Monday, August 25, 2014

Staff Spotlight: Sandy

Sandy and Her Family 
The driving principle behind the Reggio approach is that every child has the right to quality education from the moment of birth. Sandy, team lead of the Infants in the Precious Penguins,  lives this philosophy so effortlessly it is as if she is privy to a secret language known only the babies and herself. Of course there is no secret language, and that's just the point.  Not everyone can be an infant teacher, and even less can do it to the supreme level of confidence and quality Sandy possesses. Infants in Sandy's care are an active part of the culture of mutual respect. The children are treated as participants and co-learners, not simply empty vessels waiting to be filled with information.  Children's feelings are given voice, their ideas room to expand.  Knowing that when a child is feeling genuinely loved and secure, they will be able to spread their wings. Her pure objective is to find as few ways to say "no" to an exploring child as possible. She approaches every situation with a tranquility that is enviable and extraordinary. When receiving a cancer diagnosis two years back,  she faced it with the measured composure of a zen master. We are so proud to have Sandy be a part of our TLS family. We asked her to tell us more about herself: 

How did you find your way to TLS?
I was living in the Charlotte area at the time, and I made arrangements to come to the school the day after arriving in town. I immediately fell in love with the school the moment I pulled into the parking lot and by the time I walked through the front door I knew that I did not want to work anywhere but here.

What do you value most or hold dear at TLS?
I love the feeling I get every day when I walk through the door. When you walk into TLS it is like walking into a different world. There are so many wonderful things to look at and you always see children engaged in learning about what’s around them. There is a peaceful and calming atmosphere that relaxes you as soon as you walk out onto the court yard. I remember feeling like Alice in Wonderland the first time I toured the school. Everything looked so magical!

If you could be a superhero what would your super powers be?
If I had super powers they would be super speed and the ability to multiply my hands and arms when needed. Having an extra set (or three) of hands would be helpful at times.

If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t ever stop trying; you can do it.

Team "Sandy's Spiders" at the 2013 Komen Race 
What is your happiest childhood memory/what makes it so special?
My happiest childhood memories are of spending time at my grandma’s house. She used to love to sit outside on her porch swing and hum. I would go out and sit beside her laying my head on her chest. I would close my eyes and feel the cool breeze on my face as we slowly rocked back and forth. Those are the moments that made me forget about the rest of the world and I didn’t care how old or big I got I still curled up next to her on that swing every chance I could. Sometimes if I sit outside on a cool day I can close my eyes and it feels like I’m there.

What did you want to be when you were 12 years old?
When I was 12 I wanted to be a model and a fashion designer.

What’s the best bargain you’ve ever found at a garage sale or thrift store?
The best bargain ever found at a yard sale was actually found by my son, not me. There was a 46 inch flat screen plasma T.V. with picture in picture that a woman was selling for $20. The reasoning behind selling it and doing it so cheap was because the menu screen took up the entire screen and she could not figure out how to remove it so the T.V. could not be used. My son paid the $20 to buy it, certain that he could fix it. My husband chatted with an online help agent that told him all the T.V. needed was an update. They updated it and it works perfectly.

What is your favorite children’s book?
My all-time favorite children’s book is The Little Red Hen. When I was smaller I liked it because I had a record that went with the book and the person that read the story on the record used funny voices for the characters. I like it now because the story has a good moral. You should not expect to reap the benefits of someone else’s hard work if you offered no help at all.

What words do you live by?
Live life with no regrets. In every situation you have been in good or bad you have learned something that has added to your character and made you who you are today.