I have officially been at my new job now for a month. I have to admit, this was not as easy of a transition as I thought it would be. It has taken me a good three weeks to acclimate to my new surroundings. I miss my co-workers from Hidden Valley very much, but not the school/ASD program. The first couple of weeks, I came home exhausted and wondering if I had made the right choice by leaving my old job. I was very stressed out and even shed a few tears in private. My family kept telling me that it will get better and Nate always telling me that things will calm down. He was right…I am now a month in and am starting to have fun in my classroom and with the other teachers in our program. They are all very nice and helpful, but being the new girl on the block was overwhelming. When I would walk in each day, it felt like chaos and I was being asked so many questions and given too many directions all at once. I sat back one night took some deep breaths and told myself to start all over again. It helped me get back on track on now I’m getting the hang of it again. Deep breaths~
A little background on Ebenezer:
Ebenezer, which means stone of help, was founded in 1917, by Minneapolis Lutherans to provide community-centered care for homeless older adults and others in need. Over the years, Ebenezer has evolved into more than merely helping the needy and homeless. Ebenezer is leading the way in providing innovative choices for senior living. This year they will be celebrating their 100th anniversary. The childcare center where I work, will be celebrating 15 years of operation. We are connected as a whole campus along with Assisted Living, Memory Care, Transition Care, and Senior Living. We are all one big happy family that work together as a team. I will explain a little more on how that works.
I am co-teaching with a gal named Jane. She and I have a total of 10 kids in our classroom, so a nice ratio for now, but a few more will be “moving up” from the Toddler room soon. The childcare center has four rooms…Infants, Toddlers, Young Pre, and Older Pre. I am in the Young Preschool room. Our rooms all have a “Nature” name as well. Infants are the “Seedlings”, Toddlers are the “Sprouts”, Young Pre are the “Saplings”, and Older Pre are the “Twigs.” The nature theme runs throughout the center, with carpet looking like a nature path, chairs with frogs on them, and even a big tree-house for the kids to climb on. I love this idea and its one of the things that attracted me to this center.
Another thing that I enjoy about this center is all the “outside” attractions that are brought in to our preschool room. Jane and I make lesson plans for each week, but we have a lot of help. Four days a week, a gal named Connie, comes in and teaches Spanish for a half-hour. We have another gal from MacPhail Music who comes in twice a week and does a music class, we meet with the Chaplain once a week and have “Jesus Time” with him and the Grandparents, and every Friday, we head upstairs and do an activity with the Memory Care patients. Also, on any given day, we can just take a walk through the Transition Care Unit (TCU) and say hi to the Grandma’s & Grandpa’s who are out and about. The kids love this as do the elderly…a win-win situation. It’s a nice activity on a snowy or rainy day when we can’t get outside as well. Once a month, we gather in the chapel with all the grandparents for a special activity. This usually consists of singers, dancers, or someone putting on a show for us all to enjoy. It’s another one of our Intergenerational times. These are an hour long and I am amazed at how well our kids sit through these and are so entertained.
Since I’ve been here, we’ve celebrated some birthdays and a few holidays. Groundhog Day, Super Bowl, and Valentines Day. We decorated bags, paraded around the campus while handing out Valentine balloons and cards we made, then enjoyed a pizza lunch with the Grandparents.
At the Elementary school, we really never celebrated holidays anymore, so I am very happy to enjoys these again. Ebenezer celebrates them all! This Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) they will be having a huge Mardi Gras parade, then Ash Wednesday, Dr. Seuss’s birthday on Thursday, followed by pajama day to end the week. Fun times ahead and more pictures!
This is why I got back into the Preschool setting. I love the innocence of these little ones, all their questions and curiosities…and of course, their cuteness! We have a nice group of kids with wonderful parents who are very involved in their child’s life. I do have to giggle sometimes when they asked me questions that seem so simple & silly…but have to remember that these are “first time” parents and haven’t any background knowledge yet on certain things. I also had an epiphany this week when I realized that these parents would’ve been in my class, in my first years of teaching preschool 30 years ago. Aaaahhh!!!
It’s good to be back teaching Preschool and having some fun again with kids who are happy to come to school and want hugs from their teacher…and I can actually give them back without hesitation.