School Mom and PTO President Becomes a CDA Toddler Teacher

September 27, 2018

Published by CounciLINK on September 27, 2018

dawn-wallaceMany teachers get their start working in early childhood programs. For Dawn Wallace, a lead teacher in a classroom of 2-year-olds at the Midbar Kodesh Early Childhood Center in Henderson, NV, went from being an active Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) mom to a CDA!

While serving as president of the PTO at her children’s school, Wallace spent much of her time volunteering in classrooms to help teachers with everything from grading assignments to cutting paper.

“I found that I enjoyed being in the classrooms and interacting with the children,” Wallace said, “and that I was good at it.” The school also noticed her skills and asked her to become a substitute teacher, first as a teacher’s aide and then as a lead teacher.This experience reinforced Wallace’s desire to enter the teaching field. So she returned to school with the goal of earning an associate degree in early childhood education.

As a wife and mother, however, the process of earning her degree took longer than she expected. While continuing to take college classes, she decided to complete the Child Development Associate (CDA®) Credential and begin working as a certified preschool teacher.

“I learned more in the CDA course than I had in some of my ECE college classes,” Wallace said. “The knowledge I gained has made me a better teacher and built my reputation as a quality educator among my peers and administrators.”

Wallace says the CDA training has given her a new understanding of how to create a developmentally appropriate classroom for toddlers.

“Understanding what is in the best interest for the development of a toddler,” she said, “is crucial in running a fun, loving and efficient classroom.”


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