Jennifer Wolf, Lead Twaddler Teacher
Since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of working with children. I would sit in my room playing “school teacher” talking to my stuffed animals and baby dolls. Once I was old enough around the age of 12; I started to babysit all of my little cousins, neighbors, and family friends. Spending time with them would just make me feel like a kid again.
The time came where I had to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I thought long and hard but one thing was very apparent. No matter what my career path was going to be I was going to work with children. I decided to get my Bachelors in Psychology and am now going to school to receive a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling/ School Counseling.
Even though I was going to school I needed to find a job. Due to my love of children I went to different Child Care Centers to apply for a position. The second I walked into the Tutor Time of Oakdale it was a completely different vibe than any other center that I was in. The ladies at the front desk welcomed me right in and helped me through the process. As I sat to fill out my application I watched employees and children walk through the halls with smiles on their faces. They all seemed to have a bond.
I have now been at Tutor Time for over two years and I wake up every morning with a smile on my face, ready to go into work. To me it is not just a job but a second family. The faculty at Tutor Time of Oakdale all have a bond together as if we are a family and the children are a part of it. I start my day by walking into my classroom at 6:30 every morning ready to start the day. I get the privilege of being able to not only see my class come in, in the morning but all of the other young learners as well. To see the excitement in their eyes just puts a smile on my face. There is no better way to start your day then getting a hug and smile from a child. It’s amazing to see the bond between the children and I grow day by day. In the beginning of the school year some children were hesitant of leaving their loved ones and getting dropped off. Now those children just run right up to me and give me the biggest hug in the world. You can see the sigh of relief in the parents eyes knowing that their child feels safe and happy in someone else’s arms.
I work in a Twaddler classroom so I am privileged enough to be helping these children learn very crucial aspects of life. There is nothing terrible about the age of two. They are learning how to explore life, their environment, and friendships. They want to test limits and see how far they can achieve different goals and wants that they have. This is the age where a child learns how to reach independence and I am there to help them along the way during that process.
I go home every night and feel accomplished like I have made a major difference in someone’s life. There is nothing greater then feeling like you have changed that child’s life in some way. To see a child transition from drinking from a Sippy cup to drinking from a “big kid” plastic cup, using utensils instead of their tiny fingers, hearing them name all of their colors and shapes, to seeing the excitement on their face when they go on the potty for the first time brings a feeling of accomplishment straight to my heart. I love to be a difference and teach these children to learn and to love to learn. They all make huge strides in vocabulary, social skills, cognitive skills, and motor skills.
After a long fun filled day with all of my two year olds it is time for me to leave for the day. I am usually covered in paint, glue, and marker stains, and I can usually find a feather or sticker on the bottom of my shoe and that’s a sign of a great day! Before I leave I get a big loud “bye Miss. Jen” from all of them and get rushed with hugs! That’s one of the moments when I know that my job is worth it. Tutor Time of Oakdale is not only a job but a lifestyle, a family, and a passion.