Assistant teacherAkiba Academy of Dallas
“This is the first teaching-related job that I’ve had, and I got it thanks to my teachers in the Brookhaven Child Development program. I came to the states on a student visa — I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia — but only fairly recently got my green card so that I could work.
“I’ve always loved working with children; I have a bunch of nieces and nephews, and I just love kids, especially between ages three and five. What I’ve found fascinating in my Child Development classes is how kids learn. Dr. Rowe and Mr. Castro are just the best — they’re so supportive and open that I can talk to them about anything. I really love the professors; I think they’re the highlight of the program.
“I’ve learned so much in the classroom that I take to my job: especially the teaching aspects and how to get down on a child’s level, understanding the different age groups and what children can and can’t do at a certain age.
“What’s been most fun about my studies is how laid back it is in the classroom. It’s a great teaching method, having such a relaxed style. We can do fun or silly group activities, and we’re still learning. In fact, we’re learning more because we’re seeing things from the kids’ point of view.
“I think that’s one reason that I like and think I’m good at this job: I’m laid back, too. You have to have patience to work with small children — I work with toddlers 18 months to two years old — and not get stressed out when things need to change to work well. I have biters and hitters in my class, and though it would be easy to get stressed out, it goes much better if you’re an easygoing person. My advice to anyone starting this program? Be open to change and go with the flow!”
Amanda Krebs is completing an associate degree at Brookhaven College.