Teacher Appreciation Week is officially in swing and here at team MomentPath, it’s gotten us feeling a tad nostalgic.
Because although we work with preschool teachers and their teams every day, our love for preschool teachers goes much further back. This week, we’re taking a moment to think back on our earliest educational experiences and the amazing ECE teachers whose life-changing lessons have stayed with us for years.
Up for a quick trip down memory lane? Let’s get to it!
Full disclosure: Our client success rockstar MacKenzie Gutwein doesn’t remember everything from her preschool days.
But she does remember "Mrs. Graham Cracker".
“I have one significant memory from preschool,” she says. “One of my teachers was Mrs. Graham, but of course I called her ‘Mrs. Graham Cracker’. Every week on a particular day, Mrs. Graham would ask us to dress up as what we want to be when we grow up.”
Hold on. MacKenzie got to dress up every week at preschool? No wonder she still remembers Mrs. Graham!
Needless to say, preschool life for MacKenzie was pretty awesome. But now that she’s a bonafide “grown up”, MacKenzie can see that dress up day was about so much more than getting to wear your astronaut costume to school.
“It may sound small but what it did was show us that it was okay to want to be many different things. I remember most of us would dress up as something different every week and be convinced that this was the one, but then of course it changed the next week and Mrs. Graham played along every single time.”
Madison Carlson, a.k.a. our super stellar Director of Client Success, agrees that small things can make a big impact.
Starting with Mrs. Pebble.
Madison recalls her time in Mrs. Pebble’s care as taking place largely outside the classroom. The way she remembers it, it was “...a holistic approach to learning, if you will.”
Because the thing about Mrs. Pebble was that she loved to be outdoors — and today, so does Madison.
“She took us on a nature walk at a local park. She taught me to love nature and the joy of doing activities, even learning/reading activities outside”
With the proven benefits nature can have on your total wellbeing, a love of the outdoors is something Madison is grateful she was able to pick up early, thanks in no small part to Mrs. Pebble!
As Chief Experience Officer here at MomentPath, Lee Eisenbarth is BIG on design.
From constructing fonts to creating super smart software, Lee loves to view things from different angles. And, as you might’ve guessed, it’s a skill he learned from one of his earliest teachers.
“I remember practicing cursive with one of my teachers,” says Lee. “She was helping me step by step making a capital ‘L’. I remember making the loops and her challenging me to make each copy of the letter slightly different than the next.”
For Lee, this was a pivotal moment in developing a passion for the little things.
“I've always had a love for typefaces and this is my first memory of learning to pay attention to the details of each letter — and how to make my own mark in defining my handwriting style. While I may not remember her name... she's definitely responsible to a degree for me choosing graphic design as a career path.”
Before Brendan Pastor joined our team as Client Experience and Operations Associate, he spent nearly 10 years as operations manager for his parents’ child care business, Educational Playcare.
“Growing up in my family's child care business, I think it's safe to say that I've gained most of my life education in a preschool environment,” says Brendan.
But Brendan’s respect for preschool teachers doesn’t just come from his professional background. As a father of five and husband to early learning educator Chelsea Johnston, Brendan takes his inspiration from ECE leaders on a daily basis.
“The most important thing that I've learned is the importance of empathy and patience. These are qualities that you consistently see from those that work the frontlines in the child care industry, and while we as parents try our best, it's the preschool teachers whom we entrust with our children everyday that do such an amazing job of modeling these traits.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Whether it’s a subtle push toward exploring who you’ll choose to be, or a simple walk outside in nature, so much of who we are today comes from what we did in those first significant moments with the right teacher holding our hand.
This Teacher Appreciation Week, why not take the time to reflect on a preschool teacher who’s helped pave your path for the better? Chances are, you’re still applying those lessons today.