While I began my training as a babysitter at the age of 12, my professional experiences began after I had my 4 children. I wanted to stay home with them until they were in school, so I cared for other peoples infants to age 4 children in my home for approximately 5 years. As the children's caregiver, I prepared their snacks/meals/formula, changed and logged diaper changes, establishes age-appropriate napping schedules, and engaged in play using developmental appropriate toys. Once all of my children were in school, I worked as a lead teacher running a large childcare center's afterschool program. My duties included: picking up the children from school and transporting them to the care site, preparing and serving healthy snacks, playing games in small groups, planning and executing art activities, assisted with homework and monitoring outdoor play. When the children's parents came to pick up their child, I answered questions about the status of homework and any issues that I felt should be mentioned regarding their child. I held this position for one year. After leaving the afterschool position, our family relocated across country. I secured a position as a pastry chef, went to school to be a chef, and worked as a chef for several years. Missing working with children, I took a position as a paraprofessional in an elementary school. After 2 years, I decided to pursue a teaching degree. During my first year of college, I worked part time as a live-in nanny to two toddlers. The mother worked from home, and took care of most of the children's basic care need. I was responsible for the children's care when she attended meetings and went out with her spouse. While in my care, I prepared and fed the children, played games, and got them ready for bed (bathing, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas), and got them to sleep with stories and often rocking the younger toddler. I was with the family for 1 year, and then moved to another city. Soon after, I began taking care of a six week old infant during the day, and I attended classes 2 evenings a week and on Saturdays. To care for the child, I warmed breast milk and fed the baby and at 6 months prepared and fed him solids. I changed and logged diaper changes, established napping, sang, rocked, and read to the baby. As the infant became more mobile, I also began to introduce a variety of age-appropriate toys. When the baby was approximately 18 months old, I became concerned about the child's development in the area of speech. I discussed the issue with the parents, and it was decided that he be tested for delays. After the testing, the professionals concluded that he had autism. For that reason, my duties increased to spending time each day engaging I various speech developing exercises prescribed by a speech pathologist. As the child got older, I took him out to do various outdoor activities. We baked together, danced, played with toys that would improve his motor skills, and also painted and colored. At 26 months, the child displayed readiness to toilet train. I do not recall that this skill was a difficult one for him to master. Soon after, the family had another baby and the newborn was also placed into my care. She was a very fussy baby, so I had to soothe her a lot by rocking and walking with her. This issue improved somewhat when she was old enough for tummy time. As for her sibling, I provided the same care/activities. The children were 4 and nearly 2 when I stopped being their caregiver. I had to end my services, so I could complete my student teaching obligations. After earning my degree, I was a classroom teacher for six years. During that time I worked primarily with 6-9 year olds and spent one year teaching 11-12 year old children. My duties included maintaining a healthy and safe environment and providing engaging lessons to teach the curriculum. As the classroom teacher, I had to be very organized and maintain careful records of student issues and performance. My lesson planning had to be in depth and based on individual student needs. I also planned and executed parties and field trips. I developed congenial relationships with parents and worked collaboratively with them to discuss issues and goals.
I believe that the extensive experiences and professional training I have makes me an asset to the right family.