Getting to Know… is part of our Teacher and Staff Spotlight series. Each week we will shine the spotlight one of our classroom teachers, allowing them to share some of their stories, their interests and their favorites with us. We hope our teacher spotlights will help our Morning Star parents and families further engage with our teachers, as well as give them a more personal idea of who is teaching and caring for their children during their days with us.
This week we are getting to know Ms. Teresa!
Ms. Teresa has been part of our Morning Star family for four and a half years, but it seems like much longer than that, doesn’t it?! Through her role as a floater assistant teacher, and a stint as the Red Star Explorer lead at the beginning of this school year, Ms. Teresa is probably a familiar face to most of our parents and to all of our students.
Growing up in Bellevue with one older sister, Mary, in the family home her parents still live in today, Ms. Teresa has a lot of fond memories but her favorites are her family’s weekly visits to her grandma and grandpas. She recalls fondly how her grandmother would make wonderful meals and then everyone would spend the evening together, playing cards or Farkel. Teresa also has warm memories of the in-home daycare she went to on the next block and she still keeps in touch with the family to this day!
As a small girl, Teresa always dreamed of being a news anchor. She remembers clearly sitting at a table at her babysitter’s house with a pen and paper in hand, pretending to report the news and write in cursive (AKA scribbles). When it came time to choose a career path after graduation in 2008, rather than the news, Teresa decided to obtain her CNA / Med Aide license – only to realize it wasn’t for her. That’s when she decided to teach and crossed paths with Morning Star! When asked why she chose to teach, she says, “I started not knowing how I’d feel. But when you first see a child learn something that YOU taught them, there is no greater feeling. That’s why I’ve been here so long; I love it!”
When asked why she loves Morning Star, Teresa said, “I love the kids! Watching the kids go from White Stars to Red Stars or Green Stars to Kindergarteners is such a heartwarming feeling and I love to be a part of it. It also feels like family!” Choosing one favorite memory from her time with us isn’t as easy. “There are so many! But I love the summer activities. Everyone can let their hair down and play in the mud on Mud Day, get wet during water play and just have a great time!”
Throughout her time here, Ms. Teresa has been taking early childhood courses at Metro here in Omaha, as well as taking advantage of every learning opportunity Morning Star has offered along the way. She says working at Morning Star has taught her it’s possible to make anything fun – whether it be singing a hand-washing song or dancing to lunch or even doing these things at home, anything can be fun. And she adds that she’s also learned and realized she has more patience than she ever thought.
When asked what advice she’d give her students, she says she’d tell them to always have fun and when asked what life motto she herself tries to live by, she had an all too relatable response: “I read a quote once that said, ‘Let me love you a little more, before you’re not little anymore.’ Being a mother and a teacher this really sunk in because grow up so fast, you don’t want to miss a beat.
And like all teachers will tell you, there’s always something they admire in their students. For Teresa, that quality is the love they have for one another. “Watching a child comfort a friend when they’re sad or willingly help someone who needs help or even share something. It’s heartwarming. You know the friendship and the love for each other is so genuine. I admire that in my students because compassion is a great trait to have and learning it early on is so important.”
In her free time, you can find Ms. Teresa spending time with her two boys, Bryce (9) and Tyler (3), practicing fonts with new calligraphy pens or playing board games with her family (their favorite is Monopoly)!
We are so happy Ms. Teresa found her passion and that it’s teaching; we’re so lucky to call her family and can’t wait to watch her grow!