I began my professional life in the field of social work. My love for children guided me to the field of education. I taught for the L.A. Unified School District for thirteen years. For most of that time, I taught Pre-K and Kindergarten. During the eight years that followed, I authored several children’s books and early childhood educational materials. I also presented at conferences on a regular basis and trained early childhood teachers for the Head Start Program, school districts and private early childhood programs. In 1997, I joined the faculty at Barry University, School of Education. As an instructor, I taught all the ESOL courses students needed for ESOL endorsement. Later, as assistant professor, I coordinated the BCC Pre-K/Primary program and had the opportunity to teach most of the early childhood education courses offered, with emphasis on the introductory and curriculum and instruction courses. As part of my duties, I also visited hundreds of classrooms while supervising student- teachers and spoke and presented at many conferences. I am now retired, but continue to follow my passion for education by writing children’s books and teaching materials.
I have always been a child-centered educator. I believe in a democratic, hands-on, interactive, well organized, visually appealing and dynamic classroom. In order to address the many learning styles of young children, every early childhood classroom should have a variety of learning centers with age appropriate activities and materials. When children are enjoying and are engaged in learning, discipline problems are dramatically reduced, if not totally eliminated. In order to support oral language development, children need to be allowed to talk—and talk often. Children will one day grow up to be adults who will have to function in very complex world. In order to succeed and flourish in such a complex environment, children need to attain positive social and communication skills. Communication is key when it comes to problem solving. Therefore, children should have plenty of opportunities to interact with each other, learn from each other and learn to solve issues on their own when at all possible. Children should off course feel their teacher is always available to intercede if needed. A classroom should be a combination of exploration and discovery, and direct and indirect teaching. Most important, a classroom should be a place where the goals, objectives and expectations are clear, but also a place where there is room for joy and laughter. Childhood comes around only once!
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A.A. Miami Dade Community College B.S. in Social Work, Florida International University Counseling graduate courses, University of Northern Colorado M.S. Ed. University of Southern California
I was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. with my family when I was 8 years old. I am fluent in Spanish. My husband and I live by a beautiful lake in Georgia, surrounded by nature. Our four legged child is a golden retriever by the name of Princess Miss Sophie—yes, she is spoiled! I am the proud grandma of two little boys, ages 3 and 6, who are the love of my life and who help me keep young and well grounded. Rarely does a day go by that, in one way or other, I remember the children I have taught. It has always been my dream to one day see them again and find them healthy, happy, well-adjusted and good human beings. Sometimes dreams do come true!