Amy Maly – Early Childhood Teacher
Bachelor of Science, Illinois State University
1.5 Years at Elgin Academy
What is your favorite part of an Early Childhood day?
My favorite part of a day is when the children arrive and they are genuinely happy to see me. The smiles are truly heart-warming. I also love when a child who has difficulty separating from Mom or Dad waves goodbye and walks into the room. Both are beautiful and just like everything else, will happen when the time is right!
How does a strong Early Childhood education prepare students for when they are older?
The skills that are being newly introduced to this group of early learners are crucial for life. In my early childhood classroom, an individual will notice a lot of modeling from teachers as to what approaches may have a positive impact on a perceived challenge. One can also see that power struggles happen at this early time in life where many times language development is fairly recent. Through repetition and getting on the level of the children we are able to model empathy, communication of ideas, wants, or needs. We can assist in problem-solving, allowing the child to take the lead if comfortable and coming alongside of those not yet ready to take that step. It is always my top priority to develop self-esteem in all children. I want to equip them with the intrinsic pride in themselves that eventually they can move through life feeling confident. I also want them to know that all people are valued and all people matter. We can use our tools that we used and learned at a young age to celebrate success and work through challenges that come up over the course of a lifetime.
What is the most fulfilling part of teaching?
The most fulfilling thing to me as a teacher, who incidentally has been teaching in Early Childhood for 16 years, is being able to now connect with some of my former students over social media as well as with their parents. I have been told that I am still remembered and that their children, now in college, have fond memories of their first experience in school and have specific memories that they can pinpoint. I am so honored and blessed to have a menagerie in my mind of so many children with so many personalities that have touched me deeply.
Why is it important to create empowered and collaborative learners?
It is important because these two qualities are necessary in all avenues of life. The world is very different now, it is our place as educators to set the stage and allow our students to lead and create opportunities where development in these specific areas can take place and grow.