Get Adobe Flash player
COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL introduction I began my career in family child care. I loved the small group, the cozy environment, and the inti- mate relationships I developed with families. I will forever cherish those memories. Toward the end of my family child care days, I began to pursue my formal training as an educa- tor. I felt that I had a great deal of experience, but I needed to combine my practical skills with a better understanding of education to best serve children and their families. Eventually I closed my family child care and went to work at a preschool for children with spe- cial needs. I loved that experience as well, and I en- joyed learning from the master teachers there. I then found my way to the laboratory nurs- ery school on the campus of Vassar College. This school was very different from my first two early childhood environments. A laboratory school is a teaching and learning environment for both children and adults. Each classroom has an obser- vation booth to help student educators and their professors discreetly observe the children, teachers, and classroom environment. I remember my first day in the booth, watching the two-year-olds and feeling at home. I had a passion for this age group. I earned my bachelor’s degree in early edu- cation. I then decided to get my master’s degree, focusing on the zero-to-three age group. I felt this was a special age in children’s development, and I valued the integral role families play in the lives of children three and younger. I searched for very particular degree programs. I earned a graduate certification as an infant-toddler specialist. After that, I pursued my master’s degree in human devel- opment, specializing in infants, toddlers, and their families. By this time, I was teaching in a classroom of two- and three-year-olds. My day job helped me practice what I was learning, and my master’s pro- gram helped me question and reflect on my teach- ing practice. Eleven-plus years later, I’ve loved every moment I’ve spent with two- and three-year-olds. Becoming an infant-toddler specialist and mentoring others has been very gratifying for me. I delight in working closely with children’s families while teaching and loving their children. Two- and three-year-olds are very busy, curious, lovable, and fun. I cannot imag- ine an age I would rather work with! My profession is my passion. I want to share my experiences in and ideas on teaching twos and COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 1