I was born in Wisconsin to a large family. With six siblings, and two adults, the odds were stacked! I spent a lot of time around children and babies, lending a helping hand whenever possible. We also had a large yard with lots of trees and a great big garden. We grew most of our vegetables for the year in the garden. Growing up I often thought what a miracle it was that the small, hard seed we put in the ground would grow into a big, beautiful plant.
Coming from a large family was hard work and I learned so much. I learned about sharing limited resources, and about patience. I learned about where food comes from and about the value of producing it. I learned about cooperation and sensitivity towards others needs. I think one of the most important things I learned about myself was that I love watching all things that grow, and tending to them as they develop. I feel that the practice of patience and of showing loving care for all things that grow, I established growing up. This is what has guided me to a career as a teacher and child care provider.
My interest and experience working with children proceeded, throughout my college and university years and beyond. I continually took on roles as a childcare provider whenever possible, from tutor, to teacher’s assistant, to babysitter. After dipping my toes into the professional digital media world, I realized I wanted more. I needed work that felt wholesome, that recharged me, and made me smile each day. My joy and my work needed to overlap. That is when I decided to move all of my focus and energy into the work that had always put a smile on my face – childcare.
When I moved to Asheville in 2011, I started professional childcare in earnest, first babysitting, and later getting a job as a preschool teacher at a local private school. I went to trainings in professional childcare and spent hours honing my skills. My time spent working there helped me realize my passion and abilities in more concrete ways. I began studying more on my own on the various teaching and parenting methods. I looked forward to my work as a preschool teacher each day. I felt I was doing important and fulfilling work.
During my tenure at the preschool, I began to realize some parts of childcare felt lacking. At this school we had a class of up to 23 children with three teachers. That is a ratio of about 8 to 1. Manageable, yes, but I hardly had the chance to connect personally with each child or to help them problem-solve in truly mindful ways. There was little time for careful observation of their growth and development needs. And partly because of the student/teacher ratio, it was not possible to create a peaceful learning environment. I felt I was missing out on an important part of the role of being a teacher.
I began taking notes on what I observed in the classroom, and deepening myself further in the childcare literature I was researching. I felt there needed to be something smaller, in a space capable of providing a calm environment for learning. It needed to be a place where I would have the time and space to honor the individual needs of each child. I surveyed the various schools and childcare programs in the area, and I realized that, though there were a number of very admirable programs, none of them seemed to be providing for the individualistic care and respect I deemed needed. It was at this point I decided to begin forming a preschool experience in which I could feel fully confident.
It has been a pleasure and a joy to offer Little Makers Preschool to our Asheville community. For more than three years, LM has invited dozens of little ones and their families to experience individualized loving care and attention in a learning experience. It has been an adventure, and one in which I feel truly grateful for all the families who have been involved. I’m now able to provide childcare that honors the needs of individual children and helps them grow and learn in a safe environment.
Please feel free to contact me for more information or to schedule a visit – I would love to hear from you!