Nea grew up in Columbia, South Carolina but has called Denver home for the past 10 years. She completed the Stanley British Primary School Teacher Preparation Program in 2007 and has a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver. Nea taught at Paddington Station from 2007-2012 in the Samuel Whiskers and Benjamin Bunny classrooms and facilitated Creative Explorations. After a temporary relocation to Florida, she returned to Denver and taught Kindergarten at Westerly Creek Elementary School from 2013-2015. She returned to Paddington in 2015, taught two years in the Tom Kitten room and will teach kindergarten in the Peter Rabbit classroom this year.
I will never forget my very first teacher, Ms. Page, who was my kindergarten teacher in Columbia, South Carolina where I grew up. Ms. Page had gray hair and blue-rimmed glasses, and she always wore long skirts and buttoned-up cardigan sweaters. Ms. Page also loved books!
While I do not have many memories of kindergarten, I do remember the anticipation I felt each day at kindergarten before story time. I wondered which book Ms. Page would read to us, and what kind of adventure we would be taken on in the pages of a book. I have never stopped being entranced by the power of storytelling, and I still love to read.
But, to me what is even more rewarding than reading a good book is teaching a child how to read. The light in a child’s eyes when they realize that they can actually sound out a word for the first time is truly magical. And the moment when they begin to see themselves as readers is beyond extraordinary!
This is one of the many reasons why I do what I do. I feel incredibly lucky to be a teacher in early childhood education and to be able to share the wonder of discovery with children on a daily basis. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes each day reminds me to take the time to notice the little things that, to a child, are really very big things. Being in a classroom each day with an enthusiastic group of children who are curious, eager to learn new things, and filled with joy lifts me up and makes me realize the great responsibility that we have as teachers.
For, it is our job to inspire children to become lifelong learners and to realize the potential that they each have to make a positive impact on the world around them. And this is why I do what I do. Teaching is a powerful and rewarding experience, and to be honest, there are few jobs in the world where your “client” greets you each day with a smile and a hug!