Saturday, October 5, 2013

Education Is Very Important
for Your Little Star

One of the greatest regrets Oma has in childrearing
 is not taking her sons out of public school.


According to the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), there's a number of reasons some parents are choosing the pricier option. These include high academic achievement (the National Center for Education Statistics has found that private school students in grades 4, 8 and 12 score well above the national average in reading, math, science and writing), a safe environment, high parent and teacher satisfaction levels, a focus on civics, community service and a values-based setting.

If only I knew then what I understand now . . . . . . As a new Oma (Dutch for Grandmother), I do not wish to make that same mistake twice. After interacting with a child who has attended “Little Stars Academy Temecula,” Oma hopes that Reef Indy can someday attend this excellent learning milieu. 

Little Stars Academy Temecula
Little Stars Academy Temecula

During her research, Oma interviewed Jessica, the founder of Little Stars. The best part of that interview will be presented in several installments. Please take the time to read what this innovative educator has to say. It will positively change your life and the lives of your children and/or grandchildren significantly. Much of her advice, covered in part three of this series, can be accomplished with little or no monetary cost.

Question One of Three:

Oma: How was your experience as a traditional teacher? 

 

Jessica: I have been teaching for eight years. Six years teaching public school kindergarten in a rural, program improvement (means the school had test scores that No Child Left Behind Act deemed as failing), low socio-economic, high English as a second language population school. I started teaching at the public school the first year that it was in its program improvement status, which meant that the school was in for a lot of changes. The school became part of a grant program called Reading First where we were given an academic coach and a lot of training. As teachers we were expected to follow the curriculum exactly as it was laid out with no deviations. The premise of the Reading First program was that if you follow the program, you would see results. So I set out to do just that.

I was fortunate to have a partner teacher who had many years’ experience teaching preschool and kindergarten and was very well known and respected in the community. In that first year together we changed everything about the way kindergarten was taught in that school. My partner was so supportive and open to every new idea that I had. We taught the program exactly as designed and definitely got results. Pretty soon our kindergarten was scoring some of the best test results in the district. In my 2nd year of teaching I became a model teacher. Other kindergarten teachers in our district would come to observe my implementation of the program. This was such a great experience for me. I enjoyed helping teachers, learning from them, and making their lives a little easier. I came to respect and understand how important it was for a teaching staff to work as a team and be on the same page. (More about this later & why I left public school 

I learned from him about our community and that the most important thing you could give to any student was love, understanding, and a safe place to be because the bottom line was that a lot of our kids didn’t get that at home. He had always done home visits as a preschool teacher because it was required and continued to do them in kindergarten. I watched the relationship that he developed with kids and parents, the way they trusted him, and let him in to their homes no matter what their home life was like. I learned that gaining the trust of your student’s parent was the best way to get results and make a difference for them. I learned early on that I loved kindergarten so much because you were laying the foundation of schooling for kids and parents in so many ways. I learned that I loved educating the parents and helping them help their kids just as much as I loved teaching.

(Part Two – Will be Published Next Week) 

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