My sister Dasy Perez, has been a preschool teacher for almost 18 years. She is a magnet for children. Simply stated they love her and she simply loves being a preschool teacher. As a mamá to a 3 year old, Dasy has been my #1 go to person whenever I have any questions regarding Victoria in terms of behavior and education. I wholeheartedly trust her advice from an educator's perspective and with the amount of years under her belt, I mean who wouldn't?
So I wanted to share her with you. I am creating a special place for her since she is such an integral part of our lives. I want to offer a perspective from the preschool teacher in terms of education and parent empowerment. I will do an interview every month and tackle different concerns or issues that we Legasi moms may have. With the many years of experience that she has, she can share with us her tips, because as we know, it takes a village to raise a child.
So here's my first interview where you get to know this Latina Preschool teacher, meet Dasy Perez.
Mi Legasi: Why did you decide to become a preschool teacher?
Dasy: I started basically because of my mom (pictured below). She used to have a home daycare and I used to come after school and I used to help her and I found out that by helping my mom, I had a love for children. Anything else that I did wasn't fulfilling for me. I started taking classes first, then technical school, and I've been working with children for about 18 years.
Mi Legasi: I can't imagine, I mean I've been to your classrooms and I can last about 20 minutes! In all honesty, what all the teachers and child care providers do is very commendable because you guys are really providing a service for us helping us raise our kids.
Dasy: It's not easy, but first, for me, you have to have a love and passion for what you do in any kind of job, and for me it's very fulfilling.
Mi Legasi: If the parent has a choice, what would be the ideal age to put a child in preschool?
Dasy: It varies cause every parent's situation is different. Some parents start their kids as early as 3 months, others wait til the child is walking. I think they should start as early as they can because of the importance of the routine. For many first time parents we can help serve as a guide, so in some cases the earlier the better.
Mi Legasi: Do you recommend for parents to ease their child into daycare/preschool?
Dasy: It's harder for the parent at the beginning to leave them in the setting which is understandable, but you do transitions. Each school is different and has different ways of incorporating the children into the classroom. I like to do it first little by little. Maybe the first day 2 hours, the second day 3 hours, so they can get a little bit of everything throughout the day and then by Friday they can be integrated. You have to do little by little.
Mi Legasi: What are some ways that we the parents can help you the teachers?
Dasy: Well that depends and varies according to each school. Each school has it's own rules and policies and how they like to integrate the parent into the program. Some may have reading time where the parents can come and read a story others may have a cooking activity where the parent can help. It's really having open communication between the parent, teacher, and the school.
Mi Legasi: Tell us a very memorable story about one of the kids in the many years of teaching that you remember.
Dasy: Well I work with 2-3 year olds. I have many, many stories, but what I like to do is try to enhance a love of reading and books. What I like to see the most is when I see a child go to our library area, open a book, and to pretend to read it. I love to see this because I wasn't brought up this way. If you start at an early age they acquire this love.
Mi Legasi: I look forward to getting some insight every month and hearing the advice that you have for us mamás and parents.
Dasy: Thank you, it's a pleasure, encantada de dar consejos y ayudar a las mamás a progresar que es lo que estamos aqui para hacer. (delighted to give advice and help moms progress which is what we're here to do.)
Mi Legasi: Mil Gracias!
If you have a question you would like Dasy to answer or a subject you'd like us to address, please post it in the comments below, we'd love to answer your questions and empower other parents like you.