Sylvia is the Lead Infant Teacher at our location on North Garden Ridge in Lewisville, TX, and has been a part of The Children’s Courtyard family for 19 years! Read our Q&A with Sylvia to learn about her dedication and passion for early education, and how The Children’s Courtyard feels like her second home.
Tell us about your background in early education.
I’m from Germany and I had three years of college there in the medical field. When I came to the States, I got married and became a stay-at-home mom. Then my second child came along and I started taking some children into my home and took care of them while I watched my own. When my children were ready for school, there was a child care right across the street from where we lived. I could take my children to school and work there, too. I worked with young toddlers at that child care for four and a half years. Then we moved back to Germany for a while and came back, and when I came back I watched this building going up and saw “The Children’s Courtyard.” I heard good things about it, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve really been here from the beginning. I also have a Child Development Associate’s credential.
How do you help parents when it’s time to drop their infants off in the morning for the first time?
Well the young moms, especially the first babies at six weeks old, three months old, this is very hard for them. I usually cry with them! We have to let them know they can trust us. We tell parents to feel free to call, or we’ll send pictures, or to feel free to come by. We’re working together.
What’s it like to be an infant teacher?
In a way, it seems like it’s always the same, but it really isn’t, because every day I see something new that they learn. They start recognizing your face, or recognizing the routines. Every little step is an accomplishment for them. People say “you just work with infants, it must be boring,” but to tell you the truth, I’m never bored in there. There’s never been a dull moment.
How do you explain our infant curriculum to parents?
I tell them it is called a curriculum and we have lesson plans because they do learn. They learn through their playtime and their experiences. We observe the child and according to their development, we’re going to set up a curriculum for each of them. I don’t compare because they’re all the same age – they all have different learning abilities and that’s where the curriculum comes in.
Why do you think starting children in an education-based program so early is important?
Well, because most parents have to go back into the workforce and they don’t have the pleasure to stay home and be with their child and teach them and give them the love and care. So we have to make sure that we provide what they expect from us – the love, the feeding, the learning and being there for them.
Do you have a favorite accomplishment since you’ve been at The Children’s Courtyard?
Seeing the children every day – the older ones and even the younger ones – and seeing what they’ve learned, what they’re saying or how they’re behaving. It’s a reward for me. And it makes me think “gosh, I was a part of this from the beginning.”
What has it been like to teach at The Children’s Courtyard for almost 20 years?
The Children’s Courtyard has been really great to me. The management, my co-workers. We have a great team here and it’s been like this for a long time. It’s been like a family. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.