“What’s today class?” Ms.Carroll asks her 4K students. Few are quiet while others, you can see the wheels turning in their heads.They sit autonomously “criss cross apple sauce” on a colorful rug filled with clouds, a dream and a future. Each child sitting on a letter of the alphabet they choose.
“Wednesday!” One very enthusiastic student yells. Even at 8 o’clock in the morning, there is excitement embedded in the very infrastructure that is the Child Learning Center.
Ms.Carroll is a Columbia College graduate and is currently teaching to some of the brightest students in the Midlands. If you know Ms.Carroll or Tierra if you’re a Fighting Koala, she is extremely personable and welcoming. And if you’re a fan of the Beyhive, you’re pretty much kin. I’m surprised she didn’t have her students singing the days of the week (aka “Days of Love”) to a Beyonce instrumental. In her classroom, she’ll undoubtedly have a smile on her face that will fill the room; causing a wave of smiles amongst her students.
“Say goodbye Tuesday.” Ms.Carroll says and waits on the call and response of her class.
“Great job.” she smiles of positive reinforcement and a compliment.
Through Ms.Carroll’s organization and passion for children, she is preparing them to overcome the challenges of society. I don’t know if you’ve every been in a 4K classroom since you were promoted to kindergarten but wow. In the classroom, she’s constructed little neat ways of making really important information simplistic. For example, out of limited resources, she created a polychromatic booklet of students’ name, important allergies, if they have an epipen and other accessible information. Having to explain to a parent about how their child was accidentally fed their food allergy for lunch is a preventable situation.
Something else Ms.Carroll is doing in her classroom is the celebration of Black History Month and the “Love Month” as I heard some of the children say. They have been learning about a historical Black figure integrated into their original daily activities and routines. On Tuesday, they learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Wednesday about Harriet Tubman. Through her repetition, creativity and experience in child development, Ms.Carroll takes pride in her role as and educator and motivator.
Ms.Carroll fully understands the responsibility and influence she has in her students overall development. She uses a variety of teaching styles to reach each shining star. My favorite, she incorporates music, painting and of course writing into her routine. I remember sitting in educational psychology class and other classes that taught us about art therapy and music therapy. I see everything personified in her classroom. Even utilizing redirection techniques and patience. There is no doubt in my mind about the quality education and care her students are receiving as a direct result of her character, passion and experience.
As I leave every Wednesday at 9:30am, Ms.Carroll instructs her class to tell me thank you and that warms my heart until I see them again.
“I know you care.”
*plays a Beyonce song for my outro*