Relevant experience where I also cared for children were…I was a teacher's assistant throughout high school for young teens from my Sophomore to Senior year. In university, I was a TA for my thesis advisor in a class called Cultural Pluralism during my Senior year. I have also been babysitting family members since I was 11.
Activities I enjoy doing with children…I love getting to know what children already love doing and building upon it. My favourite things to do with kids is painting, yoga, making sculptures and piñatas out of cardboard, reading, and learning ASL together. I really enjoy going outdoors and running around playing sports and soaking up that vitamin D (after SPF 100 sunscreen, of course). It's imperative to me that when I work with children, we spend as little time as possible on screens. However, the occasional movie night with snacks is a must! Occasional day trips to local museums and picnics in a park would definitely be on the calendar. With my previous family of three children, we implemented "special time", where each child would get a couple of hours to a full day of an activity of their choice that we would do one-on-one. This would help us talk about our relationships and give me time to get valuable feedback from each child separately. This was so valuable and really helped me cultivate amazing relationships.
The most important part about being a nanny…To me, being a nanny means being given the responsibility of having a pivotal role in the lives of children. Children who will emulate, learn from, and talk with you. The most important thing to do is to never betray that trust bestowed upon you by the parents of these children, whom they love more than anything. I do not take this lightly. It is so important to me to be a good role model for children. That means being emotionally mature and understanding of their needs, being responsible and putting those children before myself when I am responsible for their care, working alongside their parents and following their lead on how they prefer to handle situations as it pertains their children, being a safe adult for children, and being able to constructively take criticism and learn from my mistakes. It also means being fun and personable with the children, while understanding my duty of keeping the children physically, emotionally, and mentally safe.
My experience with special needs children…One of my previous children had ADHD that was severely challenged by at-home, online learning. The child's family, teacher, and I created several solutions to issues that would pop up related to their frustrations, and difficulty staying concentrated and engaged. Among these solutions were allotted break times to allow their brain to readjust and not get overwhelmed, going ahead of their class during times when they were feeling extra motivated, mutual resetting where they and I would do breathing and physical exercises together to get our bodies moving and our brains to calm down. Another child I worked with had dyslexia. To prepare for their schooling I researched some best practices for teaching children with dyslexia, while also speaking with their teachers and tutors on how to work together to help them. Among these were the 3 second rule, the 1 critique rule, and sound-through (not out) rule. I would love to answer questions to go more in-depth about these situations.
My favorite nanny moment…I can't name just one as there have been SO many!
1. Being told by one of my kids that I was the best nanny ever while talking to them after they had a very emotional moment surrounding their frustrations with online schooling.
2. Having an entire conversation with a 5 year old in ASL after a month of teaching and learning!
3. Seeing the bright smile of one child after learning to do a new braid they asked for in their hair.
4. Teaching a 5 year old how to ride a "big kid" bike and the look on their face when they realized how capable they were!
5. The same 5 year old coming up to me and telling me that she had taken my advice on resolving a conflict in her kindergarten class and that it had worked, and that she had done it by herself!
6. Getting to share my cultural holidays with the kids that I nannied for and them sharing theirs with me!
7. Being asked by multiple parents that had seen and heard of my interactions with the kids I nannied for if I would be willing to nanny for them.