2010 TeacherCaregiver of the Year Nomination
: Robin and Justin, parents of Isaac and Daniel
Names and Ages of Children
: Isaac is 3 and Daniel is 21 months
Length of Time your TC has worked with your family
: Over 3 years
Why did you choose to nominate your TC? What qualities make her a good fit for your family?
In our family, communication, organization and planning are all very important. With my husband traveling consistently for work, it is essential that we all communicate about our boys regularly. Laura always gives a detailed report of the day, verbally, and in a chart she created, to relay their eating, activities, toileting, and naps. Laura is also incredibly organized, preparing for each and every day, ensuring the kids have what they need for all circumstances (and weather!). She traveled with us the Disneyworld, and as a veteran of the theme park planned a detailed, but reasonable daily schedule for all of us. Most importantly, Laura has the ability to remain calm in stressful situations; this has made her a great fit for our family.
What are some of the ways in which your TC has really helped your children/family?
Laura comes to work ready for what each and every day brings. Beyond the preschool drop-off and other planned classes for the kids, she seeks about opportunities for the kids, looking to the local library, Botanic Garden and other community events. Laura also arranges playdates with other children to foster interaction for the kids. On a rainy day or a day where one of the kids is under the weather, she plans of fun-filled day in the house; she seeks out websites for coloring templates, puts together art projects, and engages them creatively. She doesn't shy away from bundling them up to play in the snow either, recognizing it's important for the kids to experience all the seasons.
How is she different from other caregivers or teachers you have met?
Laura has an uncanny ability to anticipate what our children need (even what we'll need) before those needs escalate. I think part of her skill set is innate, it is simply who she is. But at the same time, I believe her degree in early childhood education and her experience as a preschool teacher have really helped. I am a school administrator who evaluates teachers as part of my job, and I have found that the most effective teachers are those that have this ability to anticipate a student's action or response, perhaps to read the face of a shy student and know that student is about the speak and seize that moment. Laura seizes such moments with our two little boys each and every day.
Please describe your overall experience with your nominee, in your own words.
Laura has been with our family since our oldest was 3 months old. It is now impossible to picture our life as a family without her. We have listened to friends' stories of disappointing childcare experiences, and we can't imagine it. At this point, Laura is a member of our family. She cares about each of us, and cares deeply and methodically about every aspect of our sons' lives. My husband and I aren't the only ones to recognize how lucky we are. There have been many occasions when other parents who have seen Laura will the children will tell me, without prompting, how wonderful Laura is with the children. Our son's preschool teachers have mentioned it, the teacher at Gymboree has mentioned it, the neighbors I could go on. All those commenting have absolutely no obligation to say anything at all, yet they are compelled to share, because Laura is just that special, "a real treasure, as one of the mom's in our son's class recently told me.