Major: Child Development
Hometown: Durham, CA
Program Position: Teacher’s Assistant, AS Child Development Lab
Amanda took a child development course at Butte College and, by coincidence, her instructor happened to also be the director of the AS Child Development Lab at Chico State. Amanda mentioned that she was looking for a part time job and soon all the pieces fell into place. She transferred to Chico State, became a Child Development major, and started working at the ASCDL. Initially she worked in the infant room and with preschoolers. Then she took her practicum course for the major and worked exclusively with preschoolers. “I found my perfect fit with preschoolers. I love asking them open-ended questions and just listening to their answers. I learn so much from them every day.” After Amanda finished her internship, she was hired again to work as a teacher’s assistant, and that’s where you can find her 15 hours a week. Amazingly, her shifts at the ASCDL begin AFTER her five hour shift at Trader Joe’s which she starts at 4:00 am! Clearly, Amanda has developed great time management skills to take a full course load and hold down two part-time jobs.
Amanda loves using the outdoors as a learning environment with her 2-3 year olds. Along with other ASCDL staff, she meets weekly to plan curriculum which is customized to the developmental stage of the children. “We use an open model for learning. Children can freely choose among several activities. We have four tables of activities, a library, a building block area, and a place for dramatic play.”
As Amanda explains, observation is a big part of her job. “We observe and take anecdotal notes which we review as a team to determine whether 80% of the children have reached that week’s learning goals. If not, we repeat the curriculum the following week. We want to keep moving forward, but we don’t want to live any child behind.”
No doubt the energy and excitement that Amanda adds to the ASCDL will carry forward as she pursues her plans to be a preschool teacher in a classroom setting.
In Amanda’s words:
“I love making a real life connection with what I’m learning in the classroom. Everything I learn is reinforced every day with the children. I feel valued and supported by the staff at ASCDL who are all so welcoming. We’re like a family.”