Major: Exercise Physiology
Hometown: Chico, CA
Program Position: Teacher’s Assistant | AS Child Development Lab
Rebecca’s cousin had worked at the ASCDL and told Rebecca all about it. Coming from a large family (40 cousins) she thought it would be a natural for her. So, she called the director of the center and set up an interview. She was hired as a teacher’s assistant and has been at the ASCDL for three years.
Rebecca works in a classroom of 3-5 year olds. “Our job is to provide as many learning experiences for the children as we can.” As part of the ASCDL team, she attends a weekly curriculum meeting where an inquiry for the week is chosen. “We identify the inquiry and the outcomes we want the children to achieve by the end of the week.” An important part of Rebecca’s role is to teach children how to transition from one activity to another throughout the course of the day. “We have 18-23 kids at a time and throughout the day they transition from meal time to play time to circle time, etc.”
Teaching in a classroom of 3-5 year olds means that Rebecca gets to develop a history with some of the children who remain in the room more than a year. “That challenges me further. We have to keep it fresh; provide new challenges to avoid repetition. With that age group there is a broad range of developmental skills to address. I want to make the children’s learning experience as fun as possible. I’m outgoing and willing to act silly and goofy in a teachable moment.”
Working at the ASCDL has been a life changing experience for Rebecca. “It has taught me how to enjoy life. I don’t take things for granted. My level of patience has dramatically increased. My job is fun. It doesn’t feel like work. If I’m having a down day, the kids turn it around for me. When I leave my shift, I’m in the greatest mood.”
And it’s not just the kids that make the job great. “I love the other staff I work with. I have strong co-worker relationships. I would recommend this job to anyone who likes kids.”
Rebecca is considering a couple of options after graduation. She might become a dental hygienist who specializes in working with kids or pursue some other type of therapy with children – perhaps physical therapy or speech therapy.
In Rebecca’s words:
“Child to child differs in how they learn. The challenging part is figuring out how to engage each one. You know when the teachable moment clicks. The kid smiles from ear to ear and begs for more. They’re so proud of themselves!”