Jade isn’t just the lead early preschool teacher at The Children’s Courtyard on Spicewood Springs Rd. in Austin – she is also the District Teacher of the year! She has been with the company for two years, and has taught at the Austin location for one. Read our Q&A with Jade to learn more about her adventures as an early preschool teacher!
Tell us about your background in early child care and education.
I’ve worked with kids for as long as I can remember, whether it was tutoring in high school or volunteering in the community. I’ve also got two younger sisters that have definitely inspired me to work with children. I’m also a student and transferred to the University of Texas to continue my education.
What do you love about teaching early preschool?
I work with the two and three year olds, and they’re just sponges. They’re excited to learn and every day they learn something new and are thrilled about it. To be a part of that is just amazing.
How did you learn that you were District Teacher of the Year?
It was Teacher Appreciation Week, and they surprised me with this award in my classroom and I was so flattered by it! Sharing it with my kids when they told me about it was exciting, too.
What types of activities do you do in your classroom each day?
We do Circle Time twice a day and that’s when we get to sit together and have calm time where we read stories and work on our letters and shapes. It’s kind of an opportunity for the kids to have those one-on-one moments. Of course play is really important in that age group, so we definitely make time for free play. We also have outdoor play, which is wonderful being in Texas because we get to implement it a lot!
Why do you think early education programs are so important?
It’s important to build routines and to have the social aspect of it that children wouldn’t necessarily get from home care. That’s so important. With early preschool, like I said before, they’re sponges at that age, so it’s important to set those building blocks for their future education.
How do you foster a family environment within your center?
We host a lot of different events. We had a Fall Day where we invited parents to visit, and we had Grandparent’s Day a little while ago and invited grandparents to come. We really try to give them lots of opportunities not just to drop off and pick up, but to really be involved and really be partners in their children’s education.
What events does your center have planned for the holiday season?
For Thanksgiving we have a Thanksgiving Feast. For all the holidays, we like to celebrate all the different cultures. It’s such a diverse place that we live in and it’s amazing to have families bring their own cultures into the school to share when everyone’s together.