Teacher Spotlight: Creating a Positive Learning Experience
Day Early Learning preschool teacher, Katy Kniola, talks about her teaching experiences.
Throughout high schooI, Katy Kniola loved babysitting, but she assumed she would care for others through a nursing career like her mother. In college, Katy was surprised to find the strong pull she had for young children.
“In college, I did a field observation with a kindergarten class. They let me have an active role in the classroom, and I loved it,” said Katy. Katy completed her student teaching at Day Early Learning at Park 100 and returned to our centers for a full-time position as soon as she graduated.
“I do not think that those of us who work in early care are always considered educators.” Katy prepares a lesson plan each week and works with children in groups and individually. She adjusts her lessons to each child’s learning style and ensures they are meeting important developmental milestones. “I am a teacher, and I am proud to say it,” says Katy.
Katy credits a degree in early childhood education in giving her the tools needed in the classroom. Through her education, she learned various techniques to deal with specific situations. But she also feels that hands-on experience has been her greatest teacher.
“Each child is unique,” says Katy. “Not every child learns the same way. So I need to figure out how to accommodate each child’s need to ensure they are learning. As the children’s learning evolves, so do my teaching techniques.”
Early Learning Indiana provides teachers with training and coaching. According to Katy, the coaches not only talk you through your challenges, they are active in the classroom demonstrating their ideas. “They break the topics down and show us how each topic is beneficial,” says Katy. “I feel stronger as a teacher thanks to excellent coaches and training opportunities.” Katy plans to continue her education by starting a master’s degree program in the next few years.
Katy’s most impactful moments as a teacher are those days when a child opens up to her, understands a difficult concept or finally believes in him or herself. She feels strongly that Day Early Learning sets children up to succeed. Every day is a new opportunity for her to help a child grow, and she loves helping them achieve new accomplishments and reach new milestones.
“I want children who pass through my classroom to shine as bright as they can. I try to bring a positive energy to my classroom. I want my kids to capture that and take it with them to their next classroom.”