Meet our CDA Spotlight member this week – Cristal Martinez!
Growing up, Cristal was never exactly sure what she wanted to do as a career. However, she did know she wanted it to revolve around helping kids. She was even involved with a program that tutored other children in her school when she was just an elementary student!
In the future, Cristal became a Child Psychology major with career goal of working hands on with children so that she could see the difference she is making. She is currently living this dream through her position at the Omaha Early Learning Centers at Gateway!
She saw NECC’s CDA credential course as a chance to gain more knowledge on how to become a better teacher for the children in her care. She is most excited to connect with other teachers in the community and share strategies and learn from one another.
Cristal wishes all people in the community knew just how important early childhood education is. She has noticed that some people tend to view early child care simply as a daycare service. However, Cristal and other teachers at the center are teaching the children to grow as people, along with basic knowledge and skills revolving around letters, numbers, colors, etc.
Working in the child care industry is an amazing experience for Cristal. She loves being able to see the kids grow and learn and to watch them put into action everything she has taught them.
One thing Cristal would like to see more of in our community is more training/classes focused on teaching children with different disabilities. She is a strong advocate that all children deserve the very best from their teachers, and she feels that providing such an opportunity would allow all teachers and students to grow and learn together in a happy and comfortable environment.
“One of my most memorable experiences during my time in early childhood education was the moment one of the kids in my classroom began to sing to himself a song we always sing in class. He wasn’t very verbal at that time, so we learned that he really connects and learns through music. It was such an incredible moment!”
Cristal’s Take Home Advice
“One thing I can tell you about early childhood education is that consistency really is important. Once children have consistent routines, teachers, and schedules, this is when you really start to see the kids flourish.”