I didn’t know a lot about Head Start when I enrolled my children years ago. I volunteered in their classrooms though, and it made me realize I wanted to go back to school. I had started on a degree in early childhood education, but I stopped when I became a mom.
So, I started working for Head Start and it helped pay for my education. Now, I have my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood. I’ve worked as an assistant teacher, a lead teacher, a center supervisor, an assistant education manager, and now I’m the assistant program director at New St. Paul Tabernacle Head Start. I’ve been at New St. Paul for 21 years.
I value my experience as a Head Start parent and teacher. I think it makes me a better administrator. I understand the parent side as well as the employee side. I understand the management side as well as what it’s like to be a teacher in the classroom.
We have to meet parents where they are. Some parents think of Head Start as daycare until we take them through the classroom. It may look like play, but everything is intentional to help a child’s learning from the moment she enters the classroom. Even a song is reminding children of a skill, color or shape. Realizing that helps parents see it as an opportunity for their child to get a head start.
Head Start has played a significant role in my life, with my children and professionally.