 young daughters, parents and grandparents were at my graduation ceremony to watch the first person in my family in 3 generations to receive a diploma! I began my college education in Early Childhood Education while growing and raising my family over the next several years. I worked at many different jobs during that time which provided useful experiences and introduced me to many professionals in the field. In one of those jobs I worked in the children’s ministry department at my church and eventually became the Director of Nursery and Childcare Ministry for a mega church in Modesto. When the church expanded and started another large church, I became the Director of Children’s Ministries. After several years I was offered an opportunity to work as a consultant to help churches start childcare centers and preschools funded by a First Five grant. It was exciting and rewarding helping new programs to get started but I missed working directly with families and children. My work opened the doors for me to start up a preschool program and continue on as the Director/Teacher. This came at a perfect time as my family was moving from the central valley of California to the Sierra foothills. This new position was another First Five funded pilot program for Universal Preschool. When the First Five contract ended the need for preschool and childcare in my new town was now apparent to me. I took a break from working at this time to complete the last few classes I needed and I graduated from MJC with honors earning an AS in Child Development. I applied and received a Site Supervisor Permit from the CCTC. Then I invested some money in my dream and opened my own childcare and preschool. My business was highly successful for over five years. A personal crisis in my life caused me to close my school, take some time off, reevaluate my life, explore some other options, but in the end, I returned to what I love. I am now working as a Lead Preschool Teacher for AESD, a job I love because I spend most of my time teaching. I am continuing my education working toward a bachelor’s degree to keep current and improve my knowledge and skills in ECE. 2. What are the most rewarding experiences you have had?
The most rewarding experiences have been ones where I have worked with families for several years and watched the growth of the children and parents. These are experiences where positive changes happened through the relationships that were developed and it is seen in the family members as well as the preschool child. 3. What have been your challenges in this profession?
In the beginning the challenges were raising my own family, being a fulltime college student and working in the field all at the same time. As a seasoned professional, the challenges are related more to complying with administrative requirements that are burdensome, controlling or developmentally inappropriate. An example of this is being required to use a curriculum that I feel is inappropriate and not well rounded while trying to meet the state Desired Results. 6. What are your Strengths?
My strengths lie in building relationships with parents...