Ms. Shannon is the terrific lead toddler teacher at The Children’s Courtyard in Morgan Hill, CA. She has been teaching little ones at this location for 18 years! Read our Q&A with Shannon to learn more about this amazing CCY teacher!
Can you tell us some more about your background?
I worked in a gym child care center when I was 16. I worked at another center when I was 18 for about three years, and I actually went to medical assistant school for three years at that time. Then I ended up starting here at the Morgan Hill site 18 years ago and in between that time I actually went for my nursing degree! and I got it to the Licensed Practical Nurse part of it and I said, “I love kids more.” And so I’m here!
What do you love about working at your location?
It’s the families and the support and just feeling like it’s a community. I feel like we’re all family. I can’t leave!
What’s your favorite part about working with toddlers?
Just the growth of that stage of life where they’re already walking, but they’re still toddling and they’re learning all their words. When they can say “Ms. Shannon” when they walk in in the morning, that makes my day!
How is it rewarding for you?
To know that I’m actually teaching them how to speak, how to use their words, how to use soft touches, how to interact with other children. I really work one on one with them to make sure they know how to communicate. I help them just to know they can defend themselves.
In your opinion, why are early education programs important?
The interactions with other children. And I really believe that the younger, the better. I used to be in the infant room and when they start in the infant room, the teachers build their relationships with the children. I notice that it’s so much harder for children to start in the twos or the threes rooms. They never had interaction with other children or other teachers and it’s hard on the child.
Can you discuss how you communicate with the parents at your location?
I’m constantly bringing up things like “this is how your child’s day was,” or “we need to work on this.” I’m so open with them. We constantly have the best open communication and it’s about not being afraid to tell them what’s going on. You need to let them know. You ease them into it and it helps that I have a great relationship with them already.
What has been a favorite moment of yours since you’ve been teaching at your school?
Former students will come back from their school-age program and come in and say, “Ms. Shannon, I remember when you were my teacher!” That kind of stuff I love. With my former parents, I’ll be out at a street festival and they’ll come up to me and say, “oh my gosh Ms. Shannon!” The parents remember me and I remember the parents. We have that long lasting relationship.