Through the #IAmEarlyEd campaign, we are highlighting the diverse skills and career pathways of Indiana’s early childhood community. We encourage all Hoosier teachers of early learners to share their own stories on social media or let us know if you think you or someone you work with should be highlighted in this series!
Lee Ann Kidwell
Lead Teacher, Preschool
After 25 years in early childhood education, the kids continue to make me laugh, and I still learn something new every day.
Over the span of twelve years, with the encouragement of my director, I pursued my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and was able to apply what I learned directly in the classroom.
The impact of early childhood education
I realize, especially with my schooling, how important our role is as teachers. Early childhood education is very important as a basis for everything kids will do for the rest of their lives. First, with interactions—their relationships with others, their peers, teachers, and families—that’s what we build on. We are the foundation for the rest of their education. My college coursework has been particularly useful in helping create individualized strategies that fit each family.
A celebration of success — and a commitment to more hard work
When I graduated, my coworkers surprised me with a celebration at work. I think I celebrate every day because I can relax for a while, but it won’t be for long—I want to go back to school for a graduate degree and want to continue mentoring younger teachers.
To those who are hesitant to go back to school, know that you can do it—there are other teachers who have been through it that will be there to help you. I know that I will be.