Teacher Spotlight: Miss Wilma from Our Seattle Preschool
We are thrilled to introduce this month’s Teacher Spotlight, Miss Wilma, from our Seattle location. Miss Jenee, our Seattle director, describes Miss Wilma as “an OG veteran in the ECE field.” Miss Jenee adds, “Her experience is a huge benefit to our center and the classroom; she loves her children dearly, no matter what happens. We wouldn’t have it any other way!” (See more of our teacher spotlights to learn about our fantastic educators. We couldn’t be luckier!)
Miss Wilma is an awe-inspiring, quick-witted, all-encompassing kind of leader whom we’ve been fortunate to have as an asset to our early childcare team for more than 6 years now. As the lead teacher in the Canyon classroom, Miss Wilma brings her vibrant energy to a blooming pre-K age group. She specializes in engaging with the children individually, showing the utmost care, and truly addressing the social and emotional aspects of our young children.
Miss Wilma has always had a nurturing nature, and when asked who influenced her the most while growing up, she wells up with tears. “My Mom was such a willing and loving mother,” Miss Wilma shares. “She took on so many family roles, and she was always there for us. She cared so hard for us, whether we were her biological children or not.”
Growing up in a large family, with 22 siblings from all over the world, Miss Wilma has always been passionate about caring for others. “When you grow up with so many diverse people in your life, you thrive in similar environments,” she says. Her family background led her to pursue teaching as a career, which for her, started right out of high school.
Miss Wilma’s first job was working with young children and providing after-school care. She branched out for a moment in dental care but quickly realized that shiny teeth were no match for how much children brought her joy. So, she jumped right back into early childhood education and taught at local childcare center for 16 years straight. At Lil’ People’s World, we know how lucky we were when we had the chance to bring her on board — she is the absolute best.
The ability to comfort children is one of Miss Wilma’s favorite parts of her job. “You get the same respect as they give their parents. The children say, ‘I love you,’ and they mean it. They call you ‘Mom’ by mistake, and they know that you are there to help them. I think that the parents here really appreciate that their children want to be here each day, and we help them to adjust,” Miss Wilma says. “I’m calm, interactive, and very consistent. Children need consistency whenever they can get it. I want my children to feel safe and seen. Connecting with them emotionally really addresses them as individuals.”
Miss Wilma wishes that more people knew how many different needs are in just one classroom. She thoughtfully learns to cater to the transitions and the environment as they arise and believes that teachers are the ones who truly see all the layers of social and emotional interactions. When tempers run high, our teachers know what to do and are here to give kids what they will need to cope. “There are so many different and culturally diverse families,” she says. “We continue to learn more each day about each child.”
Currently, her favorite children’s book is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw. (We are right there with you, Miss Wilma — it’s a hard one to read without crying.) And if she could have any superpower, Miss Wilma would have the power to give every child the opportunity to reach their goals and become whoever they want. “I want the power of being able to ensure all children are cared for and given the same attainable dreams as everyone else,” she says.
Currently, Miss Wilma enjoys watching Lifetime Original Movies, and we don’t blame her one bit; they are quite addicting. She enjoys the peace of reading but has not started a new book recently. She has been enjoying My Favorite Murder, a podcast by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. But her most favorite thing to do is to spend time with her children and grandbabies.
And now, of course, the answer to the biggest question of all: Grilled Cheese or PB&J? Miss Wilma far prefers a grilled cheese sandwich over any plain PB&J. “I would like mine with ham and classic American cheese,” she says, “along with a Starbucks iced vanilla coffee with cream.”
Sounds like perfection, Miss Wilma, just like you!