Little Scholars Education

Lead Teacher

May 2021 • Mentor, OH

What I liked

Firstly, I enjoyed working around children very much, despite the challenges that arose. I worked with children from various age groups, but I was officially responsible for the school age children and was a lead teacher for the school age summer program. As part of this job, I learned that a work environment in which there is children is highly unpredictable, and I have to be on my feet, alert at all times, and skilled at making decisions instantaneously. One of the challenges I faced every day was addressing children in my group who had special needs or behavioral problems. In the end, I am glad to have faced such challenges, as they have helped me to grow as a person and a leader. They have also tested how well I can address unpredictable situations that arise in a childcare environment on my own. I hope that I will be better at addressing challenges when I return to this work environment. Despite the challenges I faced, I adored the group I worked with this past summer. I was looking forward to forming bonds with at least some of them, and I succeeded. I loved how happy some of them were to see me when I arrived at work in the morning, how excited they were when they talked about things that interested them, and how I grew as a person and strived to become better as a teacher as I learned more about them. I received so many gifts from them, most of them drawings, which I will cherish forever. Of course, most of the activities I developed and implemented worked well for them. There were a couple instances in which I tried to make slime with them. The first of these batches of slime did not turn out so well, but most of the kids still had fun. That was the end goal I had for them - to make sure they were having fun, and, of course, safe. One of the older children in my care actually showed me how she makes slime, and hers turned out beautifully. We ended up making batches for all of the children, and I will use her recipe from now on so that the same mistakes I made do not happen again! I also liked how supported I was in this work environment. My boss is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about what she does. She praised my accomplishments but also gave me feedback on what I could have done better, and explained ways to improve in the areas I was lacking in. I also admired how close and caring she was toward each of the children. My coworkers were also great resources for me, mainly in providing important background information about the children that they felt I should know, as well as advice on working with children.

What I wish was different

The monthly budget for purchasing items that would go toward the summer program was $10 when I worked at Little Scholars last summer, and I wish that my fellow employees and myself could have a larger budget. I especially wish that this was so because there was so much I was planning on doing with the children and the amount of money that I was allowed to be reimbursed was not enough to cover it all. I have been saving for my first place to live, so I was wary about spending large amounts of my own money.


One piece of advice that I would share about this experience with someone who is planning on working at this location, or any childcare facility, for that matter, is to avoid yelling too much. Working with children is absolutely something that exhausts you and tries your patience, and there are times when a child does something that irritates you so much that you cannot help but yell. I often found myself yelling, mainly because I had to raise my voice above the children's because they would not stop talking, even when they were asked multiple times. To be honest, it hurt my voice, and I also have the feeling that it stressed out some of the children I worked with. Now that I have had this experience, I am considering that displacing my stress and irritation on children is not likely to alleviate problems or cause them to behave better. For this reason, I think it is important to avoid raising your voice and instead use tactics that reduce the stress of a situation (e.g. "If you can hear my voice, clap once/twice!"). Furthermore, talking in a calm voice with children is likely to gain their trust.
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