Hi, my name is Jana. I’m a former elementary school teacher, and homeschool mother of two, who runs a Waldorf inspired home childcare/preschool. Children are experts at living joyfully and I feel lucky to share my days with such inspirational leaders.
My story begins when I spent a year volunteering in a grade one classroom to see if teaching was indeed my calling. The classroom was full of noise, chaos, laughter, tears, spills, clutter, arguments, crowded space, stories and smiles.
I loved it.
It was fascinating to witness the children learning and to see all the different learning styles. This ignited my interest in how children learn and how the learning environment plays a part in the acquisition of new knowledge. The children welcomed me openly into their classroom and showed excitement and enthusiasm when they shared stories with me. I knew teaching children was going to be the right career path for me.
My first paid teaching job was the next summer, as a horseback riding instructor at a children’s summer camp. Most campers came for two week sessions. Put distracted hyper active little kids on large stubborn animals; add a hot sun and a million horse flies and you have a less than ideal learning environment. Talk about a crash course in classroom management. Again, I loved it.
Horseback riding has been my favourite hobby since I was a child. Many of the campers were horse crazy and being able share my interests with them was very rewarding. After showing them some neat tricks, I watched as their riding ability grew in leaps and bounds. It was so effortless to share my equestrian knowledge and it made such an impact on the children. I was hooked. It felt great teaching others and watching them benefit from my knowledge and experience.
The years to come were filled with a variety of teaching venues from large groups to one-on-one tutoring. I taught children as young as 18 months all the way up to high school. Mainstream public schools, private schools, and alternative philosophy schools make up the majority of my teaching background. I spent a few years at a Waldorf Kindergarten and Daycare Centre and learned about this beautiful and natural approach to teaching.
My skill set includes practical instruction in mainstream academic subjects as well as sports, hobbies and even a class in Magic one year! (that was interesting; I don’t have any talents in that department!). What I learned from the experience was that being a beginner in a subject helps you understand how to present the material to other beginners. I was just one lesson ahead of the students and we had a ball practicing our slight-of-hand tricks together.
When I decided to open up my own home daycare I assumed my past teaching experiences would serve me well. If I could handle a class of 30 surely I could manage a group of toddlers. Ha! The unique experience, of opening up my home, caring for very young children, as well as my own, brought a new dimension to teaching that I could not have expected.
Some days during my first year were very challenging. Many experienced childcare providers helped me with advice and information. The support was wonderful. Often a few key tips made a mountain of difference when facing several crying babies.
As people witnessed me on an outing with all my little ones, they often asked me how I made it look so easy. I found I was writing lengthy emails to friends and colleagues who were asking for help with parenting or daycare issues. My husband encouraged me to document the advice and save myself some time! I like assisting others and hearing that my past stumbles have helped someone else experience a smoother ride.
This site is geared to helping other home daycare providers, as well as parents caring for young children. Raising young children is filled with amazing highs and thought provoking lows. I find connecting with other caregivers fuels my energy and stimulates my imagination.
May this site provide you with inspiring ideas and support as you navigate your journey with little ones by your side.