Family led teacher Melissa Hamilton to the Downtown Portland KinderCare. Experience led her to the role of a Learning Adventures teacher. The curriculum leads her to ceaselessly promote the program to families.
“I love Learning Adventures,” she said. “It’s ridiculously fun!”
A former elementary school teacher in St. Louis, Missouri, Melissa and her family relocated to Portland, Oregon, when her husband landed a fellowship at Oregon Health & Sciences University. When she walked into the Downtown KinderCare center and started talking to Director Kate Mohr, Kate knew the Learning Adventures classroom and the program’s enrichment programs would be the perfect place for this new parent and educator. Melissa was happy to get back in to teaching.
“It’s been a lot of fun for me to teach,” Melissa said. “I’ve learned about myself – I’ve pushed myself to learn new things.”
As a parent, Melissa understands that the best thing she can receive at the end of the day is a note about what her child did, and that’s something she makes sure to do for each of her students’ families. The notes give parents insight into how their children are progressing and what they learned after each class. That kind of personalized attention also helps attract new families to the program.
For Melissa, the best part about teaching these enrichment programs is watching children learn new skills and building on the skills they already have, like the two students in the phonics program who were learning their letters and sounds and were so excited to move on to “the reading part.”
“The best thing teachers can get is seeing their students get excited about learning,” said Melissa, who particularly enjoys the extra time she can spend with students in the small group setting of Learning Adventures.
“I can adjust the curriculum to meet their needs: give extra time to students who need help or move ahead for those who are ready. I’m able to reach kids to help them reach their goals.”