February 2021 Student Spotlight – Michelle Kelley

I have always loved taking care of young children.  I enjoyed working with early childhood since I was young, watching my mom who is a Montessori teacher throughout the years till the present time.  I would help her in her classroom with the little ones and help with line time and lessons. When I was able, I became a junior camp counselor and then counselor at my mother’s Montessori school.  I took courses in high school in early childhood education and completed my CDA there.  After high school, I went to Miami Dade College and received my AA in Early Childhood Education. While working towards my degree, I went and worked in different early childhood centers full time.  I have been teaching for the past 2o years.  Currently, I have been working at South Miami Hospital Early Learning Center for the past 15 years using High Scope Approach.

On my time off, I enjoy reading the Bible and spending time with my husband of 12  years and my 8-year-old daughter.  We like to go camping as often as we are able to and enjoy going on nature trail hikes and appreciating nature.

What motivates me to work with children is their eagerness and curiosity to learn.  I want to guide them in their path to becoming wonderful human beings.  And knowing that early childhood education is the foundation for their growth and so important to who they will eventually become, it is such an honor for me to be a part of that journey.  I want to be able to provide the opportunity to give them the tools to be whatever they want to be in life.

My favorite time of day with the children is choice time or what some call centers.  I enjoy seeing the children discover their interest and watching them use the materials in new ways.  I love watching their imagination grow and scaffolding their learning.The children’s favorite time of day is music and movement where they first get to greet all their classmates and ask them how they are feeling today. We then sing some of their favorite songs and do some finger plays particularly “Herman the Worm”.  They like to move their body around to different types of music.  This gives me the opportunity to participate with them, act silly, and laugh out loud together as well which they love.

I received my Florida Director’s Certificate renewal with CCEI.  I choose this program over others because my Director’s Certificate had expired and I wanted to continue to be highly qualified from a trusted training provider for a supervisor position when the opportunity presented itself.  In this certificate renewal program, I learned so much about what it takes to become a manager at an early childhood center.  The program covered many themes and industry-related topics.  I plan on taking more courses at CCEI.  I highly recommend and encourage my coworkers and friends who are in the early childhood field to enroll with CCEI.  I feel at ease knowing there is an accredited online training provider like CCEI where I can get relevant, research-based courses and certificates that specialize in ECE.  I had a wonderful experience and will most definitely be taking more courses in the near future!