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Get to know Ms. Amy, lead pre-kindergarten teacher at The Children’s Courtyard on Six Pines in The Woodlands, TX. She has worked at this location for three years and has an associate’s degree with a focus in early childhood education. Check out our Q&A to learn more about Ms. Amy!
Why did you decide on a career in early childhood education?
I enjoy the ability to really work with children individually. Here in an early education setting, you really get to focus on every aspect of the child’s development and incorporate that into the daily lessons with them. I really enjoy that and getting to be creative. Plus it’s a really fun age. We have this wonderment, this excitement. It’s inspiring to me every day as a teacher to come in and experience this.
What does your typical day look like?
I try to have a structured program. I think kids really function well in structure. We come in and we do opening centers and then we come together for our first formal gathering. We review calendars, the weather and jobs for the week. Then we do an activity. All of my lesson plans revolve around a letter for the week. This week is “D” and this morning we did a “Dinosaur Stomp” for an activity. We’ll then do small group time where I work with them more individually. We gather up at 10:30 and transition to go outside. We come back in and eat lunch and then do an activity to transition from lunch to nap. We wake up and do a large group experience so they can get accustomed to what kindergarten is like. After that we’ll go into a less guided center where they can interact and play.
Your school has the new “brightwheel” mobile app. Can you talk a bit about that?
I can send parents pictures, messages, educational summaries. My parents this year really reached out and wanted to know about naptime, so we send nap updates. I let them know what their kids ate for lunch. And parents can bring those updates into the car ride home. Instead of their child saying “I don’t know what I learned today,” parents can say, “Well you learned about space, so tell me more!”
What was your favorite subject when you were in school?
Absolutely English. I love writing and reading. My mom would tell everybody I was reading fluently by age three!
If your students could describe you in one word, what would it be?
Probably silly. I actually get told that a lot. They’ll be like “you’re so silly!” I run a structured program but I feel like it’s important at this age to have humor and you have to be able to laugh. We do dance parties, we sing, we do the whole thing. They will tell me on a regular basis, “Ms. Amy, you’re so silly.”
Can you share a memorable moment you’ve had during your time at The Children’s Courtyard?
There was one boy in particular, no one really knew what his thing was, but he would often misbehave. One day at naptime I found him crying and I didn’t know what was going on. I sat down and we visited. I had some apples left over from lunch, and so I went and grabbed them and we were just snacking and talking, and he ended up sharing things with me about his life that were pretty significant, like missing a dad that wasn’t there and all different kinds of things that we really weren’t aware of. I really bonded with him. I had a Kindness Tree in my classroom that year to and recognize kind behavior, and he came up and wanted to add a leaf to the kindness tree for me. It said “Ms. Amy gave me apples when I was sad.” I still have the leaf. It meant so much because that was the first child in a classroom environment that I had that type of connection with. He’s older now, but I’ll never forget it.
Why is early education critical for kids today?
I think it’s important to give children that leg up in education. A big part of it is to give them that social academic experience of interacting with friends. Some have no siblings at home and for them, this is the first time they’re interacting with kids. I feel like it’s so important for them to form and have that nurturing school/home connection. That’s something you get here. You form a school family.