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Career Story: Private Nursery School Teacher

Private Nursery School Teacher

Job Title: Private Nursery School Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a non-profit nursery school in the Boston area.

Education: BA, Behavioral Science, Lesley University (Cambridge, MA)

Previous Experience: I worked as a nanny, then in private schools in admissions. Once I had my children, I completed my degree and when the children have gotten older, I started to work part-time around my children's schedule.

Job Tasks: My day consists of planning and executing an emergent curriculum for young children aged 2 years to 3.4 years of age. Emergent curriculum is based on the interests of the children. We look at farm animals, and as the children show their interest in particular areas, we create projects, find books, songs, games, dramatic play, etc. that help expand their knowledge and interest in that particular topic. Sometimes we spend 2-3 weeks on a topic, other times, depending on their interest, we might only stay with something for a few days. Things we focus on (apart from farm animals) include gross motor development, outside play, fine motor skills, art, music, literacy, free play and dramatic play. 8 of the 9 children in my class stay for lunch and a nap, so the day also involves teaching them hand-washing, self-feeding, going to the bathroom and learning how to settle themselves for a nap.

My job revolves around children but I also help their parents by offering them advice about their children's development, and suggesting ways that they can contribute. Some of our parents are first-timers and require some guidance and advice about what their child is currently doing. We have planning meetings once a week as a team and, about every other week, we have full staff meetings which cover a large number of topics. I also help plan some of the school community events such as the annual auction which raises money for scholarships.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is watching children grow and mature with us. It is truly a privilege to watch, help and become their friends. There is nothing like walking into a classroom and having a little child come up and throw his arms around your neck and tell you he's happy to see you!

The worst part is knowing that we only have these kids for a short time. It is hard to say goodbye as they move on!

Job Tips: Working with small children is incredibly challenging but at the same time most rewarding. To watch a child grasp the art of language, to see his sense of self emerge, to watch him develop the skills he'll need is so amazing. But it also requires a lot of patience, passion, and persistence! The first 3 years of a child's life are so important and to have the opportunity to teach a child some of the skills he'll need is worth every bit of effort you put into it.

Additional Thoughts: I had always worked in the administrative side of private educational institutions. I really didn't think I was cut out to be a nursery school teacher. My children are older, and I figured it would not be my cup of tea. As it turns out, I absolutely love it, and it works around my life and what my children need. I would like to look at pursuing a master's degree as a complement to my Lead Teacher Certification and my undergraduate degree.

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