This month marks a bittersweet end for our family, as our daughter Katie will be graduating from Coastal Day School, and is going on to join her big brothers at the local charter school! Not long after I became pregnant with Katie, I transitioned from the Mommy’s Morning Out teacher to the Financial Director and then a few years later, became the Program Director. Ashley and I shared what is now a supply closet, as our office, with barely enough room for two people to work, but we have a lot of great memories of that time. Ashley loves to share the story of, when I was 9 months pregnant, and I leaned down to pick something up off the office floor, and I fell on my back and couldn’t get up. We couldn’t stop laughing! (I was okay by the way 😊). I consider working at Coastal Day School to be one of the biggest blessings my family has experienced. Not only do I get to come to a job I love each day, but my children have been able to come with me, and have the most amazing preschool experience, with the BEST teachers!
Katie has been coming to work with me since she was three weeks old (we started with one day a week and slowly worked up to five days). Coastal Day School has been her home away from home. The office Ashley and I shared soon became too small for all the baby gear and we moved into what is now our teachers’ lounge. It was complete with a pack-n-play, bouncy seat, swing, etc. You might be surprised what I am able to accomplish with a baby in my arms! While it was challenging at times I would not have traded that time for anything!
When Katie turned one, she started in our Mommy’s Morning Out program and soon had her teachers wrapped around her little finger! She was very ready for all the fun that they have in that room, especially the art projects, specifically painting. She did not miss being in the office with her Mommy. She was also the messiest child in that class and was often covered in paint or dirt. I soon learned that she could only go to school in clothes that I did not care about.
In the two-year-old class, Katie was so excited to learn her name, and her letters and numbers. My husband and I were excited that she learned to use the potty! Katie’s teachers took such good care of her always giving her plenty of cuddles. It’s really exciting to walk into your two-year old’s classroom and watch her fully engaged in learning as she plays.
We had the pleasure of having Miss Kalyn and Ms. Pam in the three-year-old class. Ms. Pam and Miss Kalyn were such a great team. Ms. Pam spoke Katie’s language, always singing and dancing and using her imagination! Miss Kalyn is such a gifted teacher as well. She excels at teaching three-year olds to do things independently. She taught Katie to put on her own jacket and backpack, how to open her lunch containers and packages, how to clean up after herself, how to use the bathroom independently, and how to ask for help when she needs it. As a mom, this was so helpful to me as I watched my daughter become more independent!
After the three-year-old class, Katie should have moved into the four-year-old class, however, because she had already started reading, we felt that she was ready for the challenge of our kindergarten class. This was one of the best decisions that we made, as Katie took off with her reading and writing. Katie has absolutely loved being in Ms. Natalie’s class. She has made some wonderful friends and has grown so much! She has received the perfect preparation to go on to elementary school!
Not only has Katie enjoyed an amazing education but she has become a part of the Coastal Day School family with a building full of “aunts” who spoil her rotten at the end of each school day with candy and cuddles. (Ms. Veronnica is the usual suspect for handing out candy to staff kids. You will hear several little voices saying, “Where’s Ms. Ronnica?”). Katie, who only has brothers, has also had a taste of what it’s like to have sisters with the other staff girls. And that is thankfully something that will never change, because once you are a part of the Coastal Day School family, you are a member for life!!!