Finding a Great Preschool Teacher
Just last week, we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week. Teachers often spend more waking hours with children than their parents do, so is it any wonder that kids often form a strong bond that lasts years…sometimes decades…with teachers? How often have you heard a famous actress, politician, or athlete mention a teacher that made a tremendous impact on them – usually in ways that just came naturally to that teacher? Have you ever heard a teacher say that he or she got into teaching because it was easy??? I haven’t. But I have been told by teachers that teaching was their passion…that they loved children…that they had an overwhelming desire to invest in the future of tiny humans.
It can’t be overstated – teachers make a difference. Because of how vital a teacher is to a child and a family, Mrs. Kristi Zagar, Director of the Ministry Village Early Learning Center (ELC), makes it her priority to hire teachers who are truly passionate about what they do. “Early learning research emphasizes the importance of fostering a close bonding relationship between a caregiver and a child,” said Mrs. Kristi. “That bond between a teacher and child provides security for the child in the absence of a parent. And that security, and knowledge of being and feeling loved, is what fosters the ability for a child to grow, learn and develop. That is the experience of love and development that we want for each of the children at the Ministry Village ELC.”
So what does Mrs. Kristi look for when hiring a teacher or assistant teacher? “Primarily, teachers must have the proper credentials, or formal education and experience in a classroom setting. But beyond that, I want to see the love that they have for children – the passion that they have for what they do – and how they teach and nurture the kids in their care.” Mrs. Kristi emphasizes that having teaching experience is necessary and certainly important, but being warm, engaging and interactive with the children is vital to being truly successful in early learning. “You can see it in the eyes of a teacher that truly enjoys the work. They just light up.”
As a Christian preschool, the Ministry Village ELC also places an essential emphasis on a love for teaching the Bible and instilling Godly principles of character into the children. Starting at an early age, children can learn to be kind to one another, not just because it’s a rule, but because Jesus loves us and wants us to love others. The teachers weave Bible lessons into their interactions with the kids throughout the day, teaching them to pray for others, ask for God’s blessing over their food at meals and snack times, and find ways to share and be helpful around the classroom.
Watching children grow and reach milestones is exciting for teachers and parents alike, and the parents at the Ministry Village ELC have been thrilled with the amount of feedback and interaction they receive from their kids’ teachers. “Everybody is so friendly there, and I love how happy my daughter is when she gets to school every day!” said one parent. Another parent commented, “We can see how much love our son gets at the ELC. Trust is so important to me as a new mom, and I know he is in good hands each day.”
“We are honored to be a part of these families lives,” says Mrs. Kristi. “It is a joy to come to work every day, to see these children, to get to know these families, and to know that we are helping to support and grow the next generation in our community. We don’t take that responsibility for granted for even one minute.”
🍎The Ministry Village ELC’s first VPK classes will begin in August 2019, and VPK is free for Florida residents! For more information on VPK and how to qualify, visit the Early Learning Coalition of Escambia County (www.elcescambia.org).
🏫We have current openings in our program for ages 2, 3 and 4! Call us today at (850) 378-8044 to learn more!
💻Visit our website at MinistryVillageELC.org for more information including rates and curriculum, and call us for a tour at (850) 378-8044. We’d love to meet you and your little ones!
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Ministry Village Early Learning Center
1724 E. Olive Road, Pensacola, FL 32514