November 2020 Student Spotlight – Josh Jonietz

My passion for children began when I was a vacation bible school volunteer.  When I was in high school, I was told I needed one more credit in order to graduate.  The school counselor thought it would be a good idea for me to enroll in the work program class.  For this class I needed a job outside of school. I decided to apply at my church nursery and I got the job. I really liked working with the young children.  My first job assignment at the church was with infants through elementary age children.  I even worked at the Kids Night Club, the club that allowed parents to have a kid free evening.  I worked at this job for 14 years.

After graduation from high school, and knowing I enjoyed working with small children so much, I decided to get an Early Childhood Teachers Assistant Certification from San Antonio Community College.  Also during college, I was an intern at a special needs school and helped with PE and also would watch the children during their parent teacher meetings.  After graduation from SAC I needed to find a full time job and I knew it needed to be in childhood.  I worked at one other daycare until I landed a job at my current location La Petite Academy in San Antonio, Texas.  Here I was awarded Teacher of the Year and the Going the Extra Mile Award.  I have worked at La Petite for 5 years.  I started in the infant room and now work in the early preschool room.  My career began because of the work study program in high school even though they discovered later I did not even need that credit.  I am thankful for that mistake.

My favorite time of day to spend with children is free center time.  I get to see their little imaginations work.  For instance, one early preschooler invited me into “his kitchen” to enjoy and see the types of bread he has cooked.  He had lined up a plastic hot dog bun, regular bread, a pretzel stick and a hamburger bun.  He was so proud.  The student told all his friends not to touch because the bread was hot.  Another instance during free center time, a child asked for the first time a particular song.  He quoted the words of the song “get up get up and go now.”  He had never asked for a song before and immediately had all the kids in the room dancing to the song.  Another activity I like is when the children color on the butcher paper.  They scribble and tell me about what their scribbles are.  They’ll tell me things like it’s their parents even though their scribble may not look like their parents at all.

My motivation to work with children comes from knowing that I am someone who could be making a real difference in their life.  I am contributing to their development and growth.  It is satisfying to see their growth and their smiling faces.  They give back to me also by asking for me to participate with them on their activities and also talking to the parents about me when they are at home.  The parents have commented on this to me and the director of the center.

In my free time I love to work out and make sure I workout 6 days per week.  Working out makes me feel healthy.  I also enjoy playing video games particularly sports and wrestling games.  I love to watch wrestling events on television also.  The Spurs basketball team, the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Tech football are my sports passions.  I try never to miss a game when they are broadcast. I love it even more when I get the opportunity to attend a Spurs game in person.

In the future I could see myself becoming a lead teacher in my own classroom.  I am always interested in taking continuing education courses with ChildCare Education Institute.  I have taken my final exam for the CDA course and I have passed!  I will begin working on my portfolio soon.  I would recommend CCEI to any of my co-workers because it furthers your education and I feel like I gained important knowledge from the CDA certification course.