Program Spotlight- Early Childhood Education
Teacher Spotlight- Nancy Reitzel
What are some of the more common career pathways your students take when they leave CPAVTS?
“Employment in the field of childcare or continue in higher education.”
What particular training/unit do employers seek that helps students get their foot in the door?
“Students get CPR/First Aid training, Safety training, hours with children and having clearances. All of which are benefits that employers seek when hiring someone in this industry.”
What is some of the recent trends in the profession with which students become familiar?
“Play. Play is really important for child development.”
What unit/topic do students struggle with the most in your program?
“I think the biggest struggle would be having the confidence to actually teach for the preschool children in front of their peers.”
Explain a typical day in your program.
“Students arrive, prepare the preschool room, run the preschool activities until the preschool dismisses, then catch their bus.”
What advice would you give students who have completed your program?
How many years have you been at CPAVTS, and what was your experience before coming here?
“I have been at CPAVTS for Four years. I was a teacher and a preschool teacher before I came here.”
Program Spotlight- ECE Students
Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.
“Our program educates us in how children learn socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. We learn how these four areas of development allow them to grow and prosper.”
“How special every child is and the importance of learning at an early age.”
“In Early Childhood Ed, I learn to appreciate each child’s uniqueness and how I can better myself to prepare them for life.”
What is the hardest part of your program?
“Learning how to work with children and having them respect you and respect them in return.”
“The hardest part for me personally, is making a detailed lesson plan and having that lesson hold all the children’s individual interests when it is being taught.”
“The hardest part of my program is creating a good work ethic to keep up with all of my assignments.”
What is the most fun part of your program?
“Getting to know both your fellow teachers as well as the preschoolers is very fun. It’s interesting seeing the different types of personalities of each child. Plus, I’ve had the chance to make a lot of friendships with my classmates through our year together at CPAVTS.”
“Being in the preschool with the children, and also learning so much from my favorite teacher.”
“The most fun part of my program is laughing with my teacher, classmates, and preschoolers. We laugh a lot.”
What is some recent technology you are learning to use in your program that is specific to your profession?
“Not a lot of technology is used in the preschool room or classroom. Of course computers are used to help us research things, like ideas for lesson plans or to work on online courses. We mostly leave technology out of the preschool room, that way children play with dolls, toy trucks, beading, and anything really that serves as a better means for developing their hand/eye coordination or fine-motor skills.”
What is your plan for after high school?
“To become a social worker, first grade teacher, or a child psychologist.”
“Right after high school, I plan to go to Toccata Falls College for Early Childhood Education, and one day become and ECE Vocational School Teacher.”
“I plan to further my education in Early Childhood Development. I plan to go to Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) in the fall of 2018, where I have been accepted to major in Early Childhood Education. This will allow me to continue following my dreams to either become a social worker or a special needs teacher.”
What is going to be the highlight of the year in your program?
“The preschool graduation at the end of the school year.”
“The highlight of my year will be graduating from the program with my fellow third years. The preschoolers will also have a graduation ceremony in May, which I always enjoy.”
“The highlight of this year is going to be our FCCLA competition, where I get to show what I’ve learned in my program.”
What are you proud of learning how to do in your program?
“I’m most proud of learning how to efficiently work with preschoolers on a more personal level. It’s one thing to learn about children from a textbook, but it’s dramatically different when you get to learn about how they themselves learn and play when you’re one-on-one with them.”
“Being able to teach children with all different kinds of personalities and really connecting with them.”
“I have learned to be a fearless leader and can now be an example for my classmates.”
Explain a typical day in your program.
“Mondays and Fridays we do theory work and the middle of the week we have the preschoolers for our hands-on experience and training.”
“The typical day in Early Childhood Education varies. Both Monday and Friday are dedicated to planning lessons and preparing materials needed for the lesson. Notes also take place on those days and during our “free time”. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the preschool session days of the week. We get to teach through our lesson plans, and when we aren’t the “teacher”, we get to observe our peers in that role.”
“There is nothing typical about our program. Each day we arrive, set everything going on in life aside, and be the best version of ourselves for our preschoolers. Each day is filled with love, laughter, and occasional drama since you are dealing with kids, but it’s worth it.”
How is your program at CPAVTS different from other classes you have had in the past? Can you give examples?
“The Early Childhood Education program is different from other classes in many ways. Hands-on is the perfect word to describe the program. You get to work one-on-one with a classroom full of preschoolers which makes the information you’re learning in the classroom even more valuable and relevant. The whole class itself works together to ensure a thorough lesson is given.”
“It’s something that you should want to do, and that makes you really enjoy this class. Mrs. Reitzel is an amazing teacher, and she really wants her students to succeed.”
“This class is not like any other class. You become a ‘family”’ unit. You learn to love others despite their faults. You also experience life in a work environment, with the same ‘co-workers’ for three years.”
What advice would you give to a beginning Level 1 student who is just starting the program or to a student who is considering enrolling in the program?
“You have to be independent in your learning, but if you really feel like you want to work with children in any capacity this is a great shop to get your start in that career direction.”
“The best advice is to always get your work finished on time. Getting your work done is so important, as it serves as the way to ensure you’re educated properly in all things dealing with early education. You’re also not going to regret joining this program. Whether you aspire to someday become a teacher yourself, or you’re just curious about how a child’s mind works, this program is for you. Mrs. Reitzel, who teaches the program, is a wonderful teacher who makes learning interesting, as well as exciting.”
“To a Level 1, I would say to be ready to work hard, because completing assignments won’t be easy. Don’t give up and make sure you carry yourself with confidence. Ask for help! It is okay! If you are considering if this is the right program for you, I would tell you to search you heart. Are you passionate about working with and for children? You will burn out fast if your heart isn’t in this work.”