Wow I Did It!!! – Tammi Spellman, Pennsylvania

Tammi Spellman

I received my CDA in 2009, and the process was long and arduous. I went to class every Thursday night. Since I work from 8-5 every day, and my class started at 6:00 pm, my day was extremely long on Thursday. But I worked hard on my CDA.

Some of us at the child care center were asked if we wanted to go back to school to get our CDAs. Most of us answered “No, thank you. It takes too much time.” The owner of the center said she would like for at least three teachers to go. button

The more she talked, the more interested I became. I had the idea that I wanted to return to school anyway the next fall. She said “Why don’t you try for your CDA?” The classes were only one night a week plus some Saturday classes. I said I would try.

I had been out of school since 1991, so I was nervous when my classes started in August. I just walked in the classroom and told myself “Tammi, you can do this.” I am glad I did. I had a lot of support from my own family and from parents at the center. They would always ask me how my classes were going.

When I took my test for the CDA I was nervous, but the Council Rep said, “Tammi, just be calm. These are things you do every day with the children you work with.” The test took about two hours, and when I was done, she said you did a good job. She said you should hear from the Council in about three weeks. About three weeks went by, and when I got my certificate in the mail, I was like “WOW, I did it!” I was so happy, I cried for an hour.

My mom had told me I could do it. I showed the children’s parents my certificate and many of them congratulated me. I received so many nice cards from the parents.

I was the only one from my center who received the CDA and it was a very nice experience for me. And I enjoyed meeting teachers from other centers.

When our last day of classes came to an end, the students in the class had a big party. Everyone passed the class and we hugged each other. Many of us were crying, fearing that we won’t see each other any more now that class is over. But a lot of us do keep in contact with each other.

One girl said to me it’s like losing family because that is how close everyone was in our class. Everybody pulled together and we helped each other. My teacher explained that this is what it is all about — we are all here for the same purpose.

I am currently working on getting my bachelors degree from the university in Early Childhood Education with a dual focus on preschool and toddlers. Earning my CDA was a rewarding experience. I would recommend it to anyone working in the child care field. And then they can say “WOW, I did it!”

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