March 2020 Student Spotlight – Matt Rogers

My career began as an accident at first.  My sister was working with school-aged children when she asked if I wanted to work at the YMCA here in Santa Clarita, CA. When I started working with the school-age children, the preschool also needed help.  My site director sent me to assist and I impressed the director so much with the way I cared for the children that she wanted me to work for her.  After working there, I wanted to explore preschool more and ended up working at another preschool for 13 years where I grew to love not only the kids but my staff I worked with as well.  It felt like family and to this day I would still do anything for the providers I worked with.  Now some of my kids have grown and are in high school.  A few weeks ago something happened that shook our town to its core.  Even though kids I have cared for are bigger now, they are still in my heart and I am #SaugusStrong.

My favorite activity during the school day is the children’s choice time and whenever they are exploring. At that point, I’m learning from them, seeing who they are as individuals.  My heart motivates me to work with children.  Kids are kind and caring and don’t pass judgement and everyday when a kid smiles at you its genuine, not forced.  When you see a child whose day would be crushed if you weren’t there it becomes the same when the kids aren’t there for me as well.

What I enjoy most about my job and educating children is seeing who they grow up to be.  They don’t remember you as they grow, but their parents do and knowing that you were a small building block to their development makes it the most rewarding to me.

In my free time I draw and write children’s stories and I self published as a downloadable book.  I also enjoy spending time with my son whom has been teaching me the fine aspects of jazz on his saxophone and clarinet.  I don’t play but I enjoy watching and listening to him, and I am in awe of his talent.

I would love to continue my education and I feel like I’m never going to stop.  As a teacher, you learn something new everyday.  I have participated in three CCEI courses thus far:  GUI103: Understanding Aggressive and Defiant Behaviors, CUR125: Loose Parts: Incorporating Found Objects and Open-Ended Materials into the Classroom, and CUR124: Active Learning Experiences in Early Childhood so far but I am still actively taking courses.  I plan on taking and completing as many trainings with CCEI as I can.  I would recommend CCEI to anyone because the courses are so detailed and the handouts allow me to have the information I learned after taking the course even to share with my students’ parents.  I am very thankful the current owner I work for provided training for us through CCEI.  The training offered truly helps to create a resource for staff to go to when there is information we need or want to learn something new that we haven’t seen or heard about and it helps make us more prepared for issues that might arise from day to day.