By: Megan Sheely, Lead Classroom Supervisor
When I think back on my journey working here at the JCC, I can’t help but think about possibilities. When I rewind to 10 years ago and think about how scared I was after just losing my job of 13 years, I can’t help but laugh a little because in hindsight it really was the best thing for my life, and my family.
I was unemployed with a 6 month old child and a 5 year old. My circumstances led me to withdraw my son from childcare. I can vividly remember talking to the director at the time, in tears, about withdrawing my son and telling her how I can’t imagine not coming to the JCC every day anymore. Bringing my son to the JCC every day had become a part of our daily lives.
She very nonchalantly asked if I’d be interested in a part time job as a teaching assistant. It was one of those moments in life you don’t see coming, but once it arrives you feel like it’s a piece of the puzzle you didn’t know was missing. It just seemed right. Obviously I said yes. I interviewed with my son’s teacher at the time (now my boss) and began my journey.
I was encouraged to obtain a Child Development Certification, which I did the first year I worked here. The very next year I was offered to participate in a program to go back to school to study anything in my new field. I jumped at the opportunity. The JCC was so very supportive. I scheduled my classes around my nap time for my students. For 5 years, I worked full time while going to Penn State studying Human Development and Family Studies. In that time, I worked as a teaching assistant and eventually applied for a Lead Teacher position in a toddler classroom. Through my studies, my experience, and the support of some of the most amazing co workers, I learned so much about Early Childhood Education.
Over the years I’ve moved around at the JCC transitioning from a full time teacher, to a part time babysitting room caregiver, and now an administrative assistant in the school age child care department. I’ve met some of the most amazing people over the years. What began as intake meetings for their child’s first ever classroom has evolved into lifelong friendships. I’ve worked with literally every single age group we provide care for here at the JCC, from our youngest of 8 weeks old all the way up to 8th grade. It is the craziest thing to see a student taller than me, that I cared for when they were learning to walk.
I feel like the luckiest person to come to work every single day, and feel like I am home with family. Both my children have grown, learned, and thrived here at the JCC, having been involved with just about every single opportunity for young children that the JCC offers, of which there are many. You can not put a value on feeling like your children are loved and safe when not in your care. The JCC has given me that as a parent and so much more as an employee.
Lead Classroom Supervisor
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