Teacher Appreciation: Crystal Hinnant, Infant Teacher

Today we’re shining a spotlight on Crystal Hinnant, an Infant teacher at the First Foundations Learning Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Ms. Crystal

Ms. Crystal

Assistant Director Kyle Simon told us about this outstanding teacher. “Ms. Crystal is one of the most dedicated teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Her care and concern for her children and their families does not stop at the classroom door. She forms relationships and bonds that last a lifetime.”

Parents also feel strongly about Crystal. “I had a really difficult time returning to work at first,” said one. “Once Crystal came into our lives, I was able to feel comfortable leaving our daughter with someone else so I could work. I would never have had the opportunity to fulfill my professional dreams of seeing health reform implemented if Crystal had not come along — I would have quit my job and stayed at home. Crystal has played a very special role in our family and our lives would be quite different without her. I can never thank her enough for that.”

“Aside from her role working with children, Crystal leaves this full time job every day to go to another full time job where she cares for adults with developmental delays,” said Michelle Mills, mother of two-year-old Maxine, one of Ms. Crystal’s former students. “She is truly a special person with a gift for endless patience and love. We feel so fortunate to have known her and that our daughter had the opportunity to love her.”

We asked Crystal to share a little bit about what motivates her as a teacher and to reflect on some of the highlights of her career thus far.

Name: Crystal Hinnant

Years teaching, and years at CCLC: Years teaching is 33 years, years at CCLC is 2 years.

Classroom: Infant B/C, 6 weeks to 2 years

I knew I wanted to be a teacher when…“I was four, because my mother was my role model, and I wanted to teach just as she had.”

Funny teaching moment: “When one of my kids pooped on me when I was in the middle of changing them.”

The strangest things my students have said to me: “They have called me mom or grandma.”

I keep my calm and/or sense of humor by…“Keeping close with the kids, parents and [my] coworkers.”

My students taught me…“How to appreciate life. Everything is new to them and seeing how they are engaged with smaller things makes me appreciate everything.”

You know it’s a good day when…“I get to see all my children and parents.”

Describe a Meaningful Moment: “When I get to see the children and their families from past years and they still remember me and make time to have a conversation and let me know how everything is going.”

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