I am currently listening to a book called “What Happened to You,” about trauma and the importance of approaching life in a trauma-informed way. While reading the story, it brought up memories from my childhood of the positive strategies I developed to cope with life’s twists and turns. Many of the people we support have survived traumatic experiences in our industry, including those in our Early Intervention and Early Learning Centers.
KenCrest started using the Trauma-Smart program to help our little ones overcome those hard challenges by utilizing trauma-informed care practices like providing a safe environment physically and emotionally, communicating clear expectations, toles, and promises, giving choices, providing empowerment, and supporting each other.
Providing trauma-informed care allows children to feel safe and comfortable to learn and grow, something many didn’t have in years past. When I was a kid and having a tough time, I learned to manage through daydreaming.
Growing up, I regularly got caught in school, looking out the window and imagining some friendly future. These daydreams, which I admit are still part of my week, would pose challenges and offer some excellent outcomes.
Thinking about school and getting pulled back into the class discussion reminded me of my teachers who inspired me. I can see their faces and hear their voices of hope and expectation, and I hear their challenging questions and encouragement. I remember Sister Mary Jeanne showing me in the 8th grade what a professional woman could contribute to others by living in gratitude. Margaret McCann let me teach a few classes in the 10th grade. Caryl Carpenter told me in grad school that I should write a powerful journal article about our industry.
Here at KenCrest, we have many brilliant teachers dedicated to helping the children we support to grow, thrive, and live meaningful lives. One Special Instructor, Julie Zettlemoyer, recently received the Educator of the Year for Montgomery County during the annual Montgomery County Developmental Disabilities Award Ceremony in March for her dedication to Birth-to-Three Early Intervention.
Julie, along with many other educators at KenCrest, helps make the children we support shine, and I cannot let the week pass without thanking teachers everywhere for assisting students in imagining, hoping, and aspiring. Teachers have a job where the results are not the grade on today’s test, and their results are far off in the future. They put themselves out there daily to set the stage for possibilities and prepare us to be lifelong learners. They are uniquely gifted and deserve recognition.
Thank you for helping us all to dream, and a special thank you to one of our exceptional