Many incoming parents ask us what we “teach” at age one, aside from getting on a decent nap and meal time schedule. Our answer is that no part of our day goes without purpose. A toddler can learn self-care and independent skills by finding their own diaper during changing time, scrubbing the soap onto their hands when we wash, or using a paper towel to help clean the table before and after meals. We discus colors, shapes, textures and feelings during art, then go on to build roadways and zoos in the block center. Meal time is not just for trying new vegetables; it is our social hour! Sometimes we ask questions of the children about their morning or what we saw on our walk, and sometimes we just sit back and watch the conversations and songs start up on their own. The year of development between age 1 and 2 can marks so many milestones: walking, talking, social skills and independence abound! Each child is their own individual person and will reach different milestones at different rates and through different paths. We have all chosen to be a part of the Young Toddler Unit because we love to foster these skills and cannot wait to help your child grow into that unique individual that they are becoming.
We believe that open and honest communication is an integral part of our daily interactions with parents. Although each classroom has two lead teachers, we work together as a unit and hope that you feel comfortable with any of the Younger Toddler teachers, even if your child’s primary teacher is not available during drop off or pick up. Our classrooms spend a lot of time together at the beginning and end of day, as well as nearly all day long when the weather is permitting! Some of our favorite large group activities include morning or afternoon “picnic” snack on the playground, running in the green space next to the building, going on long walks together and group music time in the hallway. We all share art ideas and also rotate books and toys between classrooms. We split gym times and even switch classrooms for free play when a change of pace is needed during those winter months when we are cooped up inside!
Hello! My name is Katie and I’m looking forward to working at The Learning Gardens as the Younger Toddler Unit Teacher. I grew up in Brodhead, where I spent a lot of my time either playing outside with my 3 siblings or helping my grandfather at his farm. I began working in childcare in 2013 as a co-teacher in an infant/toddler room. I recently moved to the Madison area, where I enjoy spending time outdoors, including hunting, fishing, bike riding, camping, and hiking. I am very eager to get back into teaching, especially at a childcare center with such a strong mission and philosophy. I look forward to getting to know you and your child!”