United Way Program Helps Set Students Up for Success
The United Way of Central Florida’s Master Teachers Program that seeks to enable childcare paraprofessionals and help every child excel. The program provides mentorship for newer preschool teachers, as well as workshops and activities that can be transferred into appropriate practices in the classroom. As children with developmental disabilities may require explicit skills-training in deficit areas, teachers are encouraged to address these needs on an individual basis. The Master Teachers Program equips childcare instructors in the areas of behavior management, learning environments, interaction, lesson planning, and parent communication.
Pam Armstrong has been a UWCF Master Teacher for 5 years. She not only guides teachers in developing their classroom curriculum elements, but also works with the students, conducting assessments and giving one-on-one instructional, linguistic, or behavioral support. Pam observed that one young student she encountered, Noah, displayed signs of possible social developmental setbacks. His parents had signed the consent form for the Master Teacher Let’s Grow Early Literacy Initiative assessment, so Pam initiated the assessment to investigate further.
Pam shared, “I conducted the assessment after naptime one afternoon. I had been in the classroom, so he was familiar with me. I was able to get through one of the assessments but was unable to get through the other. He did not want to focus on the assessment and was ready to play. I scored the assessment he completed, and it showed he was 7 months below age level.”
Pam informed the Preschool Director of Noah’s score and provided instruction on how to support a higher score for the school and parents. After speaking with Noah’s mother directly, she shared that she saw and heard the difference in her son. She stated he was talking more and making more sense when he talks. He was putting sentences together. Noah’s mother expressed her gratitude to Pam for allowing her son to get the help he needed by connecting his teacher with proper resources.
The same lasting impact Pam made with one child can be found in any childcare facility where the Master Teachers program goes. This program gives teachers the training they need and equips them to prepare our youngest community members their best chance for success in an educational setting. Curious about the Master Teachers program? Find out more here!