March 6, 2014

On February 20 I spoke at the Gapbuster Tour when it stopped at Laney College, This three day, seven city tour began in San Diego and ended in Sacramento with stops in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno and Oakland. Its purpose was to call attention to the achievement gap, the fact that when our children miss out on early education opportunities, such as in-home childcare and preschool, they often start kindergarten as much as 18 months behind their peers, meaning they are likely to spend a lifetime “catching up”, rather than living a life full of learning. This tour also was a call to our Governor and State Legislature to fund early childhood education for all of California’s children.

In preparation for my presentation I asked some of our Children’s Center staff why they love their jobs. When I spoke I shared their responses saying that at an early age every child in our state deserves to have caring teachers like this. The answers of our teachers were very well received. I am happy to share them with you as well. We can be proud of the ministry of our Lakeshore Children’s Center.

I feel it is my responsibility to love and nurture children as if they’re my own. This is the core of my belief system. When new children are put into my charge, I must welcome them with the same love and warmth their biological parents have for them. This process of building trust expands a child’s potential and motivation for learning. Children are a precious gift from God and should be appreciated as such.

—John Dixon

Ten Reasons I Love My Job

10. I am taller than most of the population at LCC, and my students think my singing voice is beautiful. (I am 5’2” tall and have a “froggy” voice.)

9. The look of accomplishment on my students faces when they master a new skill is precious and like the commercial says…”priceless.”

8. The stories I hear about their “home life.” Preschoolers have no filter on their emotions and share the most amusing stories about their familes.

7. Even after 30 years of teaching, I learn something new every day from my students. Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

6. The interaction with each student is challenging and ever-changing. Each child is unique with many special gifts and needs. It is our job to help each one achieve confidence, self-management skills, academic readiness and citizenship in our community and the world in a way that makes sense to them.

5. Helping a child accomplish something challenging. It could be as small as sitting still for two minutes to learning to cut with scissors independently. Milestones are significant and rapid. . .and always a joy to watch.

4. My co-workers. We are like an extended family. We share food, give each other rides and we genuinely care about each other. We consider each other’s children part of our families. We are dedicated to the well-being and education of our students. We laugh, cry, agree to disagree and most importantly, support each other.

3. I have been fortunate enough to be the teacher of both a father and daughter. What a joy it was when I yelled “good bye, honey. I love you.” The response from both daughter (Makayla) and dad (Max)&hellip”I love you too.” Longevity makes us thrive.

2. My daughter was able to attend as a preschooler and now volunteers as a teenager. Our children are always welcome at LCC.

1. AFTER A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE COMMUTE FROM RICHMOND TO OAKLAND, I ARRIVE AT WORK AND THERE IS ALWAYS A LOVING HUG AND SMILE WAITING FOR ME. My job is hard work; it takes patience, love and understanding. But I get the same in return from my students (on most days) and their love is genuine and pure. I am lucky to be here.

—Joni Nomura, Program Director

Peace,

Jim H.