Age range: 8 weeks – 12 months
Our Classroom Intentions:
We hold the conviction that infants are strong, independent, and curious! We will acknowledge and nurture the child’s growing sense of themselves and their surrounding environment. Our staff will work together as a dedicated and knowledgeable team and we will reflect and learn alongside our students and their parents every day.
Infant-Toddler Continuum Lead Teacher
How many years at the Co-op Family Center: 15 years
Experience in Education: 16 years
Personal Story and Educational Experience
I came to the US from Iceland in 1990 to attend the U of O where I received my BS degree in Biology and started my study in secondary education. During my studies I started working as a student teacher at the Co-op where my children were attending. My experience as a student teacher changed my plans and I decided to pursue a career as an early childhood teacher. I now have 4 children and all of them attended the Co-op. I now am one of the Lead teachers in the younger classrooms (8 weeks-3 years). During my experience at the Co-op I have attended many educational conferences and classes to further my education in the field of Early Education.
I started working at the Co-op in 1999 which is right around the time the Center started exploring the Reggio Emilia philosophy. There are many things about the Reggio philosophy that inspire me. I especially love the research aspect, learning with the children and finding ways to facilitate them in learning through their own research. I love the parent participation aspect of the philosophy as well and truly believe that parents, teachers and children all need to collaborate in making learning possible as well as visible. The environment should always be set up in a way to support and at the same time challenge the children. I feel that exploration of nature should be a large part of children’s experience from an early age and that it is our responsibility as adults in their lives to introduce it to them.
I believe that children are valid citizens in our community and that it is our job as teachers and parents to make sure they see themselves as such. It is also our job to make sure that everyone else views children as strong members of the community.
Co-op Family Center, Eugene, Oregon, (a few different times during 2010-2012)
“Music Through the Eyes of Children”
NAREA Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN; June 2005
“Maintaining the Visibility of Parents in the Daily Life of Our Center”
Publications: Co-Authored “Parent Participation and Visibility in the Daily Life of Our Center” (Innovations in Early Education, Fall 2005)
Infant Continuum Lead Teacher
I have had the privilege of traveling for most of my childhood because of my father’s career. My favorite place to live was Tacoma, WA. because we lived on my grandparents property, creating wonderful memories for me and my siblings. I have raised four children and several foster children. Currently I am a grandmother to nine amazing little people. I learn something new from them every time we get together.
My passion has always been to work with children, after my children had grown and were on their own I decided to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education. While perusing my Associates degree I did my internship at the Co-op Family Center and I fell in love with the program and the people I encountered. I had the privilege of being hired into the Co-op Family Center after my internship. I am currently working on my Bachelors in Science degree in Early Childhood Education through Southern Oregon University.
I strive to provide creative and developmentally appropriate experiences that will forever impact the lives of the young children in my care. I believe that all areas of development (cognitive, social-emotional, physical, language) must be considered, planned for and represented in the classroom. I believe it is important to promote growth of the children in my care by promoting and implementing a strong learning foundation for the children and their families. As a teacher I want to give children a thirst for learning and adventure, through investigative activities, allowing the children to explore the environment around them. I believe that children should be given the opportunity to form their own hypothesis and theories about their world, giving them time to prove or disprove their theories. I believe that as children make their own discoveries it will help to build in them the desire for more exploration.