A typical day at the Early Learning Center (ELC) in Grand Rapids begins with the first set of little feet walking through the double doors. During this time of the year goodbyes and hugs are said in between a winter breeze and amidst the rustling of little coats, gloves, and winter boots. However, amongst the hustle and bustle of the morning routine a new sound is heard that was not present this time last year, “Hello Ms. Becky! Hola Ms. Becky!”
Let me introduce you to Ms. Becky Solis, one of the 2019-2020 Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Apprentices.
Ms. Becky first became interested in this training program when she heard about it back in June. Since the program’s kick off in August, Ms. Becky has met every task head on and not looked back. Taking part in the Early Childhood Educator Apprenticeship program has provided her with so much more than the opportunity to receive her Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. She has gained a worksite she loves, a group of children she is eager to educate, a life-long career, and a new-found drive.
Spending 30 hours a week with a class full of kids can be a challenging workload, but Ms. Becky starts off each day ready to educate her 3 and 4 year olds. Transferring what she has learned in the GRCC CDA Fast Track course, Ms. Becky says she has, “… gained knowledge in different protocols and how to basically grasp students’ attention and how to run a classroom.” For her, every student has a special place in the classroom. As she states: “To be able to impact someone’s life and just seeing them grow is one of the best experiences”.
At ELC she has had the opportunity to continue strengthening skills that allow her to thrive as a person and Apprentice Educator. She notes, “I have gained the confidence to continue my education and more in believing in myself. Being first generation it’s really frustrating especially not knowing other people who have gone in the education field. Being in this program I feel as if I have a big support group and I am more informed in the career that I want to pursue (early education) I am just so thankful for everything Steepletown has done for me along with their guidance.”
Ms. Becky plans to acquire her CDA, complete the Apprenticeship program, and move on to obtaining her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education at GRCC. If you know of anyone interested in becoming an early childhood educator/preschool teacher, have them complete the online application at Steepletown’s website.