Teacher Appreciation Week and a Magical Metamorphosis…Day 49

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and I want to personally thank all of the amazing teachers in my life (past and present) who give of themselves each and every day. With the onset of COVID-19, teachers around the world found themselves learning new technologies and brainstorming ways to best meet the needs of their students while they entered the world of virtual learning. I applaud all of them for their tenacity and grit during this time of uncertainty. The Zoom chats, weekly lesson plans and daily blog posts from my daughter’s preschool teacher, Mrs. Stanglein, is the familiar that is keeping us grounded during this time of isolation.

virtual teaching

Dedication to Mrs. Stanglein (Preschool Teacher), Mrs. Washburn (Preschool Aide) and Mrs. Haun (Zion’s Early Childhood Director)- I have a graduate degree in early childhood education and when my husband and I began looking at preschools for our daughter, I was worried we would never find an early childhood program, or a teacher, that met my rigorous standards. I prayed for guidance and God led us to Zion Lutheran School.Stanglein

Mrs. Stanglein, you are the perfect teacher for our little one. Over the past two years you have encouraged our little girl’s creativity, inspired her budding literacy skills and ignited in her, an everlasting love for nature, discovery and investigation. And you accomplished all of this while providing a safe, developmentally appropriate, Christ-centered environment. When we first met I knew you wouldn’t be intimidated by my high-standards and could “hold your own” with this Noteworthy Mommy! And I have learned from you, especially during this time of “home schooling” and virtual learning. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of play (free and guided), providing resources to help with my daughter’s propriproceptive development and always reminding us of Jesus’ love.

Washburn

Mrs. Washburn, your quiet demeanor and warm smile makes me feel comfortable leaving my little one in your care. You provide the children with assistance and support, so they can be successful at school. Thank you for treating your students as they are your own and teaching them about God through your love and compassion

Haun

Mrs. Haun, I never dreamed of finding an early childhood center that was officially trained on The Project Approach! As I walk through Zion’s early childhood wing, your leadership and extensive knowledge on how young children learn is being demonstrated in every single classroom. Thank you for the extraordinary work you do to provide training, materials and overall support for teachers, staff, children and their parents. I benefited greatly from the parenting classes your provided during the Sunday School hour.

Teachers
My daughter with Mrs. Haun, Mrs, Washburn and Mrs. Stanglein, when Fred Bird came to surprise her at school!

From Caterpillar to Butterfly– On April 22, Mrs. Haun delivered Painted Lady caterpillars to all of her early childhood teachers. We have been tracking their progress from caterpillar to chrysalis through daily blog posts and a live caterpillar cam! My daughter has been documenting the changes in a butterfly journal.  CLICK HERE to download the Butterfly Journal. Whether it be the amazing changes a caterpillar experiences as it turns into a butterfly or the growth my little girl has shown during her preschool years, both are amazing metamorphosis’ created by God’s careful hands.

butterflyjournal1caterpillar collage

 

Two Noteworthy Teachers “Changing Lives Through Music”

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week I wanted to highlight two teachers who have touched my life. To them, teaching isn’t simply a job, it’s a passion! Through their gift of music they are changing the lives of children in a positive way. Portions of this article appeared in the Community Music School of Webster University e-blast in May 2018.

I began taking clarinet lessons at the Community Music School of Webster University (CMS) as a young adult. My teacher, Jeannie York Garesche, helped me with the fundamentals and gave me the confidence as a performer to become a member of the Saint Louis Wind Symphony. “Jeanine personalized each lesson, was patient with me and always set high expectations. Through her instruction, mentor-ship and support, I was able to perform at a level I never thought possible!” Over the years Jeanne and I have kept in touch and my husband and I were honored when she accepted the invitation to perform at our wedding. She is a talented professional musician and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to study under her.

Jennifer and her clarinet teacher Ms. Jeanine York Garesche.

Music brings a lot of joy to my life and I want my daughter Lillian to grow up appreciating music and having opportunities to express herself musically. So I enrolled Lillian in Kindermusik classes at the CMS when she was 8 months old. Lillian and I enjoy going to class together and we both love her teacher, Ms. Jeanne Magee! “Ms. Jeanne is outstanding! It is clear she is passionate about music and is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to child development. She is warm and welcoming and makes learning fun.” Jeanne has a beautiful voice, supports my blog and is one of the sweetest people I have ever met! I consider her a mommy mentor and a friend.

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Lillian and her Kindermusik teacher Ms. Jeanne Magee.

A busy life as a full time mommy, part time educational consultant and active musician have sadly made it challenging for me to continue taking clarinet lessons. Even though I don’t currently study privately, when I perform with the Saint Louis Wind Symphony or the Northwinds Concert Band, I continue to apply what Jeanine taught me. If I ever slow down I hope to study with Jeanine again some day. Lillian has learned to keep a steady beat, recognize loud and soft and often sings the songs or does the dances she has learned in Ms. Jeanne’s class. Lillian is three so we get to enjoy two more years of Kindermusik at the CMS! I will always be grateful to the CMS and their dedicated teachers for providing me and my daughter with quality music instruction.

Teachers often don’t get the opportunity to hear how they have changed lives. So I challenge each of you to take the time to write a note or send an email to a teacher who impacted your life. Let your child’s teacher know how much you appreciate the work they do or encourage your child to write a note or draw a picture. As a former teacher I valued those personal notes far more than any of the lotion, scented candles or coffee mugs I received!