August 2020 Student Spotlight – Susan Viers

I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Secondary School Education.  My career in Early Childhood Education began in 2003. I previously taught high school for 5 years and then moved on to a legal assistant career for 12 years. My husband’s job pulled us from our home in Atlanta, GA to Napa for a while and then brought us back.  At that point, for family reasons and two children, I didn’t want to go back to working full time so I interviewed for a teaching position in a neighborhood preschool.  This is where the story begins with my love for the little ones.  Every day brings me joy and happiness in seeing those young curious learners become successful students.

Enrolling in the Director’s Certificate program was my first experience with CCEI. I was looking for a course that would meet my leadership hours required for accreditation by Cognia (formerly SACS and Advanced-Ed). CCEI has made it very easy as well as informative for my current position as Director of St. James Preschool. The knowledge I have gathered from my courses will go a long way to facilitating aspects of my job and all that it entails.  I never thought that I would be a Director of a Preschool but here I am.  So I would never rule out anything happening in my career.  In addition, I would like to go back and be re-certified which would require more coursework from CCEI.

My favorite time of day to spend with the children is snack time because of their stories and conversations. It is such a  joy to listen to their thoughts, ideas and opinions. It gives me a little window into their life and soul.  Hands down their favorite time of day is playground time. Our playground is a natural playscape wherein nothing is made from metal or plastic except for the slides. The area is also shaded so children can spend as much time out there without getting sunburned.

What motivates me and and what I enjoy are interrelated. Seeing the sheer joy on a child’s face as he/she tastes a snap pea for the first time, which he grew in our garden. Experiencing the delight of a toddler when he puts blocks one on top of each other and then claps or when a child sounds out a word for the first time and gets it right. Watching as children have light bulb moments in Makerspace studio when something they have designed works in the way in which they wanted. All of these things are what motivates me to work with children and creates the joy I find in my job.

I would recommend CCEI to everyone as it is very thorough in what it offers with each course encapsulated in a 1-2 hour online slide show. It’s very easy to operate and self gratifying. With each assessment question answered incorrectly, the program directs you back to the slides that talk about that specific question.  I learned so much that helps in my daily work as a Director at a Private Preschool. I have always wanted to set up a Mentor program for my staff and the CCEI course on Mentoring, greatly facilitated this idea with a rationale for how and why it works. It gave specific examples of what to do and strategies that are beneficial. I have begun to implement this and I am already in discussion with my staff.