Heather Arnold, Wobbler Teacher

I was born and raised in rural Kansas, and as a child was outdoors constantly. You could (and still can) often find me up in a tree reading a book. J I attended Kansas State University, where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Family Studies and Human Services. My husband Nate and I both graduated in May of 2013, and decided to move to Oregon after taking a trip to the Pacific Northwest and absolutely falling in love. We had never been to Eugene and didn’t have jobs, a house, or anyone we knew when we came, but we packed up with our dog Mika to settle in to what felt like our destined home.

I was a Pre-K teacher for 3 years at KinderCare before we decided to have another adventure teaching English in South Korea. We were there for almost two years before briefly living with family in Iowa and ending up back in Oregon in April 2019. I went back to KinderCare and through my director, found out about the 40 Years in the Making conference that was being held at the Co-op. It sounded amazing and I re-scheduled my life to be able to attend. From the moment I walked in the door, I knew that I belonged there. Everything about the philosophy, community, and environment aligned with the core of my being. They just happened to be hiring Lead Teachers at the time, and I jumped on the opportunity. Cut to July 8th, 2019, my first official day at the Co-op with this beautiful family and the beginnings of a journey that I am eternally and overwhelmingly grateful to be on.

In my free time, I love galavanting out in the wilderness with Nate and Mika – hiking, kayaking, and wandering on the coast are our favorites. I love going on bike rides, cooking, baking, and take immense pleasure in trying new things. I’m also an avid reader and enjoy a wide range of genres, and I’m always taking recommendations. Nate is passionate about woodworking and is always working on some sort of project, and he also loves to garden. Our ultimate goal in life is to build our own house on our own land and have a self-sustaining homestead!

My passion for children started at an early age, and I was often involved with children’s activities at my church and baby-sat frequently. I really honed in on my passion while I was in college, and spent 3 years working at a nature-based child-care with wobblers and toddlers. One of my professors focused on the Reggio Emilia philosophy, and I was always inspired by it and identified strongly with its core values. I believe that it is imperative for children to have access to the environment we offer at the Co-op, and I am honored to say that I work here.