Gaining experience—Student taking first steps toward career in teaching

Evan Kauffman, Reporter

Juliana Forest, senior, has spent the last half year teaching preschoolers, hoping to one day become a full time preschool teacher.

The preschool, Kids R Kids, has had Forest as an employee for six to seven months working during school and summer.

“I go every day from 3:30 till about 6:30 to 7,” Forest said.

She doesn’t only work towards her future career during the school months, she prepares year-round.

“During the summer I’m there all day, “ said Forest.

Forest has wanted to become a teacher since she was in grade school, and she has always loved to be around children that are younger than her.

“My fifth grade teacher inspired me to become a teacher,” Forest said.

Forest got her daycare license from Kansas State University online, in order to work at the preschool. She plans to major in education when she attends college. Forest will also go to school to receive a nursing degree so she can fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a successful preschool teacher.

One thing she discovered is that there is more to watching preschoolers than just being around the children and helping them, despite the usual misconceptions about teaching small children.

“I like to have a relationship with the parents,” Forest said. “It gives me different views on parenting.”

She’s interested in the parents’ different opinions on how to educate and discipline their children.

Forest spends a majority of her free time at the preschool, not just to teach, but also to help out any of the other teachers that may be in need of assistance. Both preschoolers and all young children in general can’t determine right from wrong as well as people can when they become more mature.

“Sometimes I feel like a queen,” Forest said.

One of Forest’s more important jobs is to keep the preschoolers in order and to educate them on how to behave properly in the classroom and at home. A big struggle she has to face while she teaches at the preschool is keeping control of hyper and overactive children who do not follow the rules.

“The main thing I have to face is kids throwing things at each other,” Forest said.

Some of the preschoolers at Kids R Kids have further complications to some aspects of their lives outside of day care, not just in it.

“There are lots of foster kids in day care,” Forest said.